PSB Update

We have been very impressed with the work of our teachers, who have migrated to home learning platforms with tremendous efficiency and creativity during this global pandemic.  Teachers have been very busy preparing lessons, providing feedback on learning, connecting with students, working through year-end transition processes and supporting the social and emotional well-being of students. Teachers have and continue to be available to students and families through various means of communication.

Like all Islanders, staff at the Public Schools Branch (PSB) have been very encouraged with recent messaging from the province and the Chief Public Health Office (CPHO), including the positive trend toward lifting restrictions on mobility and gatherings in PEI. As home learning continues to unfold, we are able to consider broader opportunities to connect and engage with students and families. We would like to provide you with an update.

In accordance with the provisions outlined in Renew PEI, new possibilities for staff and students to connect at their respective school will be available. With the easing of restrictions, PSB staff may be available to provide additional support to students. 

As restrictions are being lifted, PSB staff are excited that there are greater opportunities to connect with students to support academic and well-being needs. Teachers will be reaching out to their students with options they can participate in.  

In addition, Respite Programming will begin operating at all 56 PSB schools. Please contact respite@edu.pe.ca or (902) 368-4997 for more information.

Student Services consultants and specialists will be in contact with families as additional supports become available. For more information please contact supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca or (902) 368-5155.

Schools are excitedly working on plans for High School Graduations and year end closing activities, within the public health guidelines outlined by the Chief Public Health Office.  While activities will not look the same as in previous years, schools are committed to offering a unique experience to mark the end of the school year and wish their students well.

Parker Grimmer 

Director 

Public Schools Branch 

P.O. Box 8600 

Charlottetown, P.E.I.  C1A 8V7

(Phone)368-6841 (Fax)368-6843

tpgrimmer@gov.pe.ca

 

Birchwood Locker Pickup

Tomorrow, Wednesday May 27, we begin the retrieval of locker items!

  • If you are walking from the area, please enter the front doors of the school.
  • If you notice others in the lobby, please remain outside.
  • It may be helpful to bring reusable bags as our plastic bags are not overly durable.
  • A reminder that there will be no parking on side streets to maintain traffic flow. 

There will be opportunities in the future to say goodbye and connect with staff. This process will be communicated at a later date. 

In keeping with public health guidelines and traffic safety we have developed the following retrieval plan:

*Please pick up siblings’ belongings at the oldest sibling’s time. We understand there will be some overlap in pickup times but we are trying to manage traffic flow and safety in the area. 

Dates and Times :

  • Grade 9: Wednesday, May 27th 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    1. 9A/9B  8:00AM-9:00AM
    2. 9C/9D 9:00AM-10:00AM
    3. 9E/9F 10:00-11:30 AM
  • Grade 8: Thursday, May 28th 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    1. 8A/8B 8:00AM -9:00AM
    2. 8C/8D 9:00AM – 10:00AM
    3. 8E/8F 10:00AM – 11:00AM
    4. 8G/8F 11:00AM – 12:00PM
  • Grade 7: Friday, May 29th 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    1. 7A/7B 8:00AM -9:00AM
    2. 7C/7D 9:00AM- 10:00AM
    3. 7E/7F 10:00AM – 11:00AM
    4. 7G/7H 11:00AM – 12:00PM

Traffic Plan:

  1. Please enter Birchwood Street via Gerald Street or Lapthorne Avenue.
  2. See map below:
  3. https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1fTovrWIqUH6eBthz7oZxfOx9IcXRa15b8AEhXEQpoTw/edit?usp=sharin
  4. *DO NOT turn onto Birchwood street from Longworth avenue. 
  5. Parking is prohibited in the gym parking lot.  It is being used by the outreach centre. Please remain in your car.*
  6. Turn onto Birchwood Street into the side parking lot by the cafeteria entrance (the school is on your left). We will have two lines of cars flowing in one direction. Staff will be directing traffic.
  7. Please remain in your car and provide your child’s name, grade and homeroom class. A staff member will deliver your child’s belongings to your car from the cafeteria where items are organized. Please label and exchange with staff any items that you would like to return to the school.
  8. Those items include grade nine instruments, library books etc, sports jerseys and Hockey Academy jerseys.
  9. Please turn right onto Longworth Avenue when exiting the parking lot.

Thank you for your cooperation and patience.  If you have any questions please reach out.

Birchwood Staff

Home Learning Video

During home learning, Birchwood grade 9 French Immersion students were asked to analyse the message from the song À nos héos quoditien, by Soprano. Afterward, each student created and submitted a message of thanks for someone in their lives. This slideshow is a compilation of the work and photos submitted by students at Birchwood, played to Soprano’s song.

https://youtu.be/25YGzXcOFzo

Message From The Department of Education

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Since March 23rd, our focus has been on literacy, numeracy, and student health and well-being in kindergarten through grade 9. During this time, home learning materials have been provided for students. Our goal has been to provide opportunities for learning, rather than evaluation.

As the year progresses you have been asking about your child’s achievement and report cards. In June, you will receive an end of year report with comments from your child’s teachers. There will not be an end of year achievement mark because we have been focusing on student learning in specific areas of the provincial curriculum.

Students in K-9 will not be retained as a result of COVID-19 and will move to the next grade level.

In the fall, teachers will be using a revised curriculum to teach your child. The curriculum will include key aspects of learning from this school year that your child will need to learn as they continue in the next grade.

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning, please contact your child’s teacher.

Kind regards,

Tammy Hubley-Little

Director of English Education, Programs and Services

Department of Education and Lifelong Learning

PSB Update

May 20, 2020

‘It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ – E. L. Doctorow

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Have you ever noticed when driving late at night that the road ahead is pitch-black? Even though our headlights are on, we still can only see a little ways down that road. This limited sight line requires us to stay attentive with our hands firmly on the wheel to navigate the part of the road we can see, so we can safely make the entire trip. The same can be said for how we navigate our lives and plan for the future during this pandemic.

While we do not know what will happen in the distant future, we don’t need to. We can trust others for leading and caring for us, have faith in the contributions we can make, and navigate the unknowns as they arrive. We can successfully travel the whole journey through COVID–19 that way.

Our recent planning and navigating has ensured the Respite Program is off to a smooth start. The program is being utilized by 215 students and has been a welcomed support to their parents and caregivers.

Planning is also underway for some PSB staff to safely return to their work places. Custodians and cleaners started back to schools full-time this week and administrative assistants will be back part-time next week.

Operational plans allowing schools to complete essential tasks have been approved by the Chief Public Health Officer. These plans include packing up student items (desks and lockers) and working with families to distribute these items, providing Term 2 Report Cards to K-9 students who have not yet received them, collecting library books or other items on loan etc. Schools will communicate their detailed plans with families soon. Given the difference in school populations and layouts, things may be done differently at each school. However, we can assure you that approved safety guidelines will be followed.

Additional activities and planning include, year-end student transition planning by our Student Services teams, exploring the use of Google Meet for some high school teachers and students, wrapping up Chromebook deliveries to over 1000 students, preparing for summer school, finalizing school supply lists and packaging Welcome to Kindergarten bags.

American novelist E. L. Doctorow’s quotation at the beginning of the message is our reminder that we don’t need to know everything in the future. We need only know enough to make hopeful, wise, and realistic plans. If together we don’t go too fast or deny the limitations, and we stay focused on the road directly ahead, the journey will be much more successful.

Thank you and take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

PSB Update

May 13, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Our teachers, administrators, support staff, branch staff, parents, and students are working incredibly hard to adapt to the new reality of at-home learning during COVID-19. The pandemic has presented challenges for many including parents working and balancing home life, teachers developing remote lesson plans to fit different students’ needs, and students looking for new ways to stay connected to friends and learning. There are many successes and members of our PSB community are meeting these new demands with determination and enthusiasm.

We all know how adaptable and resilient PSB students, parents, educators, and staff are in the best of times, and through these difficult times each group has shown this in more ways than ever before. We admire our teachers and other branch staff, parents, and students who are teaching us all lessons in perseverance.

Amazing examples of this include the food programs that have been supporting our families. PSB staff were able to deliver the Department of Agriculture food hampers directly to many families across the Island who did not have access to a vehicle. Our School Food Program provided 6,006 meals to 858 students last week, a 12% increase over the previous week.

Another success story is the Respite Program that began this week. Students who had been receiving individualized support at school from an Education Assistant, Youth Service Worker, or other Student Services Team Member may receive a 2 to 3 hour blocks of play/game based respite care on a scheduled basis. These examples of people coming together and working hard to help others is inspiring to all of us.

By following the public health measures, Islanders have also experienced success as a province in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases in PEI. In doing so we are seeing some of the public health measures relaxed. The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning will likely soon be making an announcement about the reinstatement of early childhood programs, including those for school aged children housed in schools, to assist parents who are returning to work.

As we move through the sixth week of at-home learning, it is an excellent time to thank students, teachers, parents, and staff for their ongoing commitment to learning together, while always remaining safe. Our shared goal is to ensure the successful completion of the school year for all students and to support students as they advance to the next grade, earn credits, and for some to graduate.

We all have an important role in keeping students motivated and engaged for these next weeks. Teachers continue to have high expectations for students and we all want students to continue to have high expectations for themselves. The work we are doing together is about helping students succeed and prepare for the future.

It is important to take time to reflect on how much we have all achieved thus far by working together. Be proud of your accomplishments. We here at the PSB are very proud of you.

Keep learning and take care,

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Birchwood Yearbook Photos, Ordering and Quotes Reminder

Yearbook Photos:

  • Just a reminder that we need photos to complete our yearbook this year. Please submit with any of the three ways listed below. Pictures of students working from home, wearing their Cobras colours, or working on their online learning projects.
  • Photos can be submitted 3 ways:
Yearbook Orders:
  • Don’t forget to purchase your yearbook online HERE .
  • Deadline for ordering is June 6.

Yearbook Grade 9 Quotes:

  • Grade 9 students should submit their quotes from the link that will be emailed to you tonight.
Birchwood Yearbook Committee

PSB Update

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students, and Staff;

Welcome to May! Since COVID-19 reached Prince Edward Island, I have been separately reaching out to students, parents, and PSB staff through daily and weekly letters. As we usher in the new month, I am pleased to be writing my first joint letter to all of you. It seems very appropriate to do so as we have been coping with the pandemic together all along.

During his Thursday briefing last week, the Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Brad Trivers recognized students, parents, and staff for their continued partnership in support of learning. He also said, “Our top priority remains the health and well-being of children and we will continue to look at ways to support children and families, address gaps and ensure all Islanders have the necessary tools and resources available to succeed now and as we plan for learning in September.”

Students, parents, and staff are encouraged to read the Renew PEI, Together document which outlines the guiding principles and phased approach to reopening businesses, services and public spaces in Prince Edward Island. www.princeedwardisland.ca/renewPEI Further information is available on the provincial government’s response to COVID-19, including resources, program applications and important public health information by visiting: www.princeedwardisland.ca/COVID19

Public Schools Branch and the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning are committed to supporting students, parents, and staff during the final weeks of the school year. The safety of our students and staff is paramount and all operational plans for programs and activities will be reviewed and endorsed for their safety. All school-based services will follow public health guidelines that allow for physical distancing, hygiene protocols and the proper cleaning of schools.

I am pleased to share with you additional details around the announcements Minister Trivers made last week during his briefing. The details for some programs and services are still being worked on and we greatly appreciate the support and patience of everyone during this process. We will communicate further details when finalized.

Respite Care

Beginning May 11, several designated schools will open to offer a respite program. Families who have a child that is supported by an Educational Assistant (EA) or Youth Service Worker (YSW) while attending school, may be eligible for a few hours of respite care per week while schools are closed. Please email respite@edu.pe.ca or call 902-368-4997 if you are interested in receiving more information.

Learning Materials

Teachers continue to connect with students and support at-home learning based on a compacted curriculum, and learning resources are regularly being updated and made available online and in paper form. Chromebooks have been distributed to hundreds of students. Student Services Teams also continue to provide supports to students and families.

Ongoing Student/Teachers Connections

Since home learning began, students have been connecting with teachers in many ways. Beginning on June 15, students and teachers may have the opportunity to connect beyond phone calls, emails and approved technology, should they wish. Further details will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Transitions and Closings

During the week of June 22, and in consultation with students and parents, schools may offer innovative year-end and closing activities that will enable students to connect with their teachers and classmates and bring closure to the school year. This may include activities to support students who will be transitioning to new schools in the fall.

Student Well-being Teams

Student Well-Being Teams continue to connect with and support students and their families throughout PEI. The Student Well-being Team’s website has been enhanced to make connecting to a team member easier. If you need some support, please visit the link below and click on your Family of Schools: https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/student-well-being-teams

Hand Head Heart Connections TV Shows

The Hand Head Heart Connections home learning TV shows are being very well received by students and parents. If you are not an Eastlink customer or do not have access to a television, you can find episodes of Hand Head Heart Connections on the Eastlink Community TV Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/eastlinktv/videos

Please reach out by email or call our main number at 902-368-6990 if you have any questions or comments. We will respond to you as quickly as we can. Much can be accomplished when we work together. We are grateful to our students, parents, and staff for working together and supporting each other.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Respite Care

Parents and Guardians,
Are you a caregiver who has a child that is supported by an EA or YSW while attending school?  If you are you may be eligible for a few hours of respite care per week during the time that school is closed. Some schools are opening within family of schools (with some families being combined) to meet this need.
If you are interested in receiving more information please email respite@edu.pe.ca or call 902-368-4997.

PSB Message From Parker Grimmer

April 29, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;

Former automobile racer Bobby Unser once said: ‘Success is where preparation and opportunity meet’. Some would say he was fortunate to have experienced the thrill of three Indianapolis 500 victories over his career. Success, however, is rarely a matter of luck, but more a matter of preparation, and of doing what needs to be done to be in the path of opportunity.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, PSB staff have been busy preparing and working with our partners, including parents and staff from the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, to ensure students can be as successful as possible learning from home. The efforts educational leaders and teachers have made around home learning during this pandemic has allowed students to be able to take advantage of opportunities and maintain connections. We thank parents and students for engaging with the learning materials and opportunities that have been provided. As we continue to respect the Public Health guidelines, home learning materials and opportunities for students will continue until we are able to all safely return to our schools.

Ask a Psychologist

Our Student Services team has launched an Ask a Psychologist section on their PSB Student Services Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/psbstudentservices/ . If parents are wondering about how to manage bedtime worries, what to tell their teen who wants to visit friends, where to begin to structure their child’s day, or any other questions, they can write in and ask for advice from a school psychologist. Parents and students can also email a question to askapsychologist@edu.pe.ca . Anonymous responses will be posted to the Facebook page so other parents can also benefit from the advice. Please check out the first video that answers a question that was recently posted about how to regulate children who have tantrums.

Home Learning Television Program

A great deal of preparation has gone into making the new home learning television program Head Hand Heart Connections. Tune in to the Community Channel on Eastlink (10 & 610) and take time to connect through stories, movement, music, art and language. Through a series of episodes focused on creativity, physical health and well-being; children, youth, and families can engage with educators and librarians and explore fun learning opportunities. Episodes will be aired on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday each week from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. until further notice.

Students and Parents are also encouraged to watch Language 4 Vous on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 11:30 a.m. on the Eastlink Community Channel. The show is suitable for children pre-kindergarten and older wishing to improve their English and French communication. Each 24 minute episode features a variety of videos varying in length on vocabulary, crafts, well-being, drawing, music, and other aspects of life. A majority of the show is meant to be interactive as students can follow along with many segments within the show and can send in their created works to Language4Vous@gmail.com . Language 4 Vous is created by a collaborating team of EAL and FAL itinerant teachers and specialists in PEI with the goal to help everyone improve.

Nothing can be achieved without preparation. We thank our staff who help prepare for student success. We thank you for taking care of each other, yourself, and remaining engaged with these educational opportunities at home.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch