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Ready to Rock!
Terry Fox Run
Dear Parents and Guardians:
I hope that this notice finds you healthy at home. Our city seems to be settling into a new normal as we have at our school. Our teachers have been hard at work this week, reviewing resources that I know that they are sharing with you, along with documenting recent progress of your children based on what they last saw in the classroom setting. We know that learning will look different after Spring Break, but we want you to know that our teachers are ready to embrace this and ensure that your children will find ways to stay connected to our amazing learning community.
As you know from recent communications, the CBE has prioritized the rollout of online learning for our high school students, followed by junior high students. After the Spring Break, elementary schools will have direction from the CBE in regards to curriculum delivery. We hope that you have been able to utilize the recommended resources for Learning at Home that CBE has provided earlier this week, as well as some of the other tools that our homeroom teachers have shared with you.
I can share that my three boys (Grades 8, 6 and 3) have been kept busy at home, despite their objections, with having two parents as educators. We have adhered to a schedule at home for them, mainly for our sanity as parents, that consists of 30 minute blocks of time starting with reading, mathematics, and a body break in the morning. We then move on to writing, current events and an inquiry project of their choice in the afternoon. An interesting prompt that we found was the heroes project from Marvel comics. What is your superpower and how can you use it to make a difference?
If you are having trouble getting your kids outside, as we sometimes do, we have followed the inspiration that Timbernook has provided us at school. Our kids love having “loose parts” outside in the yard. I went behind our shed and pulled out some old fence boards, buckets, stumps, lattice and shovels. Before we knew it, they each had built some kind of fort in the snow and 45 minutes went by very quickly.
On the note of wellness and anxiety, my children have asked some good questions about the virus, but we also had to ask them in a moment of calm (in their beds), how they were feeling about our new normal. They each expressed a quiet acceptance of what was happening with a little bit of worry, but they appreciated a sense of calm and routine at home. We have been honest with them about the facts while not fixating on them.
As you may know, our teachers wanted to find a way to make a statement in our learning community, and so we chose to use the west windows of our school (picture) to share the message that was in the news earlier this week after Mayor Nenshi spoke, “Clean Hands, Clear Minds, Open Hearts.” We hoped that would offer some inspiration or offer a good reminder to the community for everyone to do their part. There are many ways that our society is getting positive messages out to the public. Take a listen to the "Corona Helper" song. It's written by Calgary musician Steve Dodd, with singer Jenn Beaupre helping out on vocals. Steve was inspired by advice handed out by Dr. Raj Bhardwaj on CBC radio.
The CBE has provided a variety of mental health resources that are uploaded to our Parent Resources page. They include tips from the World Health Organization, NASP (National Assoc. of School Psychologists), a social story for children to understand what COVID19 is and some other basic suggestions on how to speak with your children about the virus.
Please use the Spring Break to connect with your children and play some board games. We dug out Clue and Risk last night after dinner and our kids were shocked at how fun an old-school game can connect everyone in an authentic manner, without being online. This speaks a little to how easy it is these days to off-load our parenting (not intended as a criticism) to service providers as we access the many opportunities in our city for organized activities. Now that most of these are closed or are about to be, this may be an adjustment for us parents at home. Now we need to engage and provide guidance for our kids. There is a “Stay at Home Challenge” put on by Parenting Power that may be worth checking out. They also offer some advice for parents on how to support your children through this pandemic – check out this podcast.
On the note of wellness, your community must be praised for the continued generosity that you show to families in need at James Short Memorial School. Principal Zelmer was blown away by the response in such a short time that totalled close to $4000 in Superstore giftcards. She has many families who are on school fee-waivers and breakfast/lunch programs at school that benefitted from this initiative. The families expressed their gratitude to her, many with a sense of relief. Know thy impact! Thank you to those who helped organize with this collection.
All of us at Elbow Park School look forward to connecting with you again on March 30 after we return from Spring Break.
Thank you for all of your support and understanding over the last two weeks.
RT @FechJason: Help support families at our sister school @JSMelementary with our Mountain of Warmth clothing drive. Bag & label your laundered & gently used winter clothing donations & deliver to @ElbowParkSchool. #WeAreCBE https://t.co/dQkAtvJHiV
RT @CMOH_Alberta: Effective today parents & guardians in AB can access their children’s COVID-19 results via MyHealth Records, enabling them to receive their children’s test results more quickly. Once a child is tested, parents can log in & see the results as soon as they’re available, 24/7. (5/8)
RT @FechJason: We are so excited to use our new outdoor classroom @ElbowParkSchool! Thanks to Elbow Park Parent Society for funding this and our amazing CBE Grounds Crew for the amazing install! #WeAreCBE #outdoorclassroom https://t.co/K4nQwh8LKk
We are excited to support the #TerryFoxRun @ElbowParkSchool today! https://t.co/GxIVHkqZnT
RT @FechJason: Thanks to our Parent Society for funding to “grow” our outdoor classroom. Students @ElbowParkSchool two years ago told me we had no insects or animals on our grounds. I saw dragonflies & bees today! Thanks @BowPointNursery & @TheArborest for planning and planting this past week. https://t.co/cAh6Z56AeH