Parent Update - Oct 5

Parent Update - Oct 5

Good afternoon parents and guardians,

I am sending a communication out this afternoon as it is our first School Council Meeting tonight at 7:00pm. This will be available face-to-face for those who would like to join in person, or you can also join via Google Meet: I have attached the Agenda for tonight and also our Meeting Notes from the last meeting. For those joining face-to-face, you will be asked to sanitize your hands upon entry and wear a mask for the duration of your time here.

Friday, October 8th there is no school for students as it is a Professional Learning Day. Our staff will be spending an intense day working on our Professional Growth Plans, communication plans and working collaboratively on Collaborative Response to ensure that no student falls between the cracks.

This week we have been organizing and will be filming our Jr. High and Sr. High Awards ceremonies. I would like to thank the staff who have made these virtual ceremonies happen. There are countless man hours put into making these events happen - thank you to those staff who commit to these events. Congratulations to all of those students who have demonstrated outstanding efforts in academics, CTS, Fine Arts and Citizenship. As a school, we are proud of your hard work and dedication. This recognition for these students would not be possible without the outstanding support of our community - the business, families and service organizations that sponsor our student awards ceremonies. Thank you to all. These videos will be shared out to the school community on Sunday, October 10th so that everyone can celebrate the achievements of our students over the weekend together.

I know that there is a lot of conversation in the general public about what the next steps of COVID regulations may or may not be. I would like to assure you that as an admin team, we are staying the course that we are currently on, unless directed otherwise. Each day, we track our attendance. At 10% absenteeism for respiratory symptoms, schools are to contact AHS to notify them of this rate. WEH is still at the 3% mark for absenteeism for respiratory symptoms, however, we also are tracking overall attendance rates for our student body - even with all of the reasons for absenteeism (doctors appointments, holidays, skipping etc.) our current absenteeism rate is 7.4%. I hope that having this information provides some reassurance to parents and students.

I encourage parents to stay connected as much as possible with classroom teachers. Keep those lines of communication open so that we can work in partnership to support your children in their learning.

With Thanksgiving soon upon us, it is the season to take a moment, reflect and give thanks for the things we are grateful for. Our attention as adults has often been directed on what is out there to be frustrated about - for many, patience is thin and the fatigue of COVID-19 is real. Despite that, I remain optimistic, but I have an advantage - I get to come to school each day with 700 teenagers who, despite their third year of education interrupted by COVID, despite the polarization of society, despite all that they have been through, they show up, they show respect and they are able to enjoy a number of "regular" teenage experiences. That isn't to say that we do not have obstacles and challenges that we still work through - that is the job we signed up to do - but this Thanksgiving season, I would like to share my thanks to the students who bring their raw humanness to the school each day. To the staff, who continue to preserve and keep their focus on teaching and learning and who go above and beyond to keep things in perspective. And to the parents of our school community who have been incredibly supportive and gracious of the work that we are trying to do.

Unless something else comes up, this will be my communication for the week, so I will take the opportunity to pass along my best to you and your families over this thanksgiving weekend. I hope that you are able to take the time to focus on what we have to be thankful for - to focus on your children and spend time making the most of what we have.

All my best,

Myranda Shepherd

Principal - Wm. E. Hay Stettler Secondary Campus and Stettler Outreach School