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Letter to Families

Dear Stavely Families,

First of all, we miss our students and your friendly faces more than I could ever actualize in this letter. Our school is supposed to be brimming over with students and their laughter, parents dropping off forgotten lunches and staff’s friendly, happy smiles. I realize that many of you, like Stavely School Staff and myself, have family members, loved ones and friends who are at high-risk and you are worried about them. I completely understand the confusion and anxiety you are experiencing and realize this has become extremely difficult in a very short amount of time. Thank you to everyone for following Alberta Health Services COVID-19 recommendations. They are so essential for us all.

I also understand that some of you are now experiencing financial concerns and to add to it, you need to calm and reassure your potentially confused and anxious child(ren). You did not ask for any of this. When I am at work, I see children who are happy and excited to be there, looking forward to starting the day with Mrs. Biever’s breakfast and excited to see what their teacher has planned for them. It is difficult for our child(ren) to all of a sudden, remain at home with no warning, massive disruption in their routine and wondering how they’re going to learn without their teacher.

The provincial government outlined its expectation for Student Learning during COVID-19 on Saturday, March 21st, 2020. Their plan was very similar to LRSD’s Education Continuity Plan. Moving forward, thoroughly understanding the circumstances all of us are in, at-home learning progressions will be different than in the school. It is too much to ask of parents to meet multiple cross-curricular knowledge, skills and outcomes each day at home. Thankfully Stavely School Staff are exceptional planners. We have ensured students have mastered most essential outcomes already to account for time spent in swimming lessons, track and field preparation/days, field trips days and PAT review classes. Further to that, I have asked staff to ‘outcome map/blueprint’ to future grades to ensure that we are teaching outcomes that weigh more heavily into future courses. With all of that in mind, teachers have now created learning opportunities for your child(ren).

The learning activities and opportunities will be relevant, practical and able to be completed at home with the resources you have available to you. The continuation of learning will look different from student-to-student and class-to-class, and it will be designed based on the professional judgement of the teacher. Rest assured, we are not asking you to be a teacher, but to facilitate a learning experience for your child. We are here for you and will not leave you isolated in this unique time.

Thankfully we live in a digital world that Stavely School Staff excel in. We were prepared for a worst-case scenario before it occurred and had developed classroom websites as our platform for content delivery. Our staff will send you a week-at-a-glance (WAAG) document so you can prepare your family for student learning, devise technology schedules (for multiple children in families) and also design learning around your work schedules. Further to that, you (or your child depending on their age) will receive a daily email outlining learning activities. Staff will communicate times for office hours, google chats, phone calls etc. as we proceed. They are here for both parents/guardians and students. I have never been more proud of Stavely School Staff. Their dedication to your child(ren) is commendable, and I know we are going to get through this challenging time.

Our Learning Support Teacher, Brenda Schlaht and Family School Liaison Counsellor, Quinn Sampson, are available for all learning and mental wellness needs. In some instances, they will be working with the classroom teacher to provide supports, but they may also be calling families for meetings, check-ins or regular counselling times. If you feel you would like to talk to either Brenda or Quinn, please do not hesitate to email them. There is also helpful information for students and families on the LRSD webpage.

Now is the time to demonstrate patience and loving-kindness for yourselves, your family, friends and society. We need to dig deep to maintain focus and discipline as we follow Alberta Health Services COVID-19 social distancing recommendations. Please take care to monitor your mental health as this is an extremely stressful time. Design your daily schedule to take mental wellness into account (for both you and your children). Please don’t feel guilty for your kids having quiet time so you can relax, for them eating not the healthiest-snack so you can have a minute on the phone with a friend or for telling them to play outside (heaven knows my mom sure said that a lot!!). Our Stavely kids are great at play…let them do their thing. As we have been saying and is a central framework in our education philosophy, play is essential for mastering learning outcomes and transferring learning forward. You are doing them a favour by sending them outside armed with nothing more than a stick and a secret mission.

Remember that nothing makes people feel happier than doing something kind for someone else as well. I have the privilege of hearing how many of you are helping those in need; Stavely Families are the most giving people I know. Thank you.

I will keep you up-to-date with all the information as it is made available to us. I will try only to send emails from Monday - Friday so you can also take time away from technology. Thank you for your continued patience and support during this most difficult time.


Leanne Watson, Principal

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