Community - this past week our community came together virtually as Rideau Park hosted an opportunity for parents to connect with classroom teachers and our School Council hosted its Annual General Meeting. Throughout the week I reflected on how many people we haven't seen in person - there are so many people that contribute to a fulsome school community.
I also came to the realization that we can maintain connections and the use of virtual technology is key. This fall, I am more often likely to set up a meeting and talk face-to-face than over the phone. It does not take long to set up and the opportunity to speak with one another face-to-face is so valuable.
We are a community that can adjust and adapt. We are agile and the kindness that I see in our community as we support one another, students, parents, and teachers, is heartwarming.
We are Rideau and We are Community.
Today our Rideau School community came back together. It has been 5 long months since that day that we locked up the doors and began our battle with the pandemic of COVID-19. I have often thought about what it would have been like if we would have had time to prepare for our exodus. What would we have done differently?
Many people have contributed to the safe re-entry for the 2020-2021 school year. There have been experts, philosophers, practitioners in health, education, and safety management. There have been politicians, doctors, nurses, parents, all advocating for our children and our schools.
I came to a profound realization tonight as I reflected on the first day back. We never talk about the relationship between teachers and their students. Sometimes we gloss over an acknowledgment that students need their teachers and teachers are caring people who nurture their students. Today, I witnessed a much deeper connection and one that is crucial to our future success as a society. Today, I witnessed first-hand the calling of teachers. Teachers are learners, continuous learners who excel in their fields of expertise. Their subject expertise is the mechanism by which they come to their calling. Their true work and the essence of their existence are the connections that they make, the confidence that they build, and the mentorship that they provide to their students. Teachers believe in kids. Each and every day, no matter what is going on around them, teachers push it all aside to go into their classrooms and teach. They bring ingenuity, creativity, and passion.
Today, teachers put their calling, their raison d'etre before the virus. They donned masks, prepared their classrooms, set protocols, and welcomed back our students. I am not sure who missed who more- students or teachers. But today - I had the privilege of witnessing public education and its value in our society. The welcoming of all of our students because we the teachers of Rideau Park School see the limitless potential and know that we can be a positive influence on the future of each of our students.
I am not sure that when we locked our doors last March, we understood how much we would miss each other. Perhaps we had taken the student/teacher relationship for granted. Perhaps teachers had forgotten why they have chosen this fine profession. Perhaps students were caught in the monotony of the school routine.
The pandemic has reminded us that teachers and students are the future and that we cannot ever forget the importance of this connection. It's good to be back together. There is a sense of peace. We have the strength to face what lies before us.
Dear Rideau Families:
Every person in our community is approaching each day in a life we weren’t prepared to adjust to so quickly. There continue to be many unanswered questions which hamper our ability to plan and prepare. These days, we most often sit in a space of unknowing which creates uneasiness for us. I find myself focused on the Covid 19 Reports each day. I am not sure why but somehow it is my way to make meaning. As human beings, we like to be planned, prepared and predict the future.
The pandemic has quickly eroded our comfort.
I think that it is okay to give ourselves permission to feel a bit overwhelmed. We are all doing our best and though cliché “ We are definitely in this together”. We are in it ,without all of the answers.
We understand how difficult ongoing learning is for our students, and our families ,and our teachers. What I do know is that everyone is doing their very best. One thing that is certain, is that we all get up every morning to give our best – No matter what the day throws at us!
I would like to propose something that we can all work on together. The notion of Social Responsibility. We all have a responsibility to self-care, self-health, and self-safety. Social Responsibility adds to our thinking so that we include our role in the care, health and safety of our Rideau Community.
At this time, we are unsure of what will unfold for learning this fall. We must trust in the decisions that will be put before us. Our role however, is in how prepared we can be and how we can prepare our children and students for what might unfold.
Social Responsibility will include our development of daily routines and practices that enhance our self-care, health and safety to that of our community. Examples of Social Responsibity include:
Regularly practicing Hand washing
Listening to our bodies
Knowing when we don’t feel well
Being aware of our surroundings
Coughing or Sneezing into our elbow
Wearing a mask when inside with a
Being outdoors as much as possible
and thus dressing for the weather
Using our words to express our
By taking the time to engage in Social Responsibility, to practice the habits of our new social norms, and to teach our children so that these become ingrained in their way of being, we all focus on a goal and we are prepared for whatever we face this fall.
This is something for us to work on. This gives us purpose and makes us stronger for ourselves and for our Rideau community.
Assessment and Reporting
Our students continue to engage in learning at Rideau. The CBE has worked to set guidelines for assessment and reporting in alignment with Alberta Education. The premise of this work is that no student should be penalized for their circumstances due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that families have many different circumstances and needs during this time and it is important to support our students where they are at in this pandemic.
At the same time, the process of learning continues to be very important as we all develop each day. Being independent, seeking to solve problems, thinking, reading, working through difficulties are all a part of developing our individual capacities as learners Kindergarteh through Grade 9. Adding to this personal development is our continuation of core curricular learning.
While most certainly we would not want the pandemic to have any negative result on our grade level assessment and evaluation, this is a time for students to focus and improve. Teachers continue to provide relevant and meaningful learning and are assessing this learning to provide our students with the opportunity to demonstrate a deeper understanding of their concepts in their appropriate curricula.
In other words, the work does matter and there is room for students to improve their indicators on the report card at the end of the year.
The work also matters because learning is a developed habit which becomes stronger and more refined as we keep up the pace.
Please continue to expect your children to engage in their online learning and associated assignments. You are building their strength and resiliency as learners and preparing them for their future. This is the work that we do in school and the work that we need parent help with right now. Please let us know if you need us alongside. We are here to help you!
Dear Rideau Families:
How are you? I hope very well – I know that this is all very demanding and stressful. I want you to all know that we are here to help. Just let us know what you need or how we can be of support.
We miss you and we do truly love our community.
We appreciate all of the family efforts that are supporting learning. If students have any difficulty please have them email their teacher. Our teachers are making connections with students every day one on one and in small groups along with virtual classes and email. Please encourage your child to ask for whatever it is that they need from their teachers.
As a community right now, we are “Living in the Struggle”. For students in Kiindergarten to Grade 4 - this includes making sure that you do your work on your own and do your very best thinking. For students in Grade 5 through 9, this might mean that you have to take some time to read thoroughly through the learning instructions and maybe even reach out with questions. Our work as adults is to support our learners to take risks, try the work, and if it is not exactly as the teacher wanted the work to be, then that is where the learning comes in. We are a bit afraid to be unsuccessful right now and so are sometimes choosing not to complete work because we are afraid our work is not correct or “good enough”. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to seek help. We will help build resilience in our kids if we can support them to try their best, seek support, and be comfortable with our mistakes.
Families, if you have the time, please ask to see the work that your children are submitting and when possible, have a conversation about the work. Some of our savvy students are being tugged by other activities and not getting to the final step of submitting their work.
At any time, please contact your child’s teacher if there is difficulty with technology or if your family could use further technology support. Our community has come together to donate devices for support.
Further Rideau updates:
Each Grade Level has posted a plan for learning for the remainder of the school year. Weekly plans will continue to be posted as well. There are also challenge opportunities and extensions. We encourage students to try new experiences and share those.
Given our current environment Ms. Kim, Ms. Magno, and Ms. Shannon our lunch supervisors will not be working for May and June. They have been helping us get organized and set up for the fall until now. Ms. Lane will not be working for May and June. Ms. Lane has been a huge support to our online learning and seeing that families and teachers are all supported.
Ms. Kelba will be returning from maternity leave on May 19. As Ms. Chow was on contract for Ms. Kelba’s leave, this means that Ms. Chow’s last day will be May 15. We value the tremendous work that Ms. Chow has given to Rideau this year and hope that we can have her back to Rideau soon.
As I am writing this note, the sun is starting to shine and I know that if we all sing together, we can bring blue skies, sunshine, and a lightened spirit.
Mr Goldem Sun
Hang in there - We can do this!
Hello Rideau Families:
Thank you for connections last week. We believe that we were able to speak with almost all of our families. If we have missed connecting with your family, please email your child's homeroom teacher or the school.
Thank you to those families who donated technology - we really appreciate your support and Thanks to Ms. Lane who prepared all of the technology for families. We are still looking for a few more tablets or iPads if a family has one to donate.
We want to make sure that this new learning environment is successful for all of our families.
Beginning tomorrow morning - 9:00 am the learning plan for the week will be posted. Most of us were so exuberant to do a good job that there is also planning for Friday even though it is Good Friday.
( We kind of forget what day it is right now)
As well, by the end of this week, each grade level will have posted a plan for learning from now to the end of June so that as parents you can see the Year Vision and where possible support this learning through daily experiences. We of course will provide all planning however, if you notice a relevant documentary, or are doing something in your home that supports the learning, you can use the plan and draw connections to support your child in their understanding.
We want to emphasize that "What is most important is that your child Understands their work" Just because work is completed, does not mean that it is understood. When appropriate -please ask your child to explain the work to you. Through explanation, they will be checking their understanding.
AT ANY TIME - Please reach out to your child's teachers for support - we are here to do this work together and we wish we had them with us to check the understanding but right now we have to rely on you to help us.
We are also here to support you if your child is having difficulty getting to their work. We will continue to be in contact as we cannot have any of our students missing their work. Reach out to us for help. We are monitoring students as well.
Please click this link to review Alberta Education Guidelines established by the Ministry or Education. Rideau Park is required to work within these guidelines.
For additional references to at home learning, please click this link.
Please visit Teacher Pages on the school website for Elementary Learning. Don't forget to check Ms. Webb's PE page.
Please visit D2L for Junior High Learning - We hope that the students are having fun with Challenge Fridays and connecting with their Complementary Teachers as well.
It is very important in both of these portals that students SCROLL down as there is much more than presented on the screen.
OK - Here we go - we are going into Google for Elementary and this is new - Have Fun
We have a lot of online learning this week and have tried to monitor the school ask recognizing that parents need access to technology to work at home as well.
Feedback - the key word - we need to hear how it is going - what you need and what your children need.
Independence - your children are very capable of taking on this challenge - give them tools and help them to problem solve - they are our Future!
Team - We are in this together and WE CAN DO THIS!
Care - Please take care of your family and yourselves. If we can be of support in any way - Please let us know. We can provide several connections to support in our city.
Have you checked in on your neighbour? Socially distanced of course.
Stay Safe - Be Well
Hello Rideau Families
As we navigate uncertain times, we all in this together. We will continue to provide support and updates. Please check your teacher pages and D2L - we have added an Elementary PE teacher page as well. Take care and be safe.
This is an excellent article about how to talk to your children about COVID-19. I'm going to post it in our blog tomorrow as a resource for parents. The article also talks about the importance of activities like playing board games & baking, physical activity and regular routines during this time.
Literacy and Numeracy - each week the teaching staff think about how well we are addressing our students' learning as readers, writers, and mathematicians. A concern that we continue to bring forward is the abiilty of our students to speak about their learning. This doesn't mean answering the question "What did you do at school today?" but it does mean taking the time to discuss what was learned at school and explain our reasons that we think it was important and what it means. The work of our teaching staff is very intentional and for the most part, we try to make sure that we have given our students an understanding of the purpose to the work that we do. Students in turn should be able to discuss the relevance of the learning at school. Rather than "What did you do at school today?", we hope that all families K-12 take time to ask:
Did you feel prepared for school today?
What was the most important learning in your day in your opinion?
Why did you see this as important?
What conversations about learning did you have in class today?
What was the overall highlight of your day?
Is there anything in your day that was bothersome?
If you could improve something in yourself today, what would it be?
Is there anything that we can do to be of support?
These key questions can help students to speak about their learning, to describe their learning and to provide parents with insignts into the six hours that students spent at school.
Discussing our learning helps all of us to write well and to advance our understanding.
Our School Development Plan at Rideau Park guides our work each and everyday. Currently our commitment to continuous growth is focused on our students' strengths to take ownership of their learning and to persevere when their school world seems difficult.
We know that the center of our work is in the ongoing teaching and feedback that we provide to our students. Feedback provides students with the next steps that they need to take to gain further understanding and build on current understanding to grow as learners.
A difficulty for students is worrying that they have failed when they make mistakes. Our work as the adults in their lives is to be honest with their current level of understanding and to provide them with the ways forward to build their learning.
This is also true for their social and emotional well being. Our children will make mistakes. The perseverance develops by working with them to be honest in their mistakes and work together to learn from the mistakes.
The most important part of all of this is that our children are accountable, advocate and act with care in our community.
Our students will face many challenges in their development. Our work as adults to support them by walking beside them not for them is what matters most.
STUDENT SAFETY IS ALWAYS AT THE FOREFRONT OF MY WORK AT RIDEAU.
it is something that we can never become too laissez-faire about.
For this reason, it is important that we all work together to support one another in keeping our students at Rideau safe.
We are requesting that all families respect the driving routes set up for our school. Drop off at Rideau - -Please DO NOT drive down the alley or into the loop. Even if you are in a hurry.
Students are the responsibiity of the school during school hours. We require a parent or assigned guardian to sign out a student if the student is leaving during the school day. If a student is leaving with someone else, the parent must provide the school with permission for your child to ride with someone else.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Myra Hoffman - email@example.com with your permission.
To confirm bell schedules - Rideau Park does not have teachers on supervision until 8:50am. If a SPECIAL circumstance should arise - for a specific situation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to accommodate your situation. We cannot look after school children in the early morningon a regular basis.
Students may enter school at 8:50 am.
The bell to be in Home Room is 9:00 am where attendance is taken.
Attendance for Junior High is taken again at 9:10 and each susequent class.
When students arrive late, they go immediately to class and the teacher records the time at which the student arrived to class so that we maintain a running record of attendance.
Please continue to email Home Room teachers and cc email@example.com with absence information.
We appreciate the help of all families.
One accident of any sort would be one too many when considering the importance of our students at Rideau. They deserve our very best.
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