Apr 17
April 20-24 Update

Dear Somerset School Families and Students,

These are unprecedented times and we hope that all our students, parents, guardians and families are healthy and safe. We really miss our students and their families. We look forward to the day students are able to attend classes once again at school. We want to genuinely express our gratitude for the work that you are doing. To the best of your current abilities, under these trying circumstances, thank you for working with the teachers and your children to support their “learning at home" via the online learning platforms that have been introduced in the past two weeks. We will continue to reach out and support you and your children in caring, empathetic and flexible ways.

Thank you for being open and honest with your child's learning challenges and concerns during this time. We will continue to be very conscious and responsive to addressing the changing needs and stressors that each family and their children may have in the coming days and weeks of this unexpected “learning at home" journey.

Health and Wellness – Supporting Your Child

We know that this situation is a stressful time for you and your families and that home life has changed dramatically. If you are feeling overwhelmed and are looking for tools to support your child through this situation, resources are available on the CBE website. Please also continue to reach out directly to your child's homeroom teacher for assistance and support too.

Technology for Students

Teachers have been actively working with you to address and overcome stressors, pressures and frustrations with online learning and technology. As we slowly move forward we are encouraged that issues and concerns are being addressed in a kind and effective manner realizing that this is still challenging for our families and our students. Somerset School is individually working with families in the need, to address this, thank you for your patience – stay tuned for more details.

In response, Education Matters, Calgary's trust for public education, has set up a fundraising campaign for the purchase of technology to ensure that all students are able to participate in ongoing learning while classes in schools remain cancelled. You can find more information about this campaign or how to donate here.

The Electronic Recycling Association is also accepting donations of computers and laptops, more information about this program is available here.

Ongoing Learning

It is important to note that "ongoing learning" is not equivalent to online learning. The goal is not re-create a robust educational ecosystem online, but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional supports for students and families during this global health crisis and cancellation of classes. Recognizing that this new learning platform has reduced instructional hours by up to 80%, (as directed by Alberta Education), teachers have been asked to identify and focus learning activities for essential outcomes from the curriculum. In doing so, teachers must consider what is reasonable and manageable for students and their families.

Additionally, parents must also consider what is reasonable and manageable given the context of your home environment. Empathy and flexibility are at the forefront of all our conversations as a staff, and we encourage parents to reach out to teachers and school administration with questions. Certainly, as this is only week 2 of ongoing learning, we all will need to make adjustments as we move forward.

Assessment and Reporting

While staff are engaging in many conversations with families, as we seek to be consistent across the CBE, and follow our direction from Alberta Education, you may find the following link helpful. The CBE's Ongoing Learning page holds important information and links related to assessment and reporting, accessing learning platforms and additional activities and ideas for families if desired. https://www.cbe.ab.ca/programs/curriculum/learning-at-home/Pages/default.aspx.

Frequently Asked Questions

Families have many questions about fees, assessment, final marks and more. You can find answers to frequently asked questions here - visit this CBE page often as information is updated regularly. Please also continue to reach out directly to your child's homeroom teacher too with your questions as well. For example, if after communicating directly with your child's teacher and you need to pick up or drop off materials at the school please work with them and we will set up an individual appointment at the school for pick up/drop off following the CBE – Alberta Health Services protocols for your health & safety and the health & safety of others.

We are in this Together

To our students – we miss you. We look forward to having you back inside Somerset School with you and your friends. We are thinking of you each and every day. Please continue doing whatever you need to do to remain healthy and to continue learning. Your teachers are here for you. You may reach out to them whenever you need extra support. You are not alone.

We thank all of you for your patience during this time. Even though we are separated, we are working together: each student, every day, no exceptions.

On behalf of Somerset School Staff we wish you and your families the very best, take care and stay well.

We are here for you – together we are stronger.

Jim Gibb – Principal and Nathan deBoer – Assistant Principal ​


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