Message from PSB – April 17, 2020

StudentsAchieve (SAS) update for Parents and Students
We are pleased to report that StudentsAchieve (SAS) is now available for teachers to mass email parents and students! StudentsAchieve is fully functional and working well. Given the current school closures and shift in how learning is happening, teachers are not currently entering any data into SAS. In order to avoid any confusion, we will leave SAS “off” for now. If you would like updated information on your child’s progress from earlier this year or during the home learning situation, please contact your child’s teacher. When schools re-open, we will make SAS available again to parents and students!

Attention Grade 12 Students

Attention Grade 12 Students!

Please take note of the Scholarships and Bursaries coming up in April and May. The deadlines have been updated as some scholarships and bursaries have been extended. Message Ms. Amy (abmccarron@edu.pe.ca) if you have any questions.

Also, keep in mind that universities and colleges have also extended some of their bursaries and scholarships, so reach out to them if you still want to apply.

For those yet to apply to university or college, most institutes have also extended their application deadlines and require less paperwork, so it’s not too late to start applying!

Here’s the link to the website if you end up sharing on FB:

https://mrhsstudentservices.wordpress.com/schlorships-and-bursaries-available/

Message from PSB – April 15, 2020

April 15, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;

Thank you for your efforts in supporting learning at your home right now. It is great to see the on-line images of students working on their studies, some with the help from parents, at kitchen tables across the Island. Many parents and students have placed a lot of pressure on themselves because they have high expectations for being successful. We recognize these efforts are not without their challenges or stress. These challenges are recognized by the Public Schools Branch staff and the well-being of our students and parents is very important. While we all struggle to balance current pressures and manage new realities, sometimes it helps to know that others share our experiences and understand how we are feeling.

Emotional Well-Being

We are all hearing a lot about the importance of connection right now. We have taken for granted some of the ways we socialize and connect through time together in schools and at work that are presently no longer possible. We are social beings and during this time, even though we are physically distant, we need to find ways to be emotionally close. It is important to keep socially and emotionally connected. When we feel more connected to family, friends, and our work, we have less emotional distress. We all do better when we are connected.

I would like to share with you, two short articles that were recently shared with me on the importance of connection: “COVID-19: Moving Forward with a Caring Approach” by J. Kevin Cameron http://nactatr.com/covid19.html , and “The Importance of Connection” by Dr. Jane Nelson https://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/importance-connection. I hope you find the insights helpful.

Building in moments of connection do not need to be for long periods of time. Even a three-minute connection with someone can be helpful (e.g. texts, emails, phone call, or social networking). Connecting with those who model calmness can create that feeling in ourselves. Try connecting visually with others when able (e.g., video through social networking), as hearing and seeing the person strengthens the level of connection. This type of connection is especially important for individuals living alone or the elderly. Staying connected to the people within our circles is a good way to give support and be supported.

Create Routine and Structure

Keeping predictability within our environments and relationships during an unpredictable time is important. Maintaining our daily routines and structures as well as engaging in calming and regular activities can help to manage stress and improve our mental health.

Some of these routines and activities may include regular times to wake up, and go to sleep, preparing healthy meals, short exercise blocks during the day, listening to music, dancing and spending time outside in nature, while following the rules around social distancing.

Connecting with Media

It is important to stay informed using reputable media sources. Limit your time watching the news and be mindful of the content young children are exposed to as they often hear and take in more than we may realize. Our government sponsored websites are a good source of information. They are written without sensationalism, which helps to keep us calm, while making us knowledgeable about up-to-date and factual information.

As we all strive to stay connected and create structure and routine in our lives, every day I search out the many positive things happening within the PSB. Recently I enjoyed watching the video message one of our school principals sent to his school community with a wealth of good information and cameo appearances of his two children. He closed by saying: ‘you are not stuck at home, you are safe at home.’

Stay safe and thank you for remaining connected. We appreciate the opportunity to continue working with students and parents.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Message from PSB – April 8, 2020

April 8, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;

We appreciate that this continues to be a busy time for families and the learning opportunities happening for students at home may be both rewarding and, at times, frustrating. The Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) said at his briefing last evening: ‘Schools are the heart of our communities and they are reaching out to parents and students in ways they have never before.’ By many accounts, so far, this new way of learning is going well. It was clear that there was a high level of engagement happening when listening to a student, parent, and one of our teachers recently on the evening news. We offer our sincere appreciation for the efforts that are taking place in homes across the Island right now.

Everybody is Working Hard

Our staff have been working very hard over the last week, with our partners at the DELL, preparing for this new reality and how we will continue to create learning opportunities for students. Our teachers and staff care very deeply about the success of students and their commitment to ensuring that students have the skills they need to be successful is unchanged, even in these challenging times.

We are also realizing that our education system does not stand by itself. We are linked with everyone’s realities and we are partners dealing with this global health crisis. We are all working hard under these circumstances, including following all the health advice of the Chief Public Health Office, to make this transition to home learning as seamless as possible. What students, parents, and teachers are doing has never been done before in our lifetime. Feeling successful as we learn and work differently is going to take some time. It is appropriate to start slowly while we establish new routines. Our teachers are presently looking at ways to develop and share learning resources that will be helpful to students, parents, and learning.

Learning Materials for Students

We understand that some of our students and parents are interested in collecting learning materials at their schools to support learning at home. We are exploring ways to do this that would follow the necessary health requirements of the Chief Public Health Office. We thank everyone for their patience and we look forward to providing you with more information in the future.

A basic school supply package including paper, pencils, and scribblers is being made available for any student or parent who may not have access to these materials at this time. Families are asked to contact the Support for Families line at 902-368-5155 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance.

School Trips

Due to COVID-19, the PSB has canceled all in-province and out-of-province student travel for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This includes all end of year field trips. Non-fundraised money that students or parents paid directly toward school trips will be returned. Schools that have been impacted by this decision are currently working with the PSB to return non-fundraised money back to families as soon as possible.

The PSB is committed to ensuring that our students have what they need to be successful. We are looking forward to the date when we can welcome our students back into our face-to-face learning environments to continue the learning and the great experiences everyone expects of public education. What will remain the same until then is that the relationships we have with students and parents matter a great deal. We are in this together and education will continue as we move forward.

We thank everyone for their support and we look forward to connecting and working with students and parents in the days ahead.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

Message from PSB – April 6, 2020

Accessing Your Student Google Education Account

Dear students, parents, guardians, and caregivers –

Over the past week, we were able to make personal calls to thousands of households to share student login information for our Google Education accounts. We realize that for some of you, we were not able to make a successful connection. If you or a student in your care is still experiencing a challenge logging into their account at https://www.google.com/, please reach out to your child’s teacher.

We have also created a quick reference guide for how students can login to their Google account from home – https://tinyurl.com/guidetoclassroom (4MB). Using the Google Chrome browser is also recommended.

Tips for Home Learning have been published by the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning and can be found by visiting:

https://tinyurl.com/peihomelearning

Message from Morell High – April 3, 2020

Hello, Student and Parents
As Monday, April 6, marks the transition to a home-based, more online learning format for Morell Regional students and staff, we would like to offer our assistance and support as much as possible during this challenging time.
Teachers have been encouraged to connect with students through Google Classroom or email, and to help them prepare for the significant changes that our new delivery platform will undoubtedly create. It is our understanding that most of our students have been able to access their accounts, but if there are still some who are having difficulty with passwords or internet access, we aks them to contact the school administration or the administrative assistant for help. We recognize that this is a very uncertain time, and we are all working together patiently and well to ensure a smooth transition over the next few weeks.
Students are encouraged to monitor their accounts regularly for teacher updates and directions. The expectation is that teachers will be presenting the most salient learning outcomes for each of their courses as determined by the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning. The amount of material presented in each course and the work involved to complete it effectively has been set at approximately two hours per week per course. Teachers are working hard to ensure a valuable learning experience, and students are asked to apply themselves to the course work diligently and consistently. Teachers will adapt their presentations to be as user-friendly and student-centered as possible within the directives they have been given, and we encourage consistent and reliable communication between staff and students.
Teachers are very aware of the unique educational landscape in which we now find ourselves, and they are committed to working with students and parents to take into consideration the variety of home learning environments that exist in our communities. We know there will likely be issues that arise during this transition, and we appreciate that people may have many questions as we move forward. This is a normal and expected reaction to such an unprecedented change, and we are dedicated to working through this together. Please do not hesitate to contact teachers or administration as questions or concerns come up; we may not have the solutions right away, but we will definitely work with you to address any issues.
We encourage everyone to remain positive as we move forward into next week, and we certainly hope the transition will be productive and smooth.
Have a good weekend, stay safe, and take care of yourselves.
John Crawford, Kelly Minnis, and the Staff of Morell Regional High School.

Message from Parker Grimmer, PSB

April 1, 2020

Dear PSB Parents/Guardians and Students;

I know there are many PSB students and parents who are at home wondering about the changes to student learning over the coming weeks. There may also be increasing concerns about everyone’s mental health and well-being as we make our way through each day in this new reality. We all have questions, but are also starting to have some of the answers.

Student Learning

Premier Dennis King, Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning Brad Trivers, and Department of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) Director of English Programs, Dr. Tammy Hubley-Little gave details of the educational plan for students at a public briefing yesterday afternoon. Additional information with guidelines to help frame expectations and responsibilities for home learning have also been shared with teachers.

We know that learning for students will continue even though classes are canceled until May 11. DELL staff are supporting teachers in compacting their courses and curricula. Teachers will be collaborating with each other to enable learning opportunities for students to continue. DELL staff will support teachers as they transition to leading their students’ home learning.

During the week of April 6th, home learning will transition from the DELL resources that have been provided through our website to the direction of teachers. Students who were on track and were engaged with their learning prior to the school closure, will graduate from grade 12 or progress to their next grade level. A plan will be put in place before students return to school to address any learning gaps that exist as a result of this pandemic.

We are working to ensure that programming and resources are in place that are fair and equitable for all our students. This includes consideration for families who do not have internet access or other resources. The PSB is also working with the DELL to develop a plan that will provide curricular support in a variety of ways so that access will be reasonably available to all. We have the flexibility with our education system to support students and we have a lot of qualified staff who will ensure students are not left behind. When students return to school, we will refocus our efforts so we can move all students forward in the learning journey.

Our teachers are excited to resume their efforts to assist students with their learning. Many have been or are in the process of reaching out to students to check in to see how things are going. I want to reassure you that our staff are working very hard to prepare for this new way of learning. Until this plan is fully shared with students and parents, I encourage you to continue to look at resources that have been posted on our website to support learning at home. Additionally, please consider the positive impact something as simple as integrating learning into your daily routines can be. For example, a half hour of reading a couple times a day, regular exercise, or assisting in measuring items for meal preparation. These are a few simple things that can support students with continuation of learning in a manageable way until more formal learning opportunities are implemented.

I encourage you to please refer to the Parents and Students – School Closure FAQ located at https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-and-lifelong-learning/parents-and-students-school-closure-faq and on our website for more information about home learning questions and resources provided for students to continue learning.

Support for Families

With classes not resuming until May 11, the absence of access to school breakfast and lunch programs may put a financial strain on families. Assistance is being provided to families dealing with food insecurity. Families are being asked to contact the Support for Families line 902-368-5155 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance. If you know of a family who could use this support, please share this information with them.

Among the best things we can all do right now is to focus on our family and being well. We have created a Student Services Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/psbstudentservices for families to access information that may be of assistance to help through this difficult and stressful time. Please refer to https://edu.princeedwardisland.ca/psb/parents_students/covid-19-resources/ for some helpful resources.

We are clearly in unprecedented times. Premier King said at yesterday’s briefing that we are in this together and assured us, ‘we will get through this together’. This is also our commitment from everyone at the PSB. We know that there will continue to be questions. We will try to ensure a timely response to the questions that come our way, and we will post our responses on our PSB website. Please check back often and we will do our best to keep you as up-to-date as possible through our weekly Wednesday messages.

Thank you for your continued support.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public School Branch

 

 

Student Computer Account Information Request

We have received many requests for student computer account information.  For a short period of time, we are not taking any new requests so we can “catch up”!  Please note, that when the Public Schools Branch calls you back, the call will appear as “blocked caller” – please answer so we can give you the information!  Also, please only submit one request per student!  We will get back to you as soon as we can!

Message from PSB – March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear PSB parents/guardians and students,

Circumstances have required that our schools remain closed until at least April 6. I want to acknowledge that the decision has created significant challenges for you and our Public Schools Branch staff. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, as well as your creativity and flexibility in the days ahead.

Everyone is looking to be helpful at this time. One way is to follow the direction of the Chief Public Health officer and stay home, when we can. Staying home keeps us all safe, limits the spread of COVID–19 and assists to ‘flatten the curve,’ which our health care system needs. Thank you for taking good care of each other while at home.

Student Learning

The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) has provided ongoing learning opportunities for students while at home. Parents/guardians and students can refer to the PSB website at https://edu.princeedwardisland.ca/psb/ for initial activities and resources that will support ongoing student learning at home. The activities are intended to assist students in the areas of health and well-being, literacy and numeracy, however, they are not required to complete every activity.

Please know that teachers are exploring additional learning opportunities for students, should we find we are not able to return to school after April 3. We are working on what this learning might look like and we will communicate the plan, should it become necessary.

Support for Families

With our PSB schools being closed, the absence of access to school breakfast and lunch programs has put a financial strain on many families. Assistance is being provided to families dealing with food insecurity. Families are being asked to contact the Support for Families lines 902-368-5155 or 902-368-6990 or supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance. If you know of a family who could use this support, please share this information with them.

New Ways to Connect

I know many students are missing their classmates and teachers. Our teachers and staff are missing the contact with students and colleagues as well. We need to find creative ways to stay connected with our PSB family. I will be sharing a Wednesday message every week to help keep you connected and informed until we are able to welcome students back into our schools.

We have all been inspired by the messages and creative ways that staff from our schools are using to connect with students. Equally amazing has been the response by students with pictures and videos sharing how much they love their school and miss the teachers and staff. We are finding ways to make meaningful connections, while also keeping our distance. Thank you for reaching out and supporting each other during these uncertain times. We are looking forward to connecting further with students and parents/guardians in the days ahead.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public School Branch