Big Rock School Updates
Thursday, March 26, 2020
Hello Big Rock Families!
First and foremost, I hope you are all well and taking care of each other. All our lives are being disrupted in some way, shape or form. We need to take care of ourselves and each other as we establish new routines and navigate the days ahead. Thank you all for your support, understanding, and patience with us as we continue to provide learning opportunities for our families.
On Monday, we sent out our first week’s learning plans. I understand that may have been overwhelming for some of you, especially if you have multiple children that are possibly in different schools as well. The learning plans this week did contain a lot of information around logins, and procedures adding to the information overload. Moving forward, the plans should be a bit more straightforward and easier to digest. Next week’s learning will come out Monday morning. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your teachers if you need assistance.
We realize that it is a big ask on families to help facilitate learning, and we thank you for your commitment to help support the learning we are providing for your children. The guidelines created by the province (approximately one hour per day focusing on literacy and numeracy), were designed to create a manageable learning target for schools and families to ensure essential learning during this disruption. These are guidelines and you know your family situation best. Please reach out to your teacher if you are having difficulty managing things. As well, if you would like some extra enrichment, your teacher can help you with that as well. We can’t thank you enough for the work you are doing to facilitate your child’s learning!
It looks like most families are able to access learning digitally which is great. We will still make paper-based materials available if needed but would like to discourage this method as much as possible. With paper there are some health considerations as there is evidence that the Coronavirus can survive on surfaces like paper for a period of time. I would also remind you that the school is still operational, if you need to call the school, we would love to hear your voice! Also, if you need to access the school for resources or personal items, this is still possible but you need to arrange a time with your teacher. Finally, if you do come to the school, please make sure that you are symptom free, and mindful of protocols around social distancing.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We are blessed to have amazing families and your support is greatly appreciated. We miss you all, schools are lonely places without children and families. Every time our staff receive a note, call, picture or video from home it brings joy to all of us! Keep the lines of communication open. If you have any questions, or just want to say hi, feel free to call or email me at email@example.com.
Scott and the staff at Big Rock
Thursday, March 19
Dear Big Rock Families,
Happy Thursday! I hope you are all well and taking care of each other. Like every family, it has been a unique week with the Big Rock family as we try to inform ourselves, make sense of the current situation, and plan for the future. Education is a vital component to our larger community. It has been difficult to pause learning as we plan our next steps. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we figure things out in the short term and into the longer term.
Our teachers have been reaching out to families this week to check in and see how things are going. The purpose of this is not just to reach out, but to hear from you as well. If you are receiving emails from teachers, please take the time to respond. We would love to hear from you, and we really want to make sure our messages are being heard as we want to ensure open lines of communication moving forward.
We are ready to start moving forward with learning starting next week. Our commitment to begin with is to deliver basic quality education to provide consistency, routine, and a sense of normalcy to our students and families. Starting Monday we will be sending out learning plans for each week. These plans will provide instruction and learning activities for each of your students for the week ahead. The primary method for delivering these plans will be digitally.
I understand this is not ideal for all families. We will have the ability for print-based resources, but at this time we are asking families to make every attempt to use digital formats. We want to be mindful of limiting access to the school for health purposes. Information for accessing learning plans for your child will be going out Monday via email and the school website (bigrock.fsd38.ab.ca). Next week we will also be asking for feedback regarding the scope of work we are sending home. We are aware that as families you may be limited in terms of how much time you are able to dedicate to your child’s learning each day and we don’t overwhelm you. The goal is to find the “just right” learning environment so your child is receiving essential learning while not overburdening your personal and work commitments.
I know many of you have inquired about fees and refunds. As a division, there is a commitment to provide reimbursements as appropriate. We ask that you continue to be patient as we develop processes that are consistent across schools in the division. We will keep you posted as new information comes available.
I would also like to draw your attention to Foothills School Division’s Parent Link. This website provides a number of general resources to help you as parents with the education process. The division has created a special section in the Parent Link specifically targeted to provide resources that your family can use to help manage the disruptions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources can be found in the parent section on Foothills School Division website, or by clicking on the link below:
Finally, it was good to see families coming through the school over the past couple of days. Getting a chance to touch base in person has been beneficial for all of us! If you missed your opportunity to come and retrieve any items you need, you will still have opportunity moving forward. Next week we will have some more scheduled access times for you to retrieve personal items or pick up alternative resources as per arrangements from your child’s teacher. These opportunities will be limited but “open” times that you won’t need to schedule. I will however monitor traffic to ensure we are keeping within guidelines outlined by the province. So at this time I ask your cooperation in only coming to the school if there is a need. Information around specific times will be made available on Monday.
These are less than ideal times to say the least, but it is also an amazing opportunity to solidify and strengthen the relationship between home and school as we work together to provide learning for our children.
Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and support.
Scott and everyone here at Big Rock