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A Letter to Canyon Families from Mr. Pichurski - March 25, 2020

Dear Canyon School Families,

Just a quick message to outline plans and next steps at Canyon School as of Wednesday, March 25th.  We do miss having our students in our school, and the last few weeks have been challenging and confusing for all members of the Canyon Community.  We are working within the limitations of the current circumstances to the best of our ability to meet the expectations provided to us by the Ministry of Education.

Teaching staff at Canyon have spent time over the last week planning to provide continuing learning opportunities to K-6 students in an alternate format.  This is no small task, complete with logistical, technical and practical concerns.  The plan we currently have in place is fluid and will undoubtedly require adjustments and changes as we progress.  The continuation of learning will look different from student-to-student and class-to-class, and it will be designed based on the professional judgement of the teacher. Rest assured, we are not asking you to be a teacher, but to facilitate a learning experience for your child. We are here for you via email and phone, and will not leave you isolated in this unique time.

For those families who are able to access online learning opportunities, we have developed Grade Level Websites (https://www.canyonschool.ca click on Quick Links at the top of the page) - these Grade Level websites will be updated every week (typically before 10:00 on Monday mornings, although this week it will be on Wednesday, March 25th) and will provide families with an outline of tasks and activities to be completed throughout the week.  Further to that, families will receive a weekly email outlining the week's tasks and activities.  Staff will also communicate times for "office hours" (when they can be most available to you), as well as the different means of communication.  For those families who cannot access online learning opportunities; we are waiting for direction from Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services as to how to share physical materials in a safe manner. 

With the above in mind, we do ask that parents are patient and forgiving with staff as we enter into this phase; please allow 24 hours for a return phone call or email (in most cases it will happen sooner than that) and recognize that we too are learning how to navigate these new waters, and that there are bound to be missteps, miscommunications and mistakes made.  


Our Learning Support Teacher, Carol Lach and Family School Liaison Counsellor, Lindsey Michalsky, are available for all learning and mental wellness needs. In some instances, they will be working with the classroom teacher to provide supports, but they may also be calling families for meetings, check-ins or regular counselling times. If you feel you would like to talk to either Carol or Lindsey, please do not hesitate to email them. There is also helpful information for students and families on the Livingstone Range School Division webpage.


Now is the time to demonstrate patience and loving-kindness for yourselves, your family, friends and society. We need to dig deep to maintain focus and discipline as we follow Alberta Health Services COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Please take care to monitor your mental health as this is an extremely stressful time. Design your daily schedule to take mental wellness into account (for both you and your children). Please don’t feel guilty for your kids having quiet time so you can relax, for them eating not the healthiest-snack so you can have a minute on the phone with a friend or for telling them to play outside.  Canyon kids are great at play…let them do their thing. 

Most important to us as a school community - stay in contact with your child's teacher - provide them with respectful and constructive feedback as to what is working, what is not working and how you are managing - teachers can adjust expectations for individual circumstances as required.  


We will keep you up-to-date with all the information as it is made available to us - we are hoping not to overwhelm families with relentless communication - please provide us with feedback if you are feeling overwhelmed during this time. 


Sincerely,


Mr. Paul Pichurski,

Principal,

Canyon School

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