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Weekly Update | October 20, 2023


Hello UA Families,

Today is the provincial Pro-D Day and UA educators are attending a number of workshops and conferences in person or virtually. As one Kindergarten student said to me with joy yesterday, “the teachers go to their school tomorrow, but we don’t!” Yes, they certainly do!

Last week Ms. Ball and I hosted UA’s first ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Zoom. The aim of these sessions is to provide a platform for families to ask questions about the school’s academic and co-curricular programs. We don’t have an agenda; we would just like to make time to answer parents’ questions, and sometimes it’s helpful to hear the answers that others are asking too. We found the session productive, and I know many of the attendees did too so we are hoping to host another session before winter break; stay tuned for the date.

Here is a summary of some of the discussion at the first AMA session you may find helpful:

  • Changes in the schedule and how it affects teaching and learning. We discussed modern approaches to teaching and learning that focus on in-depth analysis rather than covering content, allowing teachers and learners to delve deeper into interesting topics rather than sticking to a rigid curriculum and a checklist of content items. The 45-minute period is still new and teachers and students are adapting to it and learning the value of flexibility, time management, and executive functioning. We will continue to collect feedback from our community, and as always we want to reflect and reiterate to improve. 
  • We discussed extracurricular activities and providing opportunities for the balance and time conflicts that can occur between athletics and performing arts. We are keen to promote and support all of our extracurricular opportunities and are always looking for ways to increase exposure to all extracurriculars for all of our students. 
  • The topic of transitioning from letter grades to a standards-based grading system was also addressed, following the new provincial reporting guidelines.

We are also looking forward to supporting our families with the ongoing discussion of introducing and managing the use of technology for children at our upcoming Parent Education Event. Guest speaker Jesse Miller from Mediated Reality is an outstanding presenter who will speak to how tech can be used to benefit children, as well as the challenges they may face. He will speak to issues such as how to balance gaming, social media and social connections, what to look out for, and how to address challenges. Further information and how to purchase tickets is noted below, but we are looking forward to families joining us on the evening of November 8 to learn how to best support children as they navigate the tech landscape.

Respectfully Yours,
Khatereh Dadar