Today is a significant day in the path forward for our youngest students, during our “shadow boxing” match with COVID in schools and in our communities. The recent Government approval of a vaccine for 5 to 11 year-olds means that we will strengthen the safety of our learning environment, as we inch toward “school as usual” for everyone – including for you, whose presence we have missed on campus during these long months of public health precautions. In schools, epidemiological measures and immunization programs have been facts of life for decades. Working together, the next phase of this important vaccine rollout will promote a return to a healthy and communal childhood for everyone.
And with progress reports and conferences complete, we turn our attention to the rich dimensions of school life that help to feed our children. We hope that your child is finding co-curricular clubs, teams, and regular activities to round out their classroom experience. While our academic program focuses on the fundamentals, the opportunities outside the classroom help them grow in many other important ways. Through music, sports, or service learning around the school, our mission seeks to prepare students for a “successful future” – which can only be achieved effectively by home and school working together. If your son or daughter has not found an activity, club or special activity outside of the classroom, please let us know. A quick message to your child’s teacher will unleash our creativity, as we work together to find that place that’s unique for him or her.
We also understand that many of our students are involved in other pursuits outside of school. Please don’t be shy about letting us know, so that we can support their passions and learning during the school day. The elementary school years are so important to defining our approach to lifelong learning and engagement. While an overprogrammed schedule can result in stress and fatigue, the “Goldilocks principle” of “just right” goes a long way to finding a balance between school, passion projects, sports, and the downtime that every person requires to be grounded and healthy. Let us help, if we can, by keeping your child’s teacher in the loop!
During the year, we will continue to have important conversations about goals and outcomes for your child’s learning, including about important social and community expectations for behaviour, self-regulation, and personal management.
On behalf of our teachers who work hard to model the kind of learning environment that leads to respect and responsibility, I want to thank you for your partnership, understanding, and courage in tackling the challenges facing our children in an increasingly self-centred and “noisy” culture. Your support and willingness to let the children learn important life lessons now will pay big dividends in high school and beyond.
By promoting, instead of undermining, healthy development, respect, responsibility, and reasonableness, our children will become the kind of people our future needs.
As the saying goes, we are all in this together!
Ric Anderson, Head of School