Letter to the Jack MacKenzie Community

March 17, 2020

 

Jack MacKenzie Students and Families,

On behalf of the school, please accept this letter as appreciation for your support in this difficult time! In the face of adversity this community has a strong history of pulling together to support each other. The rapidly changing response to the Covid 19 outbreak has challenged us to think about all the factors that will need to be adjusted to keep everyone safe moving forward. We appreciate your patience as we start to put together a plan to support health and safety as well as education goals.

Mostly at this time we want to encourage you to think about health and safety first. Focusing on having your children at home as family time is the very best thing for now! We know that this sudden stop to all school activity comes as a shock to normalcy in all of our daily lives. We encourage you to think of it through this lens knowing that your children may be worried and stressed. Some down time to settle and re-connect as a family is critical at this time! Further, we at the school are trying to keep things as calm and celebratory as possible. If this is the end of the school year, it is important to send students off on a high note in appreciation and celebration for their achievements this year. We have asked staff to treat these days like the last days of June in order to try to achieve this positive tone before saying goodbye for the school break.

With regard to treating these days like the last days of school in June we have a few requests to wrap things up on our end. If you have any library books, text books, assistive technology, school sports jerseys, band instruments or other items that belong to the school, please return them as soon as possible. The school remains open this week as normal for this purpose. Items can be dropped off at the main office.

If you paid online for events that are no longer occurring, in almost all cases these items will be refunded. However, please understand that the volume of office tasks may cause a slight delay in this process. Your patience is appreciated.

The Ministry has set Friday, March 13th as a cutoff date for all tasks and assignments. This means that any assignments or assessments this week or planned for future dates will not be included in final grades.  If your child has any outstanding assignments up to the Ministry’s cut-off date of March 13th, these can still be turned in for credit. All students will be promoted to the next grade for the fall.

The Ministry of Education and Regina Public Schools are in consultation about academic supports for home study for the remainder of the school year. No decisions have yet been communicated. Therefore, we encourage your child to continue with online tools such as Mathletics, Reading A-Z, Pearson Portal, Duo lingo etc. that they are already set up on. Reading at home is also of critical importance. When more information is available, we will communicate this through classroom teachers and our school’s webpage. Please know that the creation and distribution of home study materials is not any individual teacher’s responsibility. There will be a Division coordinated plan prepared and communicated that may take some time to put in place. Please be patient knowing that we fully appreciate your interest in having on-going academic supports for your children.

We also understand that there are many events and activities that have been put in limbo. The SCC Executive and School Administration have begun a dialogue to create the best possible adjusted plan for wrapping up the Read a Thon and dealing with important transitional events that normally occur in May and June. More details will be coming in this regard. This includes planning around Grade 8 high school transitions and Kindergarten orientation for the fall.

Finally, we know that this time is difficult for everyone. Our hearts go out to all the students for whom this change in their school year has caused stress and anxiety. We also feel for all of those families who are struggling right now with illness or worry about keeping themselves and their kids safe. We also recognize that school cancellation puts a great burden on families for child care and home study. Please know that we will continue to be available for support by email, phone call and social media and that we will put plans into place as quickly as we can to support all of these stressors. For now, we hope you can find joy in the family time together and that you can find time to reach out and continue to show kindness to others who may be struggling within the community. This is one more challenge this community will get through by upholding Mr. MacKenzie’s motto of effort and kindness.

Yours in education,

Mr. J. Fladager

Principal