Wrapping Up Term Four

Dear Students, Parents & Guardians,

It has been so great to see some of our students (and parents!) this week as you came to clean out your lockers. I miss seeing you everyday and have welcomed the opportunity to catch up with you.

Any lockers that have not been cleaned out by the end of June will have the locks cut off and their contents will be bagged and stored, as we need to have the lockers cleaned by the custodian over the summer in preparation for the new school year.

Speaking of next year, I know that many of you are eager to hear more about what September might look like. Unfortunately, I don’t have a confirmed answer for you on that front yet. So much depends upon expected announcements from the Ministry of Education at the end of June and pandemic rates in our province and city as we approach September. What I can tell you is that I am part of a team that is working daily at planning for several scenarios so that we will be well-prepared come September. Luckily, as you have seen over the past few months, we have a proven solution in our virtual classrooms that has allowed our students to continue learning and interacting in meaningful ways over this period, at levels not available to the vast majority of students in Ontario. We will continue to ensure that our students are progressing in their learning and growth come September. Next week, I’ll be sharing with you a date for a town hall style meeting where our team will share information on our plans and answer questions from you. As such, I invite you to email your questions about the return to school in September to me over the next week so that we can ensure that we address them when we meet.

Next week, we have a couple of virtual events to put on your radar.

· On June 17 at 9:00 a.m., our Foundations students will be participating in a webinar called “Our Planet Our Business” as part of our collaboration with WWF. Students will hear from a panel of experts from WWF about how the global community can help to tackle the world’s environmental crisis.
· On June 19 during period 1, students in Grades 9 – 11 will hear from our student council presidential candidates and cast their votes to elect the Blyth ET 20/21 school council leader. Stay tuned for more information on this from your period 1 teachers next week!

In closing, I would like to send a thank you out to Samantha H. for organizing this week’s guest speaker. Yesterday, students had the opportunity to hear from Najma Aryan who shared her experience in pursuing her current position in pharmaceuticals at UCB Canada and spoke about the importance of networking, marketing yourself, and taking chances. Thanks, Samantha!

Have a beautiful weekend Blyth ET and be wonderful out there!

Laurie Foley

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Full-time, Night School and Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction. We have been heartened by the resilience of our community of students, teachers and families through these challenging times, and the spirit with which our community has pressed forward with coursework, office hours, extracurricular activities, guidance consultations and community initiatives. 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.

Going forward, we are staying agile in our responsiveness to developments with COVID-19, always with the health and safety of our community top of mind. We are conducting ongoing planning to confront scenarios as they develop, with an array of options combining virtual classrooms, distancing measures at the schools, and scheduling modifications; all combined with the innovative teaching practices our faculty are developing through collaborative exchanges within and between our campuses. We will have several phases of return to, and if necessary retreat from, the bricks and mortar classrooms at the ready. We will continue consultations with our community and provincial health and education authorities to determine best options as the COVID situation progresses on its non-linear path.

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