It's difficult to believe that we are almost at the Winter Break. Yet, at the same time, it's also been a much longer first part of the school year owing to COVID.
I want to take this moment and say thank you to students, staff, and parents for their diligence in attending to all the many protocols associated with ensuring for everyone's safety during this most uncertain time. Given the relatively few cases we've experienced (two), I think that speaks to everyone's vigilance in looking out for one another.
I also thank students, staff, and parents for their flexibility in transitioning from in-person learning to on-line learning at grades 7-9 over the course of these last three weeks. I remind families, that although school officially resumes January 4, students in grades 4-9 will be, for the most part, attending school on-line from January 4th through January 8th. During those five days students and teachers will continue to follow their regular timetables. Teachers are sending home more specific information about what those five days in January will look like.
It was terrific to see the number of parents and students who attended our recent Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences held virtually in early December. Conferences are an excellent means to helping teachers and parents to better support students as “action plans" are developed between school and home to set conditions for further success. Also, through these conversations, students come to better understand what is expected of them and the support that is available to help them to realize success. Our next round of Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences is scheduled for February 9th and 10th, following first semester report cards the first week of February.
In addition to the official report card, student progress can be regularly monitored by visiting Brighstspace (D2L), for which a link is contained on our website. This web-based application provides students and parents the opportunity to go on-line to review progress and also find out what homework, assignments, projects, and tests are scheduled. Parents are reminded that logging into D2L via the student side will provide much more thorough information. Additionally, parents are encouraged to visit Iris, for which a link is contained on our website. In Iris, you will find your child's self-developed Student Learning Plan and artifacts of work from their various subjects.
Over the course of these past five years we have identified literacy as a priority instructional area for our school community. For the next three years we will be particularly focusing on writing across all core subject areas – Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science. Additionally, our SDP also contains a goal related to supporting student well-being for learning, specifically focusing on building resiliency. Our SDP is posted to our school website at https://www.cbe.ab.ca/mckenziehighlands and can be found by first clicking on the “About Us" tab at the top of our homepage and then clicking on the “Our School" tab.
Wishing students, parents, and staff a most restful and rejuvenating Winter Break. Although this Holiday Season will perhaps look very different, I hope that many magical moments can still be found for families. Here's hoping for a New Year that will be much different from the year that has been!