Head of School’s Weekly Message

April 3, 2020

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you so much for your work with us this week in very unusual circumstances. We are ramping up e-learning and hope that your children are enjoying hearing from and seeing their teachers on the screen. We certainly miss our students and we know that you are working with your child to help them adjust to this style of teaching and learning. It is a remarkable initiative to undertake in our province, usually methodology changes slowly and in small pockets of experimentation. It does not happen on a large scale and with an immediate reversal of how we manage our work with students. We are working hard on this end to refine the posts, the materials and expectations for students. We will all learn a lot in the next two weeks as we work through our first complete timetable of courses and learning experiences.

Please scroll down to see an update from our Gala Chair, Michel Watson. Thank you again to our Gala Committee, your work is very appreciated.

We are also working through changes regarding school and community events. We have heard from both camps planned for students in June. Camp Elphinstone (for Grades 4 and 5) has cancelled as has Strathcona Lodge (for Grades 6 and 7). The PAX Book Sale planned for April is cancelled as well. Staff are working through each and every cancellation of Field Study events planned and booked, to get a refund for the school, a future credit, or ensure that we are not obligated for service or costs. All Field Study planned for April for all grades is cancelled at this point and we are working through the arrangements made for May activities one at a time. Spring athletics activities have also been cancelled in order to ensure the safety of students and coaches – thank you to all our students for their dedication to their teams this year, we look forward to continuing to grow in the years to come. Go, Lions!

I want to acknowledge my staff for their outstanding work in such challenging and difficult circumstances. Teachers have rolled up their sleeves and are working hard to provide eLearning that hits the right balance for students and families as quickly as we can. A lead team of teachers worked during the break to be ready for their colleagues upon return. Another group that has been critical to our work to provide for our community is the support system at the school: Admissions, Finance, our Educational Assistants and our front-line administrators. They have turned their hand to any task required as we have made significant changes to serve our community and have worked hard to ensure that communication goes out in a timely way, school materials packages get prepared, the constant disinfecting of the site is taken care of, and the details necessary to care for our school and school community are worked through. The team is working hard every day as we drill down on each new task or direction we receive from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. The whole team is pulling together and we have appreciated the support of our Board of Directors and yourselves at this time.

Enjoy the weekend and we will see you (virtually!) on Monday, one step and one day at a time. Thank you for your encouragement.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont
Head of School

Posted on: April 6, 2020