Author Archives: southernkings

May 14, 2020 – Info for Gr 8 Student Parents

Hello Parents & Guardians:

1. Please follow the below link to order a Gr 8 Grad Hoodie. Each student’s parent MUST complete this form by May 25th.  Please read the form for important information.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdjM1-BE5_vD2JTj423QIfvS7fibjw9QVUUfvNkhw4ZHDPbxQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

2. For those students that are interested in band when they join the Montague Intermediate school next year, please follow the link below to register.  This must be done by May 29th.
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeV84m7WVKl1trfo6G6lQULK3vHQoZpsovPeCq6DKpCMpoxXQ/viewform?usp=sf_link 

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

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

Welcome to Kindergarten Bag

Dear Parents/Guardians,
The Welcome to Kindergarten Program is designed for parents/caregivers and their children who will be entering kindergarten in the 2020-2021 school year. All thirty-seven Public School Branch schools with Kindergarten organize a Welcome to Kindergarten Program for their incoming students. At the Welcome to Kindergarten Session, families were to receive early literacy resources and learn strategies for using these resources with their child at home. The goal of Welcome to Kindergarten is to provide pre-school children with the resources and experiences to begin their formal education with a foundation of literacy nurtured in the home.
The program is developed by an organization called The Learning Partnership and the bag of educational materials was purchased for families by the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning.
Unfortunately, due to COVID 19 and restrictions placed on schools we will be unable to host Welcome to Kindergarten Sessions for families in the schools this year. Your child’s school will be contacting you shortly to make arrangements for you to come to the school pick up the Welcome to Kindergarten Bag. The bag contains books and many other tools that will help you interact with your child and prepare them for entry into kindergarten. We at Welcome to Kindergarten believe that Parents are the Child’s First and Best Teacher!
I would also encourage you to click on the link below for videos that will give you information about the program and how to best use the materials to maximize learning with your child.

https://www.thelearningpartnership.ca/programs/welcome-to-kindergarten/learning-through-play-videos

Enjoy the Welcome to Kindergarten Bag and have fun with the materials! Stay Safe!
Regards,
Ken Gaudet Welcome to Kindergarten Program Manager

Apr 17/2020-StudentsAchieve (SAS) update for Parents and Students

We are pleased to report that StudentsAchieve (SAS) is now available for teachers to mass email parents and students! StudentsAchieve is fully functional and working well. Given the current school closures and shift in how learning is happening, teachers are not currently entering any data into SAS. In order to avoid any confusion, we 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, we will make SAS available again to parents and students!

Apr 8/2020: COVID-19 Update

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;

We appreciate that this continues to be a busy time for families and the learning opportunities happening for students at home may be both rewarding and, at times, frustrating. The Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) said at his briefing last evening: ‘Schools are the heart of our communities and they are reaching out to parents and students in ways they have never before.’ By many accounts, so far, this new way of learning is going well. It was clear that there was a high level of engagement happening when listening to a student, parent, and one of our teachers recently on the evening news. We offer our sincere appreciation for the efforts that are taking place in homes across the Island right now.

Everybody is Working Hard

Our staff have been working very hard over the last week, with our partners at the DELL, preparing for this new reality and how we will continue to create learning opportunities for students. Our teachers and staff care very deeply about the success of students and their commitment to ensuring that students have the skills they need to be successful is unchanged, even in these challenging times.

We are also realizing that our education system does not stand by itself. We are linked with everyone’s realities and we are partners dealing with this global health crisis. We are all working hard under these circumstances, including following all the health advice of the Chief Public Health Office, to make this transition to home learning as seamless as possible. What students, parents, and teachers are doing has never been done before in our lifetime. Feeling successful as we learn and work differently is going to take some time. It is appropriate to start slowly while we establish new routines. Our teachers are presently looking at ways to develop and share learning resources that will be helpful to students, parents, and learning.

Learning Materials for Students

We understand that some of our students and parents are interested in collecting learning materials at their schools to support learning at home. We are exploring ways to do this that would follow the necessary health requirements of the Chief Public Health Office. We thank everyone for their patience and we look forward to providing you with more information in the future.

A basic school supply package including paper, pencils, and scribblers is being made available for any student or parent who may not have access to these materials at this time. Families are asked to contact the Support for Families line at 902-368-5155 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance.

School Trips

Due to COVID-19, the PSB has canceled all in-province and out-of-province student travel for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This includes all end of year field trips. Non-fundraised money that students or parents paid directly toward school trips will be returned. Schools that have been impacted by this decision are currently working with the PSB to return non-fundraised money back to families as soon as possible.

The PSB is committed to ensuring that our students have what they need to be successful. We are looking forward to the date when we can welcome our students back into our face-to-face learning environments to continue the learning and the great experiences everyone expects of public education. What will remain the same until then is that the relationships we have with students and parents matter a great deal. We are in this together and education will continue as we move forward.

We thank everyone for their support and we look forward to connecting and working with students and parents in the days ahead.

Parker Grimmer
Director, Public Schools Branch

Accessing Your Student Google Education Account

April 6, 2020

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

Erin Johnston
Assistant Director, Public Schools Branch

Apr 1, 2020-Student Computer Account Info Request

The PSB has received many requests for student computer account information.  For a short period of time, we are not taking any new requests so we can “catch up”!  Please note, that when the Public Schools Branch calls you back, the call will appear as “blocked caller” – please answer so we can give you the information!  Also, please only submit one request per student!  We will get back to you as soon as we can!

April 1st, 2020 Update

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/psbstudentservicesfor 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

Check out the new PSB Student Services Facebook Page!

The Student Services team at the Public Schools Branch consists of Counseling Consultants,  Psychologists, SLP ( Speech Language Pathologists), Occupational Therapists, Autism Consultants, Assistive  Technology Facilitators, Inclusive Education Consultants, APSEA and  HEAR Itinerant Teachers, and a Community Access Facilitator.
We will be using this page to provide parents with information, tips and activities to use at home to help you and your children at this time. Please do not overwhelm yourselves or feel that you need to do any of the suggestions.
But do know we are here to help in any way we can!