Welcome May! I hope that all our Dr. Coffin families are doing well and staying healthy. The last 6 weeks of school since our return have been very quiet in our little school. My usual routine of popping into classes, saying good morning and checking in with students and teachers as they start their day has halted. I find myself walking into classrooms wondering when the school will be filled again with students and all our staff. I have enjoyed the change of weather and the opportunity to get outside and see the signs of spring in our flowerbeds. The tulips and daffodils are blooming and I am hoping that soon the tree outside of my window will begin to bud.
All of us are working together in this on-going learning environment, and I believe we are doing our best to continue the learning opportunities for our students. School jurisdictions in Alberta have been given guidelines from Alberta Education that we provide ~5 hours of schoolwork per week focused mainly on literacy and math.
When we think about this new environment and the ask, of parents to take on this added task, I wanted to share some thoughts around the work that is now happening at home. The goal is always to move student learning forward-whether learning at school or at home. When teachers receive work in the classroom they do not always mark or correct the work. When a teacher can see where the misunderstanding occurs, they can give real-time feedback and support the students understanding. In the current remote learning environment, teachers do not have this opportunity to work with students in the same manner. When students submit work in a state of “perfection” or “finality,” teachers are not able to provide the kind of feedback a student needs to become more independent. So, how much and what support should you provide to your child at this time? Start by going over the learning plan each week with your child, check with them for understanding of the tasks they will be doing. Encourage your child to ask the teacher for clarification if they do not understand the tasks. Allow your child to work independently on the work, it is acceptable to allow your child to submit work that you know contains some errors. When engaged in writing tasks, it is important that students submit work as it is, with the mistakes intact so that we can see what they need to work on next.
At home, just like when they are at school, students need support and supervision when they are working in the digital world. Signing into Google Meet with their teacher and classmates is new and different for all of us. Remembering our digital citizenship guidelines continue to be important for all students to follow when working in the remote learning environment.
Most important is ongoing communication with your child’s teacher. We need to know how things are going, is the work manageable for your family during these times? Is there support you need from us? We are here to support families to work through the challenges this new learning environment is presenting.
May is the month that we recognize the efforts of the many volunteers we have at our school. Home reading, field trips, hot chocolate Fridays, Healthy Hunger lunches, School Council meetings and activities, are just some of the events that could not take place without our dedicated volunteers. A HUGE thank you to all of you, your hard work and dedication to the Dr. E. W. Coffin Community is truly appreciated.
Our School Council will be meeting this month in a remote, online environment on May 12. Please watch for the meeting agenda and information on how to join the meeting coming out in our School Council Message on May 6.
The current situation is unsettling to say the least. When things get overwhelming I encourage you to hit pause, take a deep breath and remember that during this time, your physical, mental and emotional health are most important.
Take care of yourselves, stay healthy and keep in touch.
Together in education, in a whole new way.