Our Kids
Glen Herbert - Editor

Glen Herbert
Editor/Writer, Our Kids Media

July, 2020

"It is now exactly eight weeks, eight short weeks until the first of September," Robert Mitchell, a PEI Liberal MLA, said last week when pressing the provincial minister of education, Brad Trivers. "Minister, why are you waiting until late August to give parents and students the kind of certainty that they need, today?”

It’s an easier question to ask than to answer, and one that boards are grappling with across the country. Parents, of course, are grappling with it, too. As throughout the pandemic, safety sits on one hand, while livelihood sits on the other. Most provincial governments have noted that school will likely be part in-person, part remote, though as Brian Lamb, Head of School for Joan of Arc Academy, said this week in an interview with CTV News, “for a lot of working parents, the model of going back to school two days a week just doesn’t work for them, and they’re looking at options.”

It’s not just about childcare, though that’s a part of it. As has been widely reported, many parents within the public system have been underwhelmed with the speed of the response and the quality of the remote learning programs. (They’ve also come to appreciate, having taken a stab at homeschooling, the true expertise that teachers offer.) The fear, as we carry into the fall, is that many students may fall further behind, both in terms of course content and in their enthusiasm for academic engagement. As with the pivot to online delivery this past March, it’s a moment where your ability to be responsive, agile, and proactive is granted particularly sharp focus.

That’s why this is a message that we’ll be sharing in our parent-facing communication, this week in the newsletter and, moving forward, via social media in the weeks to come. Respond to this email with your plans for September, and we’ll look for ways of highlighting them in our messaging throughout the summer. Ultimately, opening safely during a pandemic, and being able to stay open, requires planning carefully, adopting clear social distancing procedures, and gaining the trust of all members of the school community. Responsiveness, deliberation, and care are a big part of the value that private schools offer, and that’s a story worth telling.

For more ...

  • The user review hub continues to grow, becoming, as far as we know, the largest archive of its kind in Canada. Parents and students use it, though we use it, too, to inform and support editorial content. It provides a unique and personal view onto a unique, personal world. Reviews are submitted by alumni, students, and parents, and you can direct them to the user review page of the hub.

  • You can upload your upcoming events to your profile, and we’ll promote them via the events feed. It’s a good time to be reaching out, thoughtfully, to prospective families. As I've been hearing, this isn’t a stop-gap, but rather the development of a powerful tool that will still be with us when, thankfully, COVID is a distant memory.

  • We’ve launched a section for the school online profile where you can share with prospective families what learning at your school looks like now by adding a description along with a link. You can also provide your most recent updates, e.g., COVID-related ones, through the “News” section, which will be prominently showcased on your profile.

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