Parent Peek at the Week
Week of April 27th, 2020
Another week complete.....
Well, there is no doubt that now we are definitely in the thick of things! Last week, we sent along a family survey and are so appreciative of all of you who took time to complete it. Your responses have really helped us to better understand what is working, what needs tweaking and what we can continue to do to support.
Please know that as a staff at Kawartha Heights, we continue to do all that we can to support you. It has become very clear that there are four clear groups of how things are working for you at home:
Group 1: This group is using distance learning to get through the day, scheduling almost a regular school day. You can't get enough! In addition to what teachers are providing, you are also accessing our KH Family Dashboard for additional activities/tasks.
Group 2: This group is completing most or all of the work that teachers are providing - engaged in school work every day.
Group 3: This group is accessing tasks/activities from teachers when their schedule permits - getting a few tasks done each week.
Group 4: This group is focusing on mental health and crazy home/work schedules, and school work is not possible at this time.
Please know that as a school, we honour and respect wherever your family is on the continuum. Some families are in one category all the time, others move from one to the other based on the week they are facing. Our goal is to provide what we can so that you have choice - and if this means your family, given your circumstances, is not able to engage in learning, or complete very few tasks - that's okay. We're here for you however we can be of help - and support all our families in positive mental health and well-being ALWAYS being our first priority.
If you need us in any way - even if it's just to chat, please reach out! We are available by email, phone and Edsby message....
As always, please make sure you let me know if you have any questions, concerns or ideas to support moving forward. Until then, take care of yourself and each other,
A few images from week 2 of distance learning
We invite you to continue to share your photos of "learning at home". Please share your pictures or stories via Edsby or email with Mrs. Sampson. I will then share them in future "Parent Peek at the Week" posts and on social media. We can't wait to see students' smiling faces and hear the stories of learning from our Kawartha Heights families.
Kawartha Heights Family Survey
Thank you to all our parents who completed the Family Survey. This information was so valuable in helping us to understand how best to move forward and support you at home. Please see below for an overview of the information you shared with us.
1. 45% of our families indicated they are doing well and 54% indicated they are doing okay, and are thankful that their family is healthy.
2. Families indicated that the following ways we communicate are the most helpful:
- Edsby (96%)
- School emails and direct connects (52%)
- Parent Peek at the Week (40%)
- School YouTube Channel (27%)
- Social media posts (25%)
3. These are the things we are struggling with the most:
- Balancing work and kids (36%)
- Completing school work (34%)
- Staying organized (24%)
- Going stir crazy - need more ideas! (20%)
4. The word that best describes distance learning so far....please see the graphic below. The bigger the word, the more often it showed up!
A HUGE thank you to all families for your kind words of encouragement and support. Several of you had specific questions and I will send you an email answer directly. If I miss you for some reason, please get in touch.
A few more bits of information......
Our First "Virtual" Spirit Day
We are thrilled to announce our very first "virtual" school spirit day! Please join us this Friday in celebrating SUPERHEROS - both traditional, or current day. Since we do need to celebrate together - yet apart - please send any pictures of your participation to Mrs. Sampson. We look forward to sharing them - and this special day - together. See the poster below for more information.
Pedal for Hope
Once again this year we are thrilled to be able to support Pedal for Hope as they raise funds to fight childhood cancer. Although they won't be able to visit our school, we are looking forward to a great "virtual" tour. More information will be shared at the launch of the tour - on Monday, May 4th. In the meantime, please check out this introduction video from the Pedal for Hope team: https://safeYouTube.net/w/zKR8
Crestwood Intermediate Transition
We are committed to continuing to provide a successful transition for our Grade 6's to the new Crestwood Intermediate School. The transition committee continues to work together virtually and there will be an update coming to all families in the very near future. In the meantime, please continue to check the board's transition page for the most current information at: http://kprdsb.ca/en/newintermediates.html
Support for Families Initiative
Did you know that the provincial government is offering a one time payment of $200 for each child 0 - 12 years of age, to support accessing additional tools for children to use while at home and studying remotely? More information and the link to this initiative can be found at: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ontario-government-supports-families-in-response-to-covid-19.html
Communication is Key!
How can families get help or communicate with school staff (for example teacher, ECE, Educational Assistant, Principal) during Distance Learning?
During this time of distance learning, ongoing communication between parents/guardians and educators is very important. The following tips will strengthen our communication:
· Address questions and/or concerns with the educator directly by using their KPR email address.
· To protect your child’s privacy, please do not post questions or comments in a space that all students and parents can see.
· Take advantage of the educator’s posted office hours, a period of time each day when they will be available, for a quick response.
· Where necessary educators may also be available for phone calls.
· In many cases, your child will have more than one teacher. Most questions can likely be answered by the homeroom teacher. If a task was assigned by a different teacher, please direct your question to that individual for a speedier response.
Distance learning creates challenges for all of us. Your positive and respectful approach to communication is always appreciated. For an information page that includes Distance Learning Tips for Families, please click here.
Kawartha Heights Family Dashboard
Just a reminder that if you are looking for some alternate activities to do with your family, the Kawartha Heights Family Dashboard is for you! You can find the link below, but you can also access it any time in the top left corner of your child's classroom homepage on Edsby.
Morning announcements....from a distance!
Thank you to all the families who have provided helpful and kind feedback about our Morning Video Announcements and Mindful Minute posted daily. It is thanks to your ideas and suggestions that this was started! You can find our daily video announcements on our YouTube channel at:
Announcements are also being posted on the banner in Edsby for easy access. The more input from staff and students, the more interesting our video announcements will be! Please continue to send in photos, jokes, and any other information that you would like to share.
Update from KPRDSB
Here are a few important updates from Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB - that were also sent to you from Director Leclerc on Friday:
We know these are uneasy and stressful times for all our families, and that learning at home comes with its unique challenges not only for our parents – but for teachers too! While we believe that being engaged in school during these uncertain and unstructured times supports our students’ overall wellness, we are also conscious of adding to stressed home environments.
We want to assure you that we are mindful of the larger social pressures we are all experiencing in our homes and communities.
To support the wellness of our students and families, we want to remind you again of our series of Everyday Mental Health Activities, and toolboxes designed specifically for kids, teens and parents. All of this information is available online via our dedicated COVID-19 banner on the front page of our website: www.kprschools.ca .
Together, we will continue to look forward to brighter times ahead for our students, families and staff. Here are a few additional items of interest to our families:
- Access to Schools for Student Belongings
We know that students and families are anxious to retrieve personal belongings from our schools. At this time, and in accordance with provincial health directives, our schools continue to be closed to staff and students except on an emergency basis, or to support the provision of learning resources to families. We are planning a process that will allow access to student belongings, in a structured way, which respects physical distancing. We will share further information when we have a better idea of when we can put that plan in place.
- Technology Helpline for Students and Families
Peterborough: 1-877-741-4577 ext. 3001
We remain committed to sharing information as soon as it becomes available. You may wish to follow us online through Twitter @kprschools or Facebook (Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board) and visit our website: www.kprschools.ca which includes regularly updated “frequently asked questions”.
Please continue to practice physical distancing. Be well.
Director of Education