COVID-19 Update to PSB Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff – May 13, 2020

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

PEI Home & School News – May 2020

Home and School News, May 2020

A unique opportunity

Right now we are living in a period of time where 75 years from now, people are going to  be looking back and they’re going to say, ‘Do you remember when there was that COVID-19  global crisis?  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-archives-covid-19-project-1.5518997   Home and School presidents/co-chairs are invited to add a COVID-19 story to 2020 Annual Reports and send to: peihsf@sedu.pe.ca  for inclusion in the online 2020 Annual Book of Reports.             

Public School Branch

Educators prepared online teaching, learning materials for students and guidelines for parents to support a successful home learning experience during COVID-19 school closures. Go to Home Learning Resources  StudentsAchieve is available for teachers to mass email parents and students! In order to avoid any confusion, the Public Schools Branch will leave SAS “off” for now. If you would like updated information on your child’s progress from earlier this year or during the home learning situation, please contact your child’s teacher. When schools re-open, PSB will make SAS available again to parents and students!

Fun Changes Behaviour

Go home, stay home, exercise and eat well. You can remain active. Social isolation and physical distancing can be tough on children and families. Taking regular breaks to be active will help. Visit: Kidsactivitiesblog.com for a collection of educational YouTube channels for kids, dozens of online field trips that can take you to different parts of the world.

Awards

Home and Schools can continue to submit 2020 School Crossing Guard and School Bus Driver award nominations to peihsf@edu.pe.ca up to June 30th. Presentations will be arranged when school resumes. More details at: https://peihsf.ca/awards

Well-Being Tips for Families

Is your child acting different, showing signs of fear or distancing themselves? Ask them how they feel and if they want to talk. If you are concerned about their mental health and well-being, reach out to your Student Well-being Team for assistance.

Here’s the list:

Bluefield Family of Schools Bluefield High School 902-675-7480 ext 230

Charlottetown Rural Family of Schools Stonepark Intermediate School 902-368-6085 ext 242

Colonel Gray Family of Schools St. Jean Elementary School 902-368-6985 ext 3

Kensington-Kinkora Families of Schools Kensington Intermediate/Senior High School 902-836-8901

Montague Family of Schools  Montague Regional High School 902-838-0835 ext 241

Morell and Souris Families of Schools Morell Regional High School 902-961-7345

Three Oaks Family of Schools Summerside Intermediate School 902-888-8470 ext 234

Westisle Family of Schools Hernewood Intermediate School 902-859-0390

Covid – 19 Public Schools Branch update – April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;

This is the fifth week of schools being closed since we returned from the March Break. This is also the third week of teacher led home learning. What education looks like on PEI now has been the culmination of the advocacy and teamwork of many. The efforts our educational leaders and teachers have made around home learning during this pandemic has allowed us to maintain connections with students and families. It has been our response to staying apart and supporting our communities and health care system. It looks and feels much different than what we are used to and we are all having to adjust. PSB students, parents, and staff have always responded in times of crisis and this time is no exception. We still have much to do, but we have accomplished much these last few weeks, and this success is thanks, in part, to you and your efforts.

We thank you for your support of the learning that has rolled out from teachers thus far, and we ask you to continue to communicate with them. We are all new to this, so we need to know if you require additional support. We have identified and are providing Chromebooks for our grade 12 students who need them most, so they can access on-line learning materials. We also have print materials and basic learning supply packages available. Please contact the Support for Families line at 902-368-5155 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca to access supports we may be able to provide to assist with home learning.

Please refer to the chronology of COVID-19 education related decisions posted on our website https://tinyurl.com/chronologyeducationdecisions

Early in my teaching career, a parent gave me a poem called ‘Unity’ that had been written by an anonymous author. It was presented to me as a gift and the parent had framed it in their own calligraphy. The poem, which has remained on display in my classrooms and offices ever since, tells a story about the efforts of a parent and teacher working together to ensure the success of a child. I have looked at it often as a source of guidance and encouragement. It struck me that in our new reality, this poem has probably never been more appropriate than today.

UNITY

I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they finished it with care.

One was a teacher; the tools he used
Were books and music and art;
One a parent with a guiding hand
And a gentle and loving heart.

Day after day the teacher toiled
With a touch that was deft and sure
While the parent laboured by his side
And polished and smoothed it o’er.

And when at last their task was done
They were proud of what they had wrought,
For the things they had moulded into the child
Could neither be sold nor bought

And each agreed he would have failed
If he had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school
And behind the teacher, the home.

Many people remind us now that we are in this together. From an education standpoint, I think we always have been. Thank you for your efforts in supporting learning at your home and for working together.

There are no words to express the level of sympathy that is being felt right now in many of our homes due to the horrific events in our neighboring province, Nova Scotia. Many people have been personally impacted and know family, friends, or first responders who were affected by this terrible tragedy. We are united in our grief and our condolences. Please take good care of family members and yourself.

Parker Grimmer
Director, Public Schools Branch

Accessing Your Student Google Education Account

Dear students, parents, guardians, and caregivers –

Over the past week, we were able to make personal calls to thousands of households to share student login information for our Google Education accounts. We realize that for some of you, we were not able to make a successful connection. If you or a student in your care is still experiencing a challenge logging into their account at https://www.google.com/, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

We have also created a quick reference guide for how students can login to their Google account from home – https://tinyurl.com/guidetoclassroom (4MB). Using the Google Chrome browser is also recommended.

Tips for Home Learning have been published by the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and can be found by visiting:

https://tinyurl.com/peihomelearning