June Update at EMHS

Here we are, already well into June in perhaps the most challenging and unusual year we’ve all faced in our school, homes and community!

As some of our families are considering the upcoming school year please be aware that we will once again will have a Before and After School Care Program available on site at Ecole Meridian Heights School. You can learn more about this program on our school website.

Before I share just a bit about what’s been happening at Ecole Meridian Heights School I would like to take a moment to thank all of you, our parents, for all of your support this year! When we’ve called you because your child had a runny nose, you came running! When we told you your child had to learn from home for a few weeks, you adapted! When we made those unfortunate calls sharing the news that some of our students were close contacts of a confirmed Covid case you were understanding and empathetic!

While we only have a few more weeks before we wrap up this year, there’s lots happening for our kids so read on!

Under the leadership of our amazing counselor, Mr. Kinney, last week our entire school participated in the Mental Health Day for Alberta Schools. Grade level teachers determined what parts of the day best met the needs of their students and supported their kids through this important learning journey.

With the recent horrific discovery at the Kamloops Residential School, the staff at Ecole Meridian Heights School took our lead from Mme Laurin and worked together to try to begin to help our students understand just a bit more about the history of Residential Schools. Her announcements in the morning and her classroom weaving project helped bring attention to this tragic part of our History.

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Mme Gervais and Mme Cloutier joined in the conversation with their students completing this powerful display!

Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year and the various COVID protocols in place, we are thankful for the leadership of M. Nshole and Mme Pirot in helping our grade 8 and 9 in person and online learners for completing the Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF). Preparing and executing this test under normal circumstances is a big job but this year it was monumental! We are proud of our students for their achievements!

While there’s been lots happening recently, there’s much more coming in the last few weeks! Thank you to Mme Pronovost for coordinating our K-2 track meet on Friday, June 11th. While there’s so much on everyone’s plate right now, Mme Pronovost has went above and beyond to make this fun day possible for our kids again this year!

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It only seems fitting to wrap things up by sharing about our Grade 9 Farewell. While it will again look a bit different this year based on current restrictions and protocols, we are excited to have our online students and in person learners joining us for one last celebration together. Friday, June 25th we will be holding separate ceremonies for our French Immersion and English grade 9 students acknowledging their time at Ecole Meridian Heights School. We are looking forward to a great program and light supper to celebrate our students. While we aren’t able to have parents in attendance, we will be livestreaming the event for all to enjoy! Details to follow on our school website, facebook page and via email to all grade 9 families.

Until next time,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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Updates for our Grade 7-9 Students at EMHS

Parents/Guardians,

As you are likely aware, Parkland School Division has made the decision that we will not be administering Provincial Achievement Tests (PAT’s) to our grade 6 & 9 students this year. You can learn more about this decision on the PSD website.  

With this in mind, the grade 7-9 teaching team and administration have been discussing what this means for our grade 7-9 students who would typically write Final Exams in June. After much consideration and conversation, we have decided that it would not be beneficial to our students at this time for us to be administering cumulative final exams at the end of June.

While there are benefits to students writing final exams (such as having the opportunity to learn how to prepare for and write a cumulative exam, in addition to these exams providing one more piece of assessment information for teachers to inform them of students’ progress on learning outcomes) we recognize that the benefits of writing these types of exams in this particular year are far outweighed by the unnecessary stress that they can cause for some students and families in an already highly stressful school year.

Teachers will still be delivering instruction and lessons throughout the month of June, and will be giving a unit exam/assessment for the specific unit(s) that they are concluding the school year with; however there will be no cumulative final exams, nor will there be final exam week and schedule. 

While students will not be writing final exams in June, they will still be expected to come to school ready to participate in learning activities and to complete homework assignments as would be expected throughout the school year. Teachers may review important concepts that have been presented throughout the year in order to refresh students’ memories and to prepare them for the upcoming school year. In addition, students may be asked to complete diagnostic assessments similar to those at the beginning of the year such as the MiPi (Math Intervention Programming Instrument). Assessments such as these will not require students to study and will not be used as a grade for students’ report cards but rather to demonstrate student understanding of learning outcomes and to inform programming for the upcoming school year.

Should you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or a member of our administration at the school.

Thank you for all that you continue to do to support our students!

Stay well,

Grade 7-9 Staff and Administration

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Preparations for 2021-2022 at EMHS Begin

It’s hard to believe we are almost finished with the most unusual and challenging school year that we have all ever experienced. Thank you to all of our parents and students who have been, and continue to be so flexible as we’ve navigated through it together.

As we begin to consider not only the conclusion of this school year, but the beginning of next year, plans will begin to be put into place in the upcoming weeks and months. One important task that will be undertaken is the creation of class lists. With this in mind, I thought I would share this process with you to answer questions that you might have.

Though creating class lists might seem like a fairly simple process, there is actually a lot of work and consideration that goes into this important step in our planning. It’s not necessarily easy to capture in a blog post, but here goes.

To start the process, teachers reflect on several factors about their current students, including friendships, each individual student’s learning style/needs, current levels of achievement and engagement and social/emotional needs of each student. They then work with their grade level colleagues, (who have done the same reflection) to begin to create class lists that will work for whatever teacher might receive them in the upcoming year. Together, this grade level team considers these factors, along with other very important ones such as friends, social dynamics, providing separation for those who don’t always work well together and many more.

In this particular year, as with many things we are faced with one additional challenge to navigate. Because we have had many students learning online for periods of time since March 2020, we will be working with our online teachers to re-integrate these students into our learning community for the Fall of 2021!

One of the most important considerations, and one that I can assure you our teachers account for, is student friendships. Please know that teachers do work diligently to ensure that each child has at least one friend (and often more) within their class. While this can sometimes be a bit more challenging than it may first appear, our staff know how important having a friend in their class is to our kids learning and development.

With all of these things in mind, teachers create a first draft of class lists for the upcoming year to be reviewed by administration. After looking at these lists, administration adds any new students joining our community to each class list and seeks feedback once again from teachers. At this stage, with the initial draft of the lists almost completed, once the staffing placements for the upcoming year have been finalized, the receiving teachers examine the lists to provide any final feedback to their colleagues who created the lists and to administration.

In order to try to ensure that we get things right for all students, this process can take several weeks to complete and can go through several drafts. To further complicate things, sometimes things change along the way. For example, students leaving or joining our community in July and August require staff to further adjust class lists.

Should you have any questions about your child’s placement for the upcoming school year, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school’s administration.

We look forward to seeing all of our kids’ faces back in our school very soon.

Stay well,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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Online Programming Information for EMHS

COVID 19 Update

As you are aware, the Alberta Government has announced that all students, Kindergarten through grade 9 will be learning online starting this Friday, May 7th. Students will return to in person learning on Tuesday, May 25th. While we will certainly miss seeing our kids in our hallways and on our playgrounds, we will still be providing learning opportunities online. You can learn more about this announcement on our school website.

While you can expect this online learning to look very similar to our learning after Christmas, your child’s teacher will be sending you all of the information you require to facilitate this transition. You will receive an email that provides information such as your child’s password and login, times of google meets and other relevant information.

How you can begin to prepare for online learning for your child?

  1. Please ensure that you have access to technology and WiFi for your child to complete his/her work. While phones can manage a few of the learning tasks, they are not the appropriate technology for the demands of this programming. A laptop or desktop that has internet connectivity, a camera and a microphone and an adequate processor is essential. If you are experiencing issues in this regard, please reach out to your child’s teacher to determine alternate plans.
  2. Create a functional workspace for your child. A table near a plug in, in a well lit area without distractions such as TV or other siblings (if possible) is ideal. Where this isn’t possible, just ensuring that your child can work somewhere with a table and chair to support good posture and engagement in lessons is helpful.
  3. Communicate regularly with both your child and his/her teacher. Reach out via email and ask your child’s teacher if he/she is completing assignments in a timely manner and to the best of his/her ability.
  4. Ensure your child’s teacher knows if he/she is struggling with the content. When kids are learning in person, teachers are excellent at recognizing the signs of struggle. It can be much more difficult to do so in an online learning environment. Please let us know as soon as you see difficulties so we can help.
  5. Be available to support your child’s learning. For our middle years students this might mean checking in with them about their learning, checking their google classroom to see if assignments are completed and encouraging them to attend office hours for their teacher if they have questions. For our early years students they often require an adult right by their side assisting with logging on and helping to keep them online and engaged. We very much understand how challenging this sudden shift will be for many of our families so please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or a member of our administrative team for support.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank all of our families for your flexibility as we all continue to navigate through these challenging times together. Together with your adherence to COVID restrictions in our community and our effective implementation of COVID protocols in our school such as masking, cohorting and physical distancing, we can minimize the risk to all of our students, staff and families and see our kids return to in person learning as soon as possible.

Thank you once again for your efforts in this area. Hang in there, we’ve almost made it through the 2020-2021 school year!

Take care

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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March Updates from Ecole Meridian Heights School


While spring doesn’t officially arrive for a few days, we are happy to be enjoying the great weather already. We wanted to take a moment to update you on a few things happening in our school community so please read on.


Online Registration for the 2021-2022 School Year

If you have not yet made the time to register your child for the upcoming school year, we would ask you to do so as soon as possible, no later than March 25, 2021. Your attention to this allows us to begin our planning for the upcoming school year. You can learn more about registration on our school webpage. Should you require any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our wonderful secretaries, Mrs. Anderson, Ms. Kirk or Mrs. Goertzen at the school office.

Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

As you are likely aware, our Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences are fast approaching. For our in person learners, next Tuesday, March 23rd and Wednesday, March 24th from 4-7 p.m. our teachers are hosting virtual conferences to discuss your child’s learning. At this point you should have received an email from your child’s teacher with a link to book your appointment. If you did not receive this email, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher. You can learn how to book your interview in this short video.

For our online learners, you will be receiving information about the dates for your child’s conferences from his/her teacher. If you have not heard from them, please reach out to them with an email to learn more.

School Council Meeting

Our next School Council meeting is tomorrow Wednesday, March 17th from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually. School Council is a great way to stay connected with what’s happening at Ecole Meridian Heights School, to provide input and to meet other parents, staff and our School Trustee. If you are able to attend please RSVP to our Council Chair at meridianheightsscchair@psd70.ab.ca

Term 2 Report Cards

As you are likely aware, your child’s report card will be accessible using your parent powerschool account this Friday, March 19th at 3:00 p.m. Should you have any questions on how to access the report card, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school secretaries.

That’s it for now so until next time stay well and see you soon

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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Basketball is Back at EMHS

We are excited at EMHS to be able to offer basketball as an extracurricular activity for our students in the upcoming weeks. While we can’t run a typical “Basketball Season” given the current Covid Restrictions, we can provide an opportunity for our kids in grades 6-9 to get some exercise, learn the game and have fun with friends!

Keeping in mind the various protocols and restrictions from AHS, there will be several structures in place for our teams. Please read on to learn more.

  • Cohorts/teams will be made up of 9 players and one coach. Players will all be from the same grade level (e.g. gr 7) but may be from different classes
  • Students may NOT be part of another extracurricular cohort. e.g. A student cannot be on a cheer team AND EMHS basketball
  • Players will sign in each time they attend a practice
  • Players will sanitize their hands before and after each practice
  • Basketballs will be sanitized after each practice
  • Cohorts will not be mixed. One cohort (e.g. gr 7) may be on one side of the gym while the other cohort (e.g. gr 8) will be on the other side of the gym with the curtain down.
  • Players will wear masks into and out of the gym, but will not be required to wear them while playing
  • Coaches will wear masks at all times
  • Change rooms will be accessible if necessary (kids will be encouraged to dress for the activity so they do not need to change) but with very limited capacity
  • Physical Distancing – students will be 3m apart while receiving instructions, participating in drills etc.
  • Drills/Games – will be selected and modified to support the physical distancing expectations. Students will not be playing 3vs3, 5vs5 etc. as defending would not allow for appropriate physical distancing. Alternate activities around ball handling, passing and shooting will be used.

Should your child in grades 6-9 be interested in participating, he/she needs to sign up with his/her homeroom teacher no later than this Friday, February 26th. As we gauge interest, cohorts will be established and students will come home with a permission form. The only cost for this opportunity will be the cost of the team jersey that students will keep at the end of the activity. We anticipate this cost to be approximately $10.

We are looking forward to lots of skill development and fun with our kids.

Sincerely,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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High School Transition is Upon Us Already!

Hello grade 9 parents,

It’s so hard to believe we are already at a place where we are planning for the transition of our grade 9 students into high school! Where has the year gone?

As with so many things this year in school and in our community, our transition process for our students will look somewhat different given our current COVID 19 protocols in place. Please read on to learn what this process will look like for your child as we are starting soon. For our Option 2 Teacher Supported At Home Learners your transition process is outlined at the end of this post so please take a look.

Gr 9 Students Transitioning to Memorial Composite High School

Our Grade 9 In Person learners will be supported in this transition by Mrs. Mulroy and our administrative team.

During the week of February 16-19 students will receive a copy of their recommended course placement for High School in the Core Subject Areas (ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies). You will know that this has taken place as Mrs. Mulroy will send an email to all parents asking you to discuss your child’s recommended placement with him/her. Please review this information with your child and sign and return the form to the school. You are welcome to reach out to Mrs. Mulroy or Mr. Patras with any questions you have about these recommendations.

On Friday, February 19th from 8:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. counselors from MCHS will be at Ecole Meridian Heights School to present programming and walk students through the registration process. Your child will come home with a registration package at this time. Please review this with your child and make your complimentary course selections, returning the booklet back to the school.

It is imperative that parents have completed the online registration process prior to their child making course selections for high school. Students will not be able to register for their core and complementary classes if their online registration has not been completed. You can learn more about this registration process on our school website. Should you require any support in this online registration process please do not hesitate to reach out to our school secretaries for assistance.

MCHS will be hosting their Virtual Open House on Thursday, March 4th 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. This will serve as a great opportunity to learn more about the programming available for students and to meet some of the staff at the School.

Grade 9 Students Transitioning to Spruce Grove Composite High School

Our Grade 9 in person learners will be supported by our Administrative team to facilitate this transition.

Virtual School Visits will be happening between February 16th and February 24th. These will consist of three video presentations:

1. An Introduction to SGCHS

2. Core Course Overviews

3. Complimentary Course Overviews

During the week of February 22nd to 24th students will receive a copy of their recommended course placement for High School in the Core Subject Areas (FLA, ELA, Math, Science and Etudes Sociales). You will know that this has taken place as Mme Fortier will send an email to all parents asking you to discuss your child’s recommended placement with him/her.

These virtual visits will be followed up by a Virtual Open House from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 25th. At this time there will be videos for students to gain some insight into each of the complimentary programs and to ask questions of these teachers. Parents will receive this link via email from our school.

With your child’s report card on Friday, March 19th you will receive your child’s Course selection form which again indicates your child’s recommended courses for English Language Arts, French Language Arts, Science and Etudes Sociales. In addition you will be asked to indicate your child’s preferences for Complementary Courses on this form.

Finally, during the week of March 22nd – 25th, parents will receive a google form from Ecole Meridian Heights School asking you to enter your child’s preferred complementary courses for the 2021-2022 school year.

It is imperative that parents have completed the online registration process prior to their child making course selections for high school. Students will not be able to register for their core and complementary classes if their online registration has not been completed. You can learn more about this registration process on our school website. Should you require any support in this online registration process please do not hesitate to reach out to our school secretaries for assistance.

You can learn a bit more about this process in this letter from SGCHS.

Grade 9 Option 2 – Teacher Supported At Home Learners Transitioning to MCHS

Mrs. Crowley has been having conferences with students on their recommended placements since January and will be wrapping these up soon.

High School Counselors Virtual presentation will be taking place on Tuesday, March 2nd – 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. to discuss programming, registration etc.

MCHS will be hosting their Virtual Open House on Thursday, March 4th 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. This will serve as a great opportunity to learn more about the programming available for students and to meet some of the staff at the School.

Grade 9 Option 2 – Teacher Supported At Home Students Transitioning to SGCHS

Our Grade 9 online learners will be supported by Mme Watt, Mr. Cust and the Administrative team at Ecole Meridian Heights School to facilitate this transition.

Mme Watt and Mr. Cust will be allocating time in the upcoming weeks to watch the Virtual School Visits provided by the staff at Spruce Grove Composite High School. These will consist of three video presentations:

1. An Introduction to SGCHS

2. Core Course Overviews

3. Complimentary Course Overviews

These virtual visits will be followed up by a Virtual Open House from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 25th. At this time there will be videos for students to gain some insight into each of the complimentary programs and to ask questions of these teachers. Parents will receive this link via email from our school.

On your child’s report card on Friday, March 19th you see your child’s recommended course placement from Mme Watt and Mr. Cust. You will also receive a Course selection form from Spruce Grove Composite High School. You will be asked to indicate your child’s preferences for Complementary Courses on this form.

You can learn a bit more about this process in this letter from SGCHS.

We appreciate your time, patience and support throughout this process. Together, we can create a smooth and successful transition for our kids into the next step of their learning journey.

Should you have any questions about the transition process for your child either to Memorial Composite High School or Spruce Grove Composite High School, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or your child’s grade 9 teachers.

Sincerely,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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February Updates From Ecole Meridian Heights School

It’s hard to believe that we’ve already flown through January and are approaching the Family Day Long Weekend! I certainly hope the weather improves for us all to enjoy the outdoors next weekend! In the meantime, please read on to learn a bit more about what’s happening at Ecole Meridian Heights School in the upcoming weeks.

Dress for the Weather – Just a reminder that as we see these super cold temperatures coming at us it is very important that our kids are dressed appropriately for the weather. While we remain inside for recesses when the temperature is below -23 degrees celsius, we do our best to get kids outside for much needed movement and fresh air at warmer temperatures than that. It is also important that kids are prepared for the cold weather in the case of a bus breakdown and/or to walk into and out of the school, while waiting to be picked up and/or while walking home. Thank you for helping keep our kids safe.

Winter Walk Day – due to the recent cold weather, we haven’t been able to complete our Winter Walk yet; however we are hopeful that we can do so later this week. The Winter Walk is a great way for us to model for our kids how things as simple as fresh air and walking is great for our physical and mental health!

Valentine’s Day Celebrations – as mentioned in previous emails, classroom Valentine’s Day celebrations will operate very much like Halloween celebrations did, with appropriate Covid protocols such as physical distancing, masking (for students in grades 4-9), hand sanitizing etc. Slightly different this time is that students in Kindergarten – Grade 6 are permitted to bring in Valentine’s day cards for their classmates. These cards must be in on Monday, February 8th to be quarantined and distributed on Thursday, February 11th. Any cards brought in after February 8th will be distributed after the long weekend. Please do not send in candy or other items to be exchanged with these cards.

Our students in grades 7-9 recently had the opportunity to buy a can of Crush pop to be delivered to their “crush” or some hershey’s kisses to be sent to a friend.

Kindergarten Open House – While it’s only February, plans are already underway for the upcoming school year. With that in mind, our Virtual Kindergarten Open House for our French Immersion students is this Tuesday, February 9th from 6-7 p.m., with our Kindergarten Virtual Open House for our English students being on Wednesday, February 17th from 6-7 p.m. You can learn more about how to access these sessions on our website or by calling our school at 780-963-2289.

Registration for 2021-2022 School Year – Yes, it’s already that time where registration for the 2021-2022 school year is underway. Please take a moment to complete your children(s) registrations as soon as possible. Not only does this information help you to ensure you have access to bussing should you need it, it allows us to start our planning for the upcoming year. With all of the changes we’ve undergone this year we would greatly appreciate your support by completing your registration even if you do not require bussing. Thank you so much for helping us in this regard. Should you require any assistance at all, please do not hesitate to contact our school secretaries at 780-963-2289. You can learn more about online registration on our website.

Lost and Found – Just a reminder that with covid protocols in place, our school lost and found is now housed in our office and is donated each week at the end of the day on Monday. You can see items that are available on our school facebook page. Additionally, if you believe your child is missing any items (mitts, gloves, toques and water bottles seem to be in abundance each week) please ask them to come to the office to look for their items.

That’s all for now! Thank you for your continued efforts to support our kids and staff.

Stay well,

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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January Updates from Ecole Meridian Heights School

Well we’ve had a few weeks to get our feet back under us and our kids seem to be adjusting very well. Those who have continued in Option 2 (online learning) have progressed pretty seamlessly in the new year, and our students who returned to us for in-person learning are adjusting well to being back in our school. It is so wonderful to have our students back with us seeing the school filled with laughter and learning!

Dressing for the Weather

While we’ve enjoyed some fantastic weather so far this year, we can see the temperatures dropping near the end of this week. We will still be having outdoor recesses whenever possible so please support your child in dressing for the conditions. Toques, gloves and a warm coat will be very appreciated by the kids as the weather turns on us.

Lost and Found

If you find yourself making weekly trips to the store for new toques and gloves, perhaps a check of our lost and found will save you some time and money! With the covid protocols in place this year we’ve had to change how we manage our lost and found. This year all items are stored in the office, where students or parents are welcome to come find their valued possessions! To make it even easier, parents are encouraged to check our School Facebook Page as Mme Pirot posts pictures of these items frequently. Items are donated to a local charity at the end of the day every Monday.

Student Drop off and Pick Up

Thank you to all of our families who have helped us to reduce the congestion in our hallways by dropping your children off between 8:36 and 8:45. We will continue to take attendance promptly after 8:45 a.m.

For those families dropping students off, we thank you for not entering the school parking lot during the posted bus times from 8:10 – 8:31 and 2:50 – 3:20. Ensuring that traffic is minimized when our students and buses are in the parking lot is one more way we can work together to keep our kids safe.

Also please remember that supervision is in place inside and outside of the school after 8:15 a.m. Prior to that time, the school is not unlocked and supervision is not in place so please remain with your children should they be dropped off prior to 8:15 a.m. After school, supervision is in place from 3:06 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. Kids must be picked up by 3:20 p.m. as there is not supervision inside of the school after this time.

Should you have any questions about these times, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at the school. We appreciate your support in keeping our kids safe.

Upcoming School Council Meeting

Please consider attending our next School Council meeting on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. This meeting will be held virtually. School Council is a great way to connect with school administration, other parents, our Trustee and to learn what is happening in our school community! Should you be interested in attending, please rsvp to our School Council Co-Chairs, Mr. Blaine Bretzlaff and Mrs. Crystal Harnum at meridianheightsscchair@psd70.ab.ca

Winter Walk Day

We are excited at Ecole Meridian Heights School to be participating in the Winter Walk Day on Wednesday, February 3rd. Your child’s class will be going outside for a walk at some point during that day, exploring our local community, getting some fresh air and exercise and reconnecting with our environment. Please support your child by ensuring he/she is dressed appropriately for the weather.

That’s it for now. Stay safe 🙂

Mr. S. Patras

Principal, Ecole Meridian Heights School

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Updates from Ecole Meridian Heights School

Online Learning for all Students Jan 4-8

Don’t forget, our provincial government recently announced that all students, K-9 will be learning in an online format upon our return from Christmas break from January 4th – 8th. Your child’s teacher will be sending information to you later this week with google meet times, schedules, class structure, passwords and logins…all of the information you will require to support your children.

We have learned a lot from the last time this happened and while we would all prefer to have our kids in the school, we want you to know that working together we can make the best out of this learning challenge. We have witnessed, over the past few weeks, how amazing our gr 7-9 teachers, students and parents are and how their learning has continued during our recent transition to online.

If you have any questions or concerns about this transition, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or any member of our Administrative team, Mr. Patras, Ms. Huisman or Mme Pirot.

Holiday Celebrations in School

Much like everything else during these Covid times, our Holiday activities in classrooms this year will look a little bit different. We made it work for Halloween and together we can do it again!

In order to provide the safest classroom environment possible, while still trying to provide a bit of Holiday cheer we are asking that parents be aware of, and follow, the protocols below.

– Please do not send in Christmas or Holiday cards or other items (e.g. Candy Canes, baked goods etc.) for your child to exchange with other students. We are asking this year that these exchanges not take place.

-We will not be having some of our usual Holiday meals and other class activities this year; however, parents are encouraged to send in treats and snacks for their own child to enjoy for the class activities on Friday. Please try to consider mixing in a few healthy choices where possible. Mandarin oranges are in season 🙂

-Teachers gifts – while there is, in no way any expectations around gifting towards staff, we know that some students want to thank their teachers and EA’s around the holiday season. We would ask you to consider donating to a local charity such as the foodbank or Kinsmen in place of these gifts. It’s a great opportunity to teach our kids about supporting their own community.

-In class activities – teachers will still be having in class holiday activities on Friday with their students, though the activities may look different. We will not be baking or sharing projects and materials for Xmas crafts and activities. Your child’s teacher will try to provide any necessary materials for individual students to do these activities and crafts. Where they are unable to do so, they may ask that you send in individual items such as a cookie to be decorated.

-Christmas Concert – while we are unable to host this in our typical way within the school gym, our amazing Music teachers, Mrs. Huedepohl and Mrs. Ausman are working with each class to record a performance. We will share this with our entire community as soon as we have finished.

Changes to your Powerschool Parent Portal

As you might be aware, starting on December 7th you will be able to access your Powerschool account and view not only your child’s attendance, but also his/her marks and assignments!

While teachers have been exploring this application during term 1, we still have much to learn and discover together with you. In the upcoming weeks you will receive information from your child’s teacher as assessments are posted. You can learn how to access this information in Powerschool in this short video.

As you can probably imagine, the use of this application will look quite different for a grade 9 student and a grade 2 student. As we consider the learning that takes place in a Jr. High classroom and the structure of many of these assignments, they likely lend themselves better to being posted with marks online.

When we look at assessment in our early years (K-4 classrooms), we recognize that much of the assessment is often not made up of paper and pencil tasks, but rather students performing skills and teachers engaged in purposeful observation and conferences with students. Those of you who had a chance to volunteer in your child’s Kindergarten class in previous years have probably seen this! Kids playing with the water table, play doh and sand…all at once!!!

Additionally, teachers will often conference with individual students to understand the progress they are making and the skills that students are exploring. While assessments such as these provide rich information for teachers as to what students know and can do and where to take the learning next, they do not necessarily lend themselves quite as readily to traditional marks and being posted online.

With all of this in mind, we recognize that this powerschool application will provide one more way in which we can work together to understand how our our kids are achieving. This new application provides one more tool for parents to stay connected with their child’s learning, however nothing replaces the conversations between teachers, students and parents so please do not hesitate to reach out at any time to speak to your child’s teachers.

That’s it for now, so on behalf of the staff of Ecole Meridian Heights School, we wish you a restful and safe Holiday Season.

Stay well,

Mr. S. Patras

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