School closure – COVID-19

**Please be advised that The Sacred Heart School of Montreal building is closed to all students and visitors until May 1.**

 

“Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.” (Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat)

March 27, 2020

 

Dear Parents and Students,

 

I hope you are all doing well and staying safe during these challenging and uncertain times.  Two weeks ago, we launched an “online learning program”, anticipating a return to school by March 30th.  However, in light of the government’s recent announcement that schools remain closed until May 1st, the Senior Administration along with Faculty have had several meetings to expand and develop a more comprehensive continuous learning plan. The building may be closed but learning continues.  We believe the teaching and learning that will take place in the next few weeks virtually, will be essential for students in terms of their learning. The concepts, topics and skills are building blocks to progress to the next level and school year.

The following plan supports the school’s mission to nurture the mind, body and spirit of each student in a supportive and caring environment.

 

Online Learning Plan

 

General Aim and Philosophy

Our Virtual Learning Plan is not meant to replace all of the quality instruction and won’t replace the face to face, day to day; however it will ensure that students remain engaged and will be prepared for next year. 

  • No doubt working from home poses clear challenges for teachers, but we will do our best. Should our children, dogs, cats, hamsters, or significant others make guest appearances, we feel it will complement the connection and community goal of online learning.

 

What is expected of Students

  • Please be logged into classes from 9am-12pm Tuesday to Friday
  • Please be logged in 2-3 mins prior to class
  • Please be ready to participate, wearing comfortable clothing but not PJS and ready to turn on the camera when instructed by teachers. 
  • Students will join the class at the correct time and before clicking JOIN, they must mute their microphone and Camera [Teachers may choose to ask students to enable cameras in the meeting or microphone, at their discretion]
  • Everyone should use an external microphone (e.g., earbuds or ear buds) to avoid background noise and static and provide the clearest instruction possible

 

What Does the Schedule Look like?

    • Teachers will give synchronous classes from 9am-12pm Tuesday to Friday
    • The 5 periods of the day will be condensed into these 3 hours
    • Monday, March 30th is a personal study day for students and a planning day for faculty
    • All Mondays will be personal study days for students and planning days for teachers 

 

  • Tuesday, March 31st, Day 6, will be the first day of synchronous classes 
    • Days of the cycle are being adjusted to remove Mondays
    • The schedule will be as follows:
      • Period 1- 9:00-9:30am
      • Period 2- 9:30-10:00am
      • GA- 10:00-10:10am
      • Détente- 10:10-10:30am
      • Period 3-10:30-11:00am
      • Period 4- 11:00am-11:30am
      • Period 5- 11:30am-12:00pm

 

  • Tech Free Lunch 12-1pm (We ask students to take a break from screens)
  • Teachers will wrap up classes 5 minutes early so students may transition to the next class
  • We will be using the Google Hangout Meets tool 
  • General Assembly will be held and organized by Ms. Rath
  • Afternoons will be for asynchronous work assigned by teachers

 

How is student participation monitored?

  • Teachers will be taking attendance every period
  • Parents, please email Mme Pagette at hpagette@sacredheart.qc.ca should your daughters be absent from online classes 

 

What about Evaluation?

    • The Ministry of Education has given schools initial information that term 1 and 2 marks along with teacher discretion will determine promotion to the next grade but have not given clear directives as to how term 1 and 2 will be used to generate marks. If we go back to school May 1st, they have not indicated if marks will be generated for term 3.
    • The Ministry has not decided how Sec. IV and V marks will be calculated. All other grades have no specific credits associated with them. We will continue to update parents and students as information becomes available. 
    • We are asking students to engage in remote learning because it will provide them with the knowledge, skills, and tools to be prepared for the next year. Any discretion that teachers will have in terms of promotion to the next grade will take into account the student work produced in Virtual Term 3. 
    • We also wish to keep the momentum, connection, engagement and sense of community by providing these types of learning opportunities regardless of marks
    • We hope to provide an anecdotal report card in June for the work completed.
    • We have created a grading scale to remove the focus from marks to engagement and learning for both students and teachers. Since the Ministry has indicated that school is technically closed, we are not grading this work with numerical percentage points. Instead, we are using a scale that helps parents and students understand where their child stands and if she has mastered the concepts needed for future courses. This also helps teachers evaluate the work in a timely way given the constraints of delivering classes from home. 

 

  • All evaluations will be graded on a value of 0-5 for all students
    • 0- work is not done or submitted
    • 1- work is done poorly and understanding of expectations/content is low 1-45%
    • 2- work is lacking depth and understanding of expectations/content is superficial 45-65%
    • 3- work is satisfactory and basic expectations have been met but work is lacking higher level connections and insights 60-75%
    • 4- work is highly satisfactory with a strong grasp of expectations/content 75-85%
    • 5- work is excellent – all expectations have been met and/or exceeded with a firm grasp of all content. 85-100%

 

Please note that the percentages listed above are intended as a reference and are not exact.

 

Other resources 

  • Ms. Toula is holding Resource Corner by appointment on Google Hangout Meet from 1-4pm every Tuesday to Friday. Students can email her to schedule a Google Meeting. This will be offered as of Tuesday March 31st.
  • GradeSlam –  Students are encouraged to use this service for additional help and online tutoring.
  • Our counsellors Ms. Boyard and Ms. Gorman-Fisk continue to see students and students can make an appointment via email.  

 

Tech Free Time

Too much time on the computer may be detrimental, therefore,  we strongly encourage students to observe a tech free lunch time between 12pm and 1pm.  Students need to be active in order to stay healthy!

 

Parent evenings

Ms. Rath is hosting parent evenings for every grade level via Google Hangout Meet.  This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other parents and check in on each other.  Last night, I had the opportunity to chat with some of the Sec. I parents, and was happy to see that everyone was safe and doing well.  

Please see the dates and times for Sec. II to V below:

Sec. II March 30th 7pm

Sec. III March 30th 5pm

Sec. IV March 31st 5pm

Sec. V March 31st 7pm

 

Drop in for a chat 

One of the things I miss the most is the impromptu drop-ins of the students at my office door! So starting next week, I will be holding virtual office hours twice a week – on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:00pm for Sec I & II and on Thursdays from 2:30-3:00pm for Sec. III, IV & V.  Hope to see many of you then!

 

Thank you for your continued patience, support and engagement. It warms my heart to see how the students have responded to our Prefect challenges.  It was wonderful to see Sec. I families come together to help their daughters with their Line Dancing assignment and the response of our faculty to our work from home photo callout. 

As our foundress, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, wrote “It is the relationships we build that sustain us through moments of joy and moments of challenge.”  We are a strong community and we will get through this together.

 

Stay well,

Shawn O’Donnell

Head of School

 

Resources

For information specifically about COVID-19, please refer to the Government of Canada website https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html or to the Government of Québec website https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/