Director Message - April 9, 2020

Limestone Learning Foundation
Director Message - April 9, 2020
Posted on 04/09/2020
Image of Director of Education update graphic

Dear Families,

I wanted to reach out to you as we near the end of our first week of emergency remote learning in Limestone schools to provide a few updates.

Let me begin by thanking everyone – students, families and staff  – for your patience and understanding as we navigate this new journey together. In the same way students and families are adjusting to our new learning environment, so too, are many of our staff. As we all adjust to our new circumstances, there are going to be challenges and delays, and we ask for your continued support and partnership moving forward. This is not business as usual, and learning will look different for every student based on their current reality.

We know this is an incredibly stressful and uncertain time, and we want to ensure we are doing our best to keep physical, mental and emotional well-being as our priority. Learning, while important, is secondary during these unprecedented times.

Technology/remote learning supports: Our Information Technology Services team have been working this week with schools to get technology into the hands of students and staff who need it. While we cannot accommodate everyone, we have managed to distribute thousands of devices across our large district. For students who cannot access online learning for whatever reason, teachers will continue to work with families to put in supports to allow for learning opportunities while schools remain closed. If your student has not yet connected with their teacher(s), please reach out to your school via email or voice mail (which are being monitored remotely).

Assessment & Evaluation: We have received lots of questions and concerns around student marks going forward. We are following directions provided to all school boards from the Ministry of Education. All students will receive a final report card in June. As always, families are encouraged to communicate with their student’s teachers regarding their progress. All staff will continue to support student success and well-being.

  • Elementary: For elementary students (Kindergarten to Grade 8), the marks will be based on student’s learning prior to the school closures in March. In the weeks ahead, teachers will be providing feedback only based on students’ learning at home.
  • Secondary: For graduating students, mid-term marks will be provided based on learning prior to the March school closures. These marks will be available to colleges and universities to meet post-secondary application deadlines. Secondary students will not receive mid-term report cards. Teachers will use remote learning tasks, projects and culminating activities for evaluation purposes to support the student’s final marks.

This first week of emergency remote learning has been challenging for everyone. As we move into a long weekend, I encourage all students, families and staff to step away from their learning and teaching and exercise self-care, whatever that looks like for you. Please prioritize taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others and those who are important to you.

Please continue to follow all public health directives which require you to stay home and cancel non-essential trips and all gatherings to help slow the spread of the virus. If you do go outside for exercise or essential needs, remember to practise physical distancing, and avoid schoolyards and parks which are now closed. Wash your hands often.

By working together – remotely – we can all do our part to protect ourselves and our community.

Debra Rantz
Director of Education

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The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.