Submitted by Matt Pickett,
June is upon us and I have to say that 2019-20 will go down as one of the stranger years in my 27 years of being a Bluewater teacher and employee. We left on March 13 for what we thought was a couple weeks, and it has stretched into a much longer time of distance learning.
First, thanks to everyone at St. Edmunds (SED) and Bruce Peninsula District School (BPDS) who have worked so hard with the local School Board officials and community to keep some form of “normal” going on for students. Clearly, these are unprecedented times and we await the announcements from Minister Lecce on what school will look like in 2020-21. We have a new expression in administration that is simply, “stay tuned.”
Our Grade 8 Grad and Grade 12 Commencement has been postponed to the fall 2020 (dates and format to be announced). We hope to have some form of regular grad to recognize the huge achievements of our students. That said, we will be sending report cards home in the mail this year during the late part of June or early July. Students who graduate will be eligible for all the same awards that were given in a traditional year.
Ms. Stanton and Chloe Mielhausen have been working on a really nice Grade 12 Commencement video that we will post to Facebook and a link to School Messenger. The secondary show will post on June 25, the same time as PSDS in Wiarton. Our elementary students and Ms. Rosenburg will be posting a similar video tribute on June 21 for the grade 8s. Grade 8 and 12 grads will receive a sweatshirt from the school as a token to remember their graduation. Thanks to Ms. Rosenburg and Ms. Naves for their work. Stay tuned …
We are not doing a formal “drive through” graduation or parking lot gathering as we wish to honour the provincial orders for gatherings and also we hope to have a full grad of some type in the fall.
Our community partners and donors continue to offer to support the same slate of awards that will be selected prior to year end, and delivered at that fall event. We have elected to not do grad signs on lawns like some jurisdictions, as we are very rural and there is a fear of signs being damaged or going missing. The directive to not do signs district wide was a Board wide supported decision.
On a happy note, we are so proud of all our students who have been so cooperative and working hard from home. We know it is incredibly difficult times for many families. Like all Bluewater schools, we have transferred our resources from Breakfast Club to the local food bank and United Way to support food cards, gas cards or any other supports that families may need. If you are struggling, you can contact 211 for supports and how to access central services on the Bruce.
We are very excited about the upcoming school year and we hope to return to the SED and BPDS buildings to provide the same quality educational opportunities that define us as a worldclass UNESCO school. Thanks to everyone as we follow Public Health’s lead in ensuring all our community members stay healthy.
This principal is struggling not being able to see his students daily and dreams of a day that the buses pull up and smiling students arrive to learn the great lessons that come from school. In the meantime, congratulations to all those teachers, staff and students who have embraced on line learning and been so supportive of our students and families.
Here is to a happy end to 2019-20 and a big welcome to a fresh start in September. Stay tuned …