May 22, 2020

Dear Families:

The Minister of Education, Mr Flemming, announced that he is moving all schools, Public and Independent, to Stage 3 from Stage 4. As hard as it might be to move to stage 3 this near to the end of the school year, it is a critical step in being able to successfully move to stage 1 in September, bridging the gap between the Stages and helping our school navigate the complexities of potentially shifting swiftly through the stages for the duration of the pandemic. Additionally, many vulnerable learners are falling further behind in the current learning environment, widening the inequality gap. Our June re-entry will also allow our students to end the year well, bringing closure to this year and inspiring hope for the start of next school year.

A move to Stage 3 requires our school to re-open and for in-class instruction to begin. During Stage 3, attendance at school for school-age children is voluntary. At Gaglardi Academy, every student, K-12, will have the opportunity to return to school two days per week.

  • K-7 - Full days, either Monday & Wednesday or Tuesday & Thursday. If additional days are required, please notify the office immediately to make arrangements, and we will do our best to accommodate you, or if you have not signed up, please notify the office.
  • Grades 8 & 9 - Full days, Tuesday and Thursday. If additional days are required, please notify the office immediately to make arrangements, and we will do our best to accommodate you, or if you have not signed up, please notify the office.
  • Grades 10-12 - Full days, Monday and Wednesday.

The health and safety protocols were posted on our website last week and for your review, I have included the link here: https://www.pjgaglardiacademy.ca/parent-portal/covid-19/pages/administrative-student-re-entry-k-12--250. The school will be enforcing these protocols for the safety of our staff and students alike. Due to PHO distancing orders and to avoid congestion, school start and dismissal times will be staggered by grade level and by designated entrance doors. During Stage 3, the school is suspending its Arrival Check Policy K-3. Our staggered school times and designated entrance doors will be posted on the website on May 22 (Click Here to View) and in this week’s WAAG for your convenience. If you arrive late to school, students must report to the office as usual.

Naturally, in moving from Stage 4 to Stage 3, the focus of student learning and teacher instruction will shift beginning on June 1st to the classroom. Teachers will continue to provide direction to home learners. But online education in the same Stage 4 format is not expected by the Ministry, nor is it realistic for teachers to offer two full modalities of learning. For our families who elect not to return this June, the school will continue to provide the required sufficient learning in English Language Arts and Math through current online platforms used during Stage 4 and teachers will support home learners on Fridays. The classroom environment may provide enrichment activities including art, music, physical education and extended learning in science and social studies. Assessment practices will remain the same in either modality of learning. If you elect not to send your child to school but continue with home learning, your child’s marks will not be adversely affected. However, for students in grades 10, 11, and 12 to maintain academic pre-COVID marks, home learning requires completing sufficient learning in each of their courses.

Re-entry to school this June contributes to paving the way to a successful school year beginning in September. I am looking forward to reconnecting with everyone even if it is 2 meters apart. Since I’m a hugger, I will need to restrain myself and practice “the new air hug”. I confess it’s not very satisfying!

May the Lord bless you all as you do what is best for your family,
Bernadette Pitcher