Updates for Families

Weekly Updates for Families

Every week, Director of Education Jennifer Leclerc emails an update to KPR families and to staff, and there is always plenty of news to share. Following are the most recent weekly updates sent to all KPR families. Should you have any questions or wish more information on any items in these updates, please feel free to contact us at kpr_info@kprdsb.ca 

 

Monday, November 30, 2020

 

To All KPR Families, 

This update focuses on an important change in the way we handle inclement weather days (snow days) this year. I also have a few reminders on other news. 

Inclement Weather School Closures

As indicated in my email to families last week, schools will be closed to students on inclement weather days this year, to protect student health. 

We know school closures are an inconvenience and hardship for many. Public health requirements, however, do not allow us to combine separate groups or “cohorts” of students, and we cannot guarantee that schools would have enough staff on-site on snow days to safely supervise existing cohorts. Therefore:

  • when ALL buses are cancelled across the entire board, ALL schools will be closed to students for the day

  • when ALL buses are cancelled within a specific geographic region of the board, such as the Municipality of Clarington, Northumberland County or Peterborough County, schools in that region only will be closed to students for the day

  • if ALL buses are cancelled for a specific school or group of schools, only that school or group of schools will be closed to students for the day

  • schools will provide work for students to do at home on snow days

  • when only a few buses are cancelled or delayed, schools will remain open.

 

Classes in the Virtual Elementary School and Virtual High School will continue as normal on snow days.

 

Please ensure your school has up-to-date contact information for you, so that we can text or email you directly about what is happening at your child’s or teen’s school. 

2021-22 School Year Calendar Survey

A reminder: you have until this Tuesday, December 1 to let us know your preference for the 2021-22 school year calendar. For details, and to state which of two options you would prefer, visit http://kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/resources/schoolcalendars.html

 

Important Dates

           November 30 – Elementary progress reports emailed to parents/guardians

           November 30 – Start date for NEW Virtual Elementary School students

           December 1 – Dream Big! virtual career expo for young women in Grades 7-12 &

                     their parents; registration at dreambigknc.eventbrite.ca

           December 1 – Deadline to complete 2021-22 school year calendar survey

           December 21-January 1 – Winter Break

 

Free Parent Workshop

You have the opportunity to participate in a free parent workshop with Dr. Jean Clinton, about Connecting as a Family During a Very Different Holiday Season. The online event will take place via Zoom on Monday, December 7, at 7 p.m. Dr. Clinton is a renowned  advocate for children’s mental health. Please email omsfc@nexicom.net to register.

 

Self screening

And, finally, I remind you of an important website: Coronavirus (COVID-19) school screening (ontario.ca) . From there, you can complete an online assessment, or download the assessment as a printable document, to screen your child or yourself every morning for signs of COVID. It is available in English, French, and 18 other languages.

 

I wish everyone a healthy, enjoyable week.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

 

Friday, November 20, 2020 

To All KPR Families,

This week and this month mark two important events at KPR: Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, and Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month. The week started with the raising of the Métis flag at the Education Centre, and continued with a variety of virtual and in-person events focused on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada, and on bullying prevention and kindness. As always, a sea of pink shirts marked bullying awareness events during the week. 

Here is a quick look at other news for families. 

Elementary Progress Reports

Elementary families: the date for distribution of your children’s progress reports has been moved to Monday, November 30. All progress reports will be distributed by email that day, via a password protected attachment. If you would like to receive the progress report in another format, please contact the school office as soon as possible. 

Another important date is Friday, November 20. This is the deadline to speak with your home school principal if you wish your child to switch to the Virtual Elementary School on the next available start date of November 30. 

2021-22 School Year Calendar Survey

KPR would like your input on the school year calendar for 2021-22. We are considering two options. Option A would make the Friday before March Break 2022 a regular school day, not a holiday, and include one PA Day for staff before the start of classes. Option B would make the Friday before March Break 2022 a holiday, and include two PA Days for staff before classes begin. For details and to complete the survey, please visit http://kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/resources/schoolcalendars.html 

Other Important Dates

November 20 – Secondary Credit Completion Day, no high school classes

           November 23 – Start of second quadmester at all KPR high schools

           November 27 – PA Day for all KPR elementary and secondary schools

           November 30 – Start date for NEW Virtual Elementary School students

           December 1 – Dream Big! virtual career expo for young women in Grades 7-12 & their parents; registration at dreambigknc.eventbrite.ca

           December 21-January 1 – Winter Break 

#StoptheSpread

And, finally, the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Ontario and around the world is an unfortunate reminder of the importance of taking preventive measures to #StoptheSpread. This includes wearing masks correctly, washing hands frequently, limiting social contacts to the immediate family, physically distancing from others, self-screening daily at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/, staying home if ill, and downloading the free COVID Alert app from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html.  We have had few cases of COVID in KPR schools thus far, thanks to everyone’s vigilance, and we want to keep it that way! 

I wish you and your family a safe, happy and healthy weekend. 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

Friday, November 13, 2020

To All KPR Families:

Aaniin! Tawnshi! Tunngasugit! Welcome!

In honour of Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month, I offer this continued, warm welcome to all KPR families in Ojibwe, Michif and Inuktitut – languages of area First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

Also in recognition of this important month, I look forward to an annual event that will take place this Monday, November 16 at the Education Centre: the raising of the Métis flag, in honour of Louis Riel and in acknowledgement of our partnership with the Métis people.

This weekly update also offers a reminder of the opportunity for Indigenous families to voluntarily self-identify, as well as updates on other news.

Voluntary Self-identification

All parents and guardians of Indigenous students, as well as Indigenous students ages 18 and older, have the right to voluntarily self-identify. KPR worked with the Indigenous Education Advisory Committee and Indigenous leaders to establish voluntary self-identification for First Nation, Métis and Inuit families some years ago, for several reasons. By self-identifying, families help us to monitor the success of programs and services we offer for Indigenous students. They also assist us in recognizing additional ways we can support Indigenous students, so that they meet with success. We believe we must do all we can to ensure that First Nation, Métis and Inuit students are engaged in, and feel welcome in, our schools. We also consider it essential that Indigenous students see themselves and their rich cultures reflected in the curriculum offered to all students.

All families are reminded of the opportunity to self-identify when they register for school, and at the start of each school year. This opportunity remains open at all times throughout the year. If you would like to self-identify as First Nation, Métis or Inuit, please contact your principal or vice-principal.

New Director of Education

This week, the school board announced the appointment of Rita Russo as Director of Education and Secretary to the Board. Rita is currently serving as Superintendent, Leadership Development for the York Region District School Board. She will assume her new leadership role with KPR effective January 25, 2021, following my retirement. Rita is an accomplished professional known for her collaborative, people-first style, and I am pleased to offer her a sincere welcome to our wonderful schools and communities.

ThoughtExchange Deadline Extended
We have extended the opportunity for everyone to share your thoughts on the equity, diversity & inclusion priorities that should lead KPR over the next four years. You now have until Monday, November 16 to offer your feedback, and to rate the comments of others, by visiting https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218 . If you have already participated in the Thoughtexchange, we invite you to participate again and rate some of the new thoughts that have been shared since you first took part. We value your input.

Bullying Awareness & Prevention Week

Next week is provincial Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week, the first of three major bullying prevention events recognized each school year. Staff and students take advantage of these opportunities to focus once again on bullying prevention efforts that take place throughout the school year, and to reiterate the importance of kindness, acceptance and respect for all. The other events coming up are national Pink Shirt Day on February 24, and the International Day of Pink on April 14. Watch for a sea of pink!

More Dates to Remember

We also remind you of several other important dates coming up at KPR:

            November 16 – deadline to offer your views on KPR’s Equity, Diversity and

Inclusion Strategy, at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218

            November 20 – Deadline to contact your home school principal if you wish to

            transfer your child to the Virtual Elementary School

November 20 – Secondary Credit Completion Day, no classes for high school

students only

            November 23 – Start of second quadmester at all KPR high schools

            November 27 – PA Day for all KPR elementary and secondary schools

            November 30 – Start date for NEW Virtual Elementary School students

            December 1 – Dream Big! virtual career expo for young women in Grades 7-12 &

                        their parents; details and registration are at dreambigknc.eventbrite.ca

            December 21-January 1 – Winter Break

Protecting against COVID

And, finally, I offer my sincere appreciation to families and staff throughout KPR who have been mindful about taking personal steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to your efforts, strict COVID protocols and our close work with local health units, we have had fewer cases of COVID in our schools than in many other areas of the province. This underscores the need for all of us to remain cautious and vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID. I offer the following reminders with a view to remaining healthy:  

·         Please self-screen every morning for any signs of illness by using the province’s online tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/, and stay home if unwell.

·         Please download the free COVID Alert app from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html, to learn of any possible exposures to COVID before symptoms appear.

Stay well!

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

 

 

Friday, November 6, 2020 

To All KPR Families: 

As we move forward in KPR’s 4th annual Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month, it’s important to me to start this update with a special acknowledgement. It is the same acknowledgement that opens every school day in our classrooms, and every meeting of the KPR school board and its committees: 

We would like to acknowledge that we are located on the traditional territory of the

Mississauga First Nations. 

In our view, Indigenous education is for all students in all schools. We walk alongside First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities to bring authentic learning to students of all ages, because we respect the principle of “Nothing about us without us”. With that in mind, I am pleased to update everyone about the wealth of resources we have available, both during Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month and year-round, thanks to strong relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.   

Treaties: Did You Know…?

Ontario is covered by 46 treaties and other agreements, such as land purchases by the Crown. KPR’s schools sit on land within the Williams Treaties of 1923, signed with the Mississauga and Chippewa Nations. Treaties helped to establish relationships between First Nations peoples and Canada’s European settlers, and between people and the land. Treaties continue to be relevant today. In particular, I now have a greater appreciation of how we all are Treaty people. I encourage you to learn more about treaties at http://www.kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/resources/programsoffered/firstnationmetisandinuit/indigenousresources.html 

Activities during Treaties Recognition Week this week marked the start of a broad range of learning opportunities at KPR. Still coming in Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month are close to 30 virtual presentations by Indigenous leaders and knowledge keepers, and the launch of monthly drop-in learning opportunities for staff. Also in November, KPR’s Indigenous Education Department is introducing its new YouTube channel and Podcast channel for staff. Further information and resources are available for families on the Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month page, accessible from our home page at www.kprschools.ca     

NEW: Secondary Credit Completion Day

KPR has designated Friday, November 20 as a Credit Completion Day for secondary school students only.  High school students will not attend school in person on this day, although they may connect with their teachers online. This day will be used by teachers to provide feedback to students on their culminating tasks, to support students at risk of not attaining a credit, and to prepare for a safe start to the next quadmester, which begins on Monday, November 23. The Credit Completion Day will apply to all high school students, whether they attend classes in person or through the Virtual High School. 

Elementary students will attend school as usual on this day. 

Also in November

KPR also reminds families of several other important dates coming this month:

              November 9 – deadline to offer your views on KPR’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Strategy, at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218

              November 11 – Please join our communities and schools in recognizing and honouring Remembrance Day

              November 20 – Deadline to apply for transfer to the Virtual Elementary School

              November 23 – Start of second quadmester at all KPR high schools

              November 27 – PA Day for all KPR elementary and secondary schools 

Dream Big!

I encourage parents and young women in Grades 7 to 12 to participate in Dream Big, a virtual career discovery expo on December 1, from 6-8:30 p.m. The free event will highlight careers available in the skilled trades, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), emergency response, entrepreneurship and more – all careers in which women traditionally have been under-represented. To register for this event, please visit dreambigknc.eventbrite.ca . For additional information, please contact: info@webuildadream.com

We also will be running an information night in January for all KPR students about career pathways available through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Specialist High Skills Majors, and Dual Credit programs, which allow students to gain high school and post-secondary credits at the same time. Stay tuned for more information.

211 Ontario

We know that living in a COVID-19 world has put additional strain on adults, children and youth, and we want to ensure our communities know how and where they can access health, community and social services closest to them. 

211 Ontario is a free, confidential help line available 24/7, in over 150 languages. It can link residents with government and support agencies in their area. You can reach 211 Ontario in several ways:

  • calling 2-1-1 on your phone

  • texting 21166

  • participating in 211Ontario.ca.chat

  • emailing gethelp@211Ontario.ca

Families also can access the Wellness Together portal, a one-stop hub that provides free online mental health and substance use support to Canadians. Services are provided in both official languages, with instantaneous translation available for phone counseling in 200 languages and dialects. 

In addition, Jack.org is a hub of youth-oriented mental health resources that many of our students have found helpful.

#StopTheSpread

And, finally, here’s a quick reminder of apps to help Stop the Spread of COVID-19:

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc  Director of Education

 

 

Thursday, October 29, 2020 

Hello everyone, 

The additional stresses of living in a COVID-19 world make it easy to forget about all the positive things our students and staff have been accomplishing during a trying year. I am proud of staff for ensuring that joy, positivity, personal connection and innovation have remained an integral part of learning at KPR. 

As usual, I have some news from the past week to share with all of you. 

Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month

November marks an important month at KPR schools, when we celebrate our year-round commitment to teaching all students about the rich cultures and perspectives of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. Over the coming weeks, our schools will participate in special activities in honour of KPR’s fourth annual Indigenous Peoples Awareness Month. The Board chose November because the month already marks four significant occasions: Treaty Recognition Week, National Aboriginal Veterans Day, Louis Riel Day and Inuit Day.  

Throughout the month, KPR students and staff will focus on our commitment to reconciliation. Students and staff will learn about Treaty awareness, indigenous medicines, foods, bushcrafting, films, music, and culture. We also will have a virtual leadership conference for Indigenous youth. COVID-19 may have changed the way we recognize this pivotal month, but it has not dampened our dedication to working with local and national elders and knowledge holders to better educate students of all ages about Indigenous peoples in Canada. Watch for more information on the wide variety of virtual presentations available in the coming weeks. 

Remembrance Day

All KPR schools will be recognizing the significance of Remembrance Day, and honouring those who have fought for our freedoms and for peace. In many cases, students will be participating in virtual Remembrance Day ceremonies, holding ceremonies outside, recognizing Remembrance Day over their schools’ PA systems, and more. As in previous years, students also will be crafting artworks and creative writing pieces in honour of Remembrance Day. 

Secondary school: exams, transfers & timelines

As the current quadmester draws to a close, some families have been asking whether our secondary students will be writing final exams. KPR has decided, like many other school boards across Ontario, not to proceed with final exams for our high school students next month. Instead, students will be assigned culminating tasks; this applies to all KPR secondary students, whether they are learning virtually or in person. Parents and guardians who have questions related to their teen’s culminating tasks should speak with their teachers. 

Secondary students who would like to move from in-person to online learning will have three more opportunities to do so in the 2020-21 school year. Students will be able to apply to make the switch for the start of each new quadmester, and only if there is space available. The first deadline is immediate: students must apply by this Friday, October 30 if they wish to start virtual classes for the second quadmester. The start dates for each high school quadmester are as follows: 

Quadmester 2 – Monday, November 23

Quadmester 3 – Tuesday, February 2

Quadmester 4 – Monday, April 19  

To transfer their teen either into the Virtual High School or back to their home school, families will need to contact the Guidance department at their home school. Details on application timelines for Quadmesters 3 and 4 will be released later. 

Elementary transfer timelines

Families wishing to move their children from in-person learning to the Virtual Elementary School (VES) have different timelines to follow. Parents will need to apply by November 20 if they would like their child to begin classes at the VES on the next available start date of Monday, November 30. Whether they wish to switch their children into or out of virtual learning, families will need to start the process by speaking with their home school principal.  After November 30, the next start date for moving into VES will be in early 2021, after Winter Break. Watch for more information soon. 

Free math tutoring

I encourage everyone to take advantage of the free mathematics tutoring and online learning tools available at TVO Mathify. Designed for Grades 6-10 students, Mathify offers live, one-on-one math tutoring with an Ontario Certified Teacher, as well as other digital learning tools. Tutors are available online Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays from 3:30-9 p.m. Students can start with Mathify at any time by registering at www.tvomathify.com 

Equity and Diversity Strategy Thoughtexchange

Don’t forget to let us know the priorities that you believe should guide KPR’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the next four years. Please visit  https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/517289218 by November 9 to offer your thoughts, and to rate the thoughts shared by others. 

Mental health resources

Mental health experts confirm that COVID-19 has had a negative effect on our communities’ mental health. KPR has a variety of helpful resources for our students, families and staff at http://www.kprschools.ca/en/MentalHealthResources.html  In addition, we have posted Dr. Alex Russell’s presentation from our October 17 Virtual Parent Conference for those who missed it. To hear Dr. Russell speak about how to Drop the Worry Ball, and to visit a virtual information fair with links to agencies that support families, please visit http://www.kprschools.ca/en/our_schools/getinvolved/parentresources/parentsconference.html 

There are mental health resources specifically for staff as well, at http://www.kprschools.ca/en/staff/wellness/healthandwellbeing/mentalhealth.html and at https://sites.google.com/kprdsb.ca/promoting-mh-schools-at-kpr/home. You can check out the variety of supports and tips on topics including self-care, compassion fatigue and resilience. And, finally, KPR’s Dr. Deanna Swift has worked with Robert Dunlop, author of Strive for Happiness in Education, to create staff activities that could be done individually, in a group, or adapted in the classroom; they are available at https://www.motivatedu.com/making-happiness-a-priority 

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

Here’s a final reminder of some important resources for everyone in our school community:

·        Please self-screen every morning for any signs of illness by using the province’s online tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening/, and stay home if unwell.

·        Please download the free COVID Alert app from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html, to learn of any possible exposures to COVID before symptoms appear. 

I wish everyone a wonderful Halloween weekend. Stay well! 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Leclerc Director of Education