Message From The Public School Branch

May 6, 2020

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

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Announcement from Public School Branch

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.

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Public School Branch Announcement

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

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Message from PSB

April 1, 2020

Dear PSB Parents/Guardians and Students;

I know there are many PSB students and parents who are at home wondering about the changes to student learning over the coming weeks. There may also be increasing concerns about everyone’s mental health and well-being as we make our way through each day in this new reality. We all have questions, but are also starting to have some of the answers.

Student Learning
Premier Dennis King, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers, and Department of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) Director of English Programs, Dr. Tammy Hubley-Little gave details of the educational plan for students at a public briefing yesterday afternoon. Additional information with guidelines to help frame expectations and responsibilities for home learning have also been shared with teachers.
We know that learning for students will continue even though classes are canceled until May 11. DELL staff are supporting teachers in compacting their courses and curricula. Teachers will be collaborating with each other to enable learning opportunities for students to continue. DELL staff will support teachers as they transition to leading their students’ home learning.

During the week of April 6th, home learning will transition from the DELL resources that have been provided through our website to the direction of teachers. Students who were on track and were engaged with their learning prior to the school closure, will graduate from grade 12 or progress to their next grade level. A plan will be put in place before students return to school to address any learning gaps that exist as a result of this pandemic.

We are working to ensure that programming and resources are in place that are fair and equitable for all our students. This includes consideration for families who do not have internet access or other resources. The PSB is also working with the DELL to develop a plan that will provide curricular support in a variety of ways so that access will be reasonably available to all. We have the flexibility with our education system to support students and we have a lot of qualified staff who will ensure students are not left behind. When students return to school, we will refocus our efforts so we can move all students forward in the learning journey.

Our teachers are excited to resume their efforts to assist students with their learning. Many have been or are in the process of reaching out to students to check in to see how things are going. I want to reassure you that our staff are working very hard to prepare for this new way of learning. Until this plan is fully shared with students and parents, I encourage you to continue to look at resources that have been posted on our website to support learning at home. Additionally, please consider the positive impact something as simple as integrating learning into your daily routines can be. For example, a half hour of reading a couple times a day, regular exercise, or assisting in measuring items for meal preparation. These are a few simple things that can support students with continuation of learning in a manageable way until more formal learning opportunities are implemented.

I encourage you to please refer to the Parents and Students – School Closure FAQ located at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/parents-and-students-school-closure-faq and on our website for more information about home learning questions and resources provided for students to continue learning.

Support for Families
With classes not resuming until May 11, the absence of access to school breakfast and lunch programs may put a financial strain on families. Assistance is being provided to families dealing with food insecurity. Families are being asked to contact the Support for Families line 902-368-5155 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance. If you know of a family who could use this support, please share this information with them.

Among the best things we can all do right now is to focus on our family and being well. We have created a Student Services Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/psbstudentservices for families to access information that may be of assistance to help through this difficult and stressful time. Please refer to https://edu.princeedwardisland.ca/psb/parents_students/covid-19-resources/ for some helpful resources.

We are clearly in unprecedented times. Premier King said at yesterday’s briefing that we are in this together and assured us, ‘we will get through this together’. This is also our commitment from everyone at the PSB. We know that there will continue to be questions. We will try to ensure a timely response to the questions that come our way, and we will post our responses on our PSB website. Please check back often and we will do our best to keep you as up-to-date as possible through our weekly Wednesday messages.

Thank you for your continued support.
Parker Grimmer
Director, Public School Branch

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We Miss You – Englewood!

We’ll Be There For You!

Watch our Video for the Englewood Community Below

https://drive.google.com/open?id=12UuCpmFWfRt5IF_GxC-sHEC9uKRFMJ3M

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Username/Password Requests

Please refer to the message below. If your child(ren) need their username/password information, follow the instructions found in this message.

Have you forgotten your computer account information? Please fill in the details at the link below. The staff at the Public Schools Branch will call the home telephone number we have on file for you or your student. We know you will be patient with us.

https://forms.gle/7WUTPKKZjyPimwg49

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PSB – Updated Online Resources

This email is to let you know the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning has updated their online resources. If you and your students follow the link below you can see grade specific exercises that can be completed at home during this time to continue their learning.

For those who do not have Internet access, the DELL is working to provide offline access to activities.

We appreciate that this is a challenging time for families and the learning opportunities are provided as time permits in your household.

The website can be found at:

https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/home-learning-resources

 

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Covid-19 Support for Families

COVID–19 has impacted all of us in ways we couldn’t have expected. With our PSB schools being closed, the absence of access to school breakfast and lunch programs has put a financial strain on many families. Assistance is being provided to families dealing with food insecurity. Please contact the Support for Families lines 902-368-5155 or 902-368-6990 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca with your name and contact information so we can get back to you about the supports that are available to assist you and your family at this time.

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Message from The Public School Branch

See attached notice from the Public School Branch

COVID-19 Communication Mar 1920

We recognize that this March Break has presented significant and unprecedented challenges for families, andas it draws to a close, we understand that there will be questions about teaching and learning.

PSB, CSLF and the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning are working together to determine what home learning options might be available to students after the break. As of yesterday, the Chief Public Health Officer has limited access to buildings, so we will be working with administrators to coordinate brief periods of access for teachers as needed. Next week, our education system will be working with teachers to develop plans to support students in the event that they return to school on April 6, or if they are to remain out of school for a longer period of time.

Education authorities recognize the pressing needs of our graduating class, and students can be assured that graduation opportunities will not be compromised due to school closures. The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, CSLF, PSB and regional post-secondary institutions are committed to working together in the best interests of students and their transitions from high school to post-secondary. Locally, Holland
College, UPEI and Collège de l’Île are willing to be accommodating and flexible to facilitate the admissions process for new students.

Well-being is an equally important consideration in these challenging times, and some children will be feeling anxious. Signs to look for are irritability, excessive questions and worry, poor sleep and/or eating habits, and other unexplained behaviors.

It is important to remember that our children will look to us for our reactions to the situation and will model what they see. Please remind your children that education and health authorities are working hard to make sure our schools remain safe, clean and healthy.

Tips for parents:
● Take the time to practice safe hygiene strategies and model these for your children
● Try to maintain a normal schedule
● Try to remain calm, and remember your children may need extra reassurances and more of your attention than normal.
● Use caution with the Covid-19 information that you let into your home. Children require facts but do not need to listen to the news all day.
● Remember that your teens could be receiving a lot of false information via social media.
● Try to incorporate daily exercise and get out in the fresh air if possible
● Limit screen time Most importantly, take care of each other; and try to answer questions in an honest and age appropriate manner.
● For more information visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19
● For general questions about COVID-19, call 1-800-958-6400
● If you have just returned from outside of Canada and have symptoms, including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, call 811.

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COVID-19 – Notice for Families – March Break Travel

Please read the following release from the Chief Public Health Officer  20200306 PEI Schools March Break FINAL_1

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