Term Four Is Approaching!

 
Dear Blyth Academy Students and Families,

I hope that all of you are continuing to stay healthy and well in these challenging circumstances.

As we reach the end of Term 3 and approach the beginning of Term 4, I wanted to reach out once again to our broader community and express my profound gratitude and congratulations for the work that is being done by our parents, students and staff in our new virtual environment. To quote one of the Blyth Academy principals “I have been overwhelmed by the resilience, empathy, intelligence and engagement of our entire community”.

We recognize how hard our students have been working over these past few weeks to continue learning. Blyth Academy’s small class sizes and individualized approaches continue to serve us well in meeting the needs of each student. I want to reassure you that our teachers and principals know our students’ abilities and are continuing to work collaboratively to ensure that students are supported throughout the learning process.

When I initially announced Blyth Academy’s move to the virtual classroom environment, my messaging was “business as usual, as much as possible”. That was, of course, when we thought we would be returning to school by early April. Since then, we have realized that while nothing in our world currently is “business as usual”, the Blyth Academy virtual classroom model provides important consistency for our students and their families. Teachers are excited to begin their new classes for Term 4 on April 23, 2020. The learning continues!

In these uncertain times, Blyth Academy continues to monitor developments and while we remained poised to return to our physical schools, we also continue to strengthen our virtual delivery. In all circumstances we will continue to follow the best advice of government and health officials.

While we continue to bring a sense of normalcy to our students’ lives through school and routine, the present capacity of our students and families, including their mental health and general wellness is, more than ever, an important consideration. Be assured that students will continue to learn and be engaged in the full curriculum; they will be well-prepared for their next steps, whether that is their next year of high school or a move to post-secondary studies.

Best regards,

Kathy Young Signature

Kathy Young
Chief Academic Officer, Blyth Academy

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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