Together in Education Family Update
Lancaster in the News: Creating Opportunity for Student Connection through Sport
MESSEAGE FROM YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
Here is a shout out to LDSB families from Director Burra:
Balancing working from home and/or outside the home for essential work AND trying to manage remote learning for students can be extremely challenging. Thank you for your continued efforts, understanding, and patience." #DoingTheBestYouCan
Teachers are beginning to prepare to complete Term 2 Report Cards. They will be considering evidence collected during "in person" and remote learning. This year has been exceptional in terms of remote learning however assessment continues to be based on conversations, observations and products (student work, projects, etc.). Teachers will continue to use these sources, their professional judgment, and their knowledge of your child to provide commentary on student progress. Students will be assessed based on grade-level expectations unless they have an IEP with modified expectations. Attending live lessons and small group sessions and/or completing assigned activities during remote learning will give your child's teacher more fulsome evidence on which to base marks and comments. As well, some units and strands may only be taught during the remote learning period. These units will be assessed based on the evidence of learning online (e.g. observations, conversations, products). If you have any questions, please reach out to your child's teacher or one of us.
There are a variety of potential scenarios that may have occurred:
- If your child has participated in online learning and submitted assigned tasks, this learning will be assessed and commented on within the final report card, along with assessment data collected prior to April 9th.
- In some cases where there isn't enough information or assessment data to inform the report card due to limited online participation or assessment data collected prior to April 9th, you may see the comment: "Insufficient evidence of student work."
- In some cases where online participation is limited but enough assessment data was collected prior to April 9th, the student may receive a grade based on that information with a comment that reflects the assessment timeframe.
- If your child has not submitted online assignments, you may see the comment: "Student is encouraged to complete tasks and to submit them for feedback and assessment during the term."
- We recognize that in some cases families had to make critical decisions about what they or their child were able to manage at home to meet the needs of their family during remote learning. These are often difficult decisions and respected by our staff.
Your child's report should give a clear indication of the progress made to date and provide next steps for learning. Undoubtedly, this year has been exceptional in all ways and our students have demonstrated a great deal of resilience navigating not only the disruption to learning but also the platform of virtual learning. As a staff, we will continue to focus on assessment/evaluation and use this information to inform our practice and approach to learning moving forward.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.
If you are planning a garden this year, please consider buying your seedlings from Plantables using the code LDPSGROWS. http://www.plantables.ca. This fundraiser will remain open until the end of June. Deliveries occur every week right to your door.
Ms. Fox, Ms.O'Hearn and your Lancaster team
School Organization for 2021-22
Creating class lists is a shared task by our team of educators who spend a significant amount of time getting to know your child, discovering their academic, social and emotional needs in educational settings both inside and outside of the classroom. Each year we want to build the best possible learning environments for all learners. Our school team considers a wide range of factors including overall number of students in each grade (if a split grade), student learning styles and personalities, number of boys and girls, academic strengths and needs, peer relationships, learning skills and work habits, and social/ emotional strengths and needs.
All classrooms, whether a single grade or a combined grade, include students performing at a wide range of achievement levels. We meet the needs of all learners in a classroom through differentiated instruction with a focus on developing critical thinking skills, and by providing modifications and accommodations for various learning needs. In every case, Lancaster staff put great thought into creating responsive classroom learning environments that will support the success of all students.
If you wish to make a request for class placement for next year we ask parents to communicate to your child's classroom teacher about his/her needs as a learner rather than a specific teacher's name. Teacher assignments can change for many reasons (illness, transfer, leave of absence, etc.) and what does not change are your child's needs. This sharing can serve to further inform our team of educators while creating class lists but does not guarantee a particular placement.
Please also keep in mind that our school organization may change before the first day of school, based on new registrations from families moving into our catchment area, or those who may have moved out of our catchment area over the summer. As a result, information about your child’s class placement will not be available until the first day of school.
TENTATIVE ORGANIZATION FOR 2021-22
REMOTE LEARNING SURVEY FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
*Families are asked to complete a separate survey for each student in your family who is currently attending a Limestone school. Students in Grades 4 to 12 will have received an invite to participate via their Limestone email. The board hopes to capture authentic student voice from students themselves who are directly affected by remote learning. Younger students may require support from family members to complete the survey. The survey is open until May 28, 2021 and will take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Click the button below or this the link to access the survey: LDSB Remote Learning Survey May 2021 - Families
How Can I Talk to My Child About Mental Health?
- Find a quiet time when you are unlikely to have interruptions to begin the conversation.
- Reassure your child that they can tell you anything and you will not get angry with them (even if you get scared).
- Start the conversation by describing changes you have noticed in their mood, behaviour, reactions (e.g. “I have noticed that you seem to be crying more”). If you have had conversations with your child’s teacher about concerns, include comments from the teacher’s observations.
- Share that you wonder about how your child might be feeling, what they might be thinking, what they might be worried about, etc. (e.g. “I wonder if you’re feeling sad about losing your friendship with Rohan.”).
- Allow your child time to reflect before they answer.
- Stay calm and don’t abandon the conversation if your child responds with “nothing is wrong…leave me alone”. If this happens, reassure your child that you are there for them. Give your child some time and then try again.
- If your child does acknowledge some concerns, tell them that you are glad they told you and that you are there to help. You can work on some things together (see below for ideas) and/ or you can help them find a mental health professional to talk to. Reassure your child that they are not alone and that you will be there for them every step of the way.
- If your child tells you anything that makes you worried about their immediate safety (e.g. thoughts of suicide), reach out for assistance. Do not leave your child alone if you feel that they are in imminent danger of harming themselves.
For more information about the following, please click on the link below to access the School Mental Health Ontario Information Sheet on Noticing Mental Health concerns:
What can I do to help if my child is struggling with their mental health?
When should I reach out for additional help?
How can I access professional mental health help for my child?
You can find other resources and support at the following links:
CMHO Family Care Centre https://cmho.org/familycarecentre/
Wellness Together Canada https://ca.portal.gs/
Mental Health Commission of Canada https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/
English Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health https://www.cymh.ca/en/projects/covid-19
***This information is not a substitute for consultation with a regulated health professional. If you are concerned about your child, consult your physician or seek emergency services.
Recognition of Dates and Months of Significance During May
During May, we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Canadians of Asian origin who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation it is today.
Jewish Heritage Month provides us with the unique opportunity to learn, share and celebrate the history and culture of Jewish Canadians.
Orthodox Easter, also called Greek Easter, is the principal festival of the Orthodox Church. It is the most significant religious holiday for the world's roughly 300 million Orthodox Christians. Happy Easter to all those celebrating today.
Order your ready-to-plant garden or gift one to someone else! Planting season is coming : )
Kid's Inclusive Resource for Educators and Parents
ASYMPTOMATIC COVID TESTING AVAILABLE TO STUDENTS
As part of the Ministry of Education’s enhanced COVID-19 school protocols, school boards are required to offer voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 testing to students, staff and bus drivers.
Families must book appointments for students using the assessment centre’s existing booking process (online or by telephone). Please ensure you use the online booking link provided below, or, if you are booking by telephone, indicate you are a Limestone student or staff member at time of booking. Walk-ins are not permitted. Testing of asymptomatic family members is also not permitted under this program.
- Kingston Assessment Centre (KHSC) or 613.548.2376. Appointments are available from 4-4:30 p.m. daily. Should there be no registrations, or insufficient registrations, scheduled by 10 a.m. the same day, testing will be cancelled for that day. Staff will be invited to reschedule on a different testing day.
- Napanee Assessment Centre (LACGH) or 613.354.8254. Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily via drive-thru.
Students may continue to attend school while awaiting asymptomatic test results provided they pass the daily COVID-19 screening.
Click here to see our virtual store for student clothing. More options coming soon!
Parent Session - Helping your Child with School Anxiety
Dear Lancaster Families
In these last few weeks of learning students have been engaging a wide variety of learning activities - class spirit days, math challenges in break out rooms, making a vidos of creating a favourite sandwich, adopting a class pet, exploring virtual field trips, working hard at procedural writing, student presentations and guest speakders, and various assessments in the form of quizzes, tests, and 1:1 reading evaluations. There is a lot of learning going on! We encourage families to find a balance that works for getting outside and enjoying the wonderful sun, and engaging in studies to continue the learning momentum. We all need time to connect through learning and laughter, and time to "disconnect" into nature and personal downtime.
Please continue to complete attendance for your child if you know they will be away. We are still doing call-outs as attendance is taken each day. Please make sure your child checks-in with their teacher in some way throughout the day so that they are not accidentally marked absent. If this does occur please call the office to have the attendance modified. Thank you in advance.
Last Week for Government Supports for Students:
If you received a payment through the Support for Learners program, you do not need to apply. Starting on April 26, 2021, we will begin issuing additional payments of:
- $400 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
- $500 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs
If you missed applying for the Support for Learners program, you will have the opportunity to apply for this new round of payment. Applications will open from May 3, 2021 to May 17, 2021.Learn more on the government’s Support for Learners webpage.
Ms. Fox, Ms. O'Hearn and your Lancaster Team