By Joanne Rodgers,
Bruce Peninsula Press

All remaining professional activity and examination days for the current school year are being converted into instructional days for students. 

Secondary exams were cancelled; Grade 12 students who were on track to graduate prior to the closure of schools will be able to do so. 

All students will receive final report cards. Report cards will reflect students’ progress from the beginning of term two on February 3 until March 13, 2020. Any work completed after March 20, 2020 may also serve to improve the final grades. For Kindergarten, the observations of key learning and growth will also be based on students’ progress between February 3 and March 13. 

Grade 8 and secondary formal graduation ceremonies are being postponed until the Fall. Awards will be presented at the fall ceremonies. 

There will be no prom this June. The School has decided to hold prom next year. Almost all high school students at BPDS go to prom and the current grade 12 class will be invited back to properly celebrate this event.

No yearbook will be published this year, an expanded version will be compiled for the 2020-21 school year. 

The Bluewater District School Board continues to offer distance learning, at 

the same time gathering feedback from parents/guardians, students and staff to improve efforts in delivering lessons and programs. Jamie Pettit, Communications Officer states “Many students are engaged in online learning, and our staff are continuing to work with those families who had previously indicated their limited access to technology and reliable internet. In addition to providing devices to families as needed, printed versions of learning materials have been delivered to those requesting them due to internet connectivity issues.”

Bruce Peninsula District School offers regular virtual activities to promote well-being, engagement, and school spirit; such as themed days and other creative interactive opportunities for students and staff to share photos and stay involved with their peers while practicing physical distancing. Some of the activities are eco-activities, art projects, online storytelling by teachers and showcasing new life skills that the students are learning at home.

Pettit continues “Our board continues to prioritize well-being during the pandemic with many student supports in place. This is thanks to our dedicated system level mental health staff, who are maintaining contact and assisting those requiring additional support at this time. A number of recently updated mental health resources are also available on the board website (www.bwdsb.on.ca).”

Due to the current provincial restrictions, there will be no gathering of students prior to the official end of term. Plans are being developed to allow students to retrieve their belongings, following the Ministry of Education and public health recommendations, to ensure proper protocols are followed for the safety of students, staff and families. Plans are also in the works to deliver school clothing that was ordered prior to March Break.

Going forward, plans are being developed for optional enhanced summer school and summer learning programs that students can participate in to keep their learning active until school resumes.