All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

School board providing access to laptops; continues learning services, supports

Sean Monteith, Director of Education for the Hastings Prince Edward District School Board is notifiying students, parents guardians and staff in a newsletter today, that laptops and Chromebooks will be loaned to students in need, and supports are continuing for parents, and students.

This week, teachers are reconnecting with their students to fulfil new ministry study hours online, by telephone, or even by mail if necessary, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are aware of many families who have limited access to, or are totally without technology at home,” said Monteith. “Principals have been in touch with families who they know could use assistance in this area. As a result, next week we will be distributing school-owned Chromebooks to our most needy families on a loaner basis.”

He notes the loaned equipment will be cleaned to meet local public health protocol before being distributed.

Monteith also noted concern about increasing stress in households.

“We are not living, working, teaching and learning in the “regular” classroom environment,” he said. “Assignments, lessons and assessments are going to look very different. While we maintain high expectations, it is a cause of great concern for me, as Director of Education, that the stress level in households is exponentially increasing during these incredibly challenging times.”

He noted calls to the Kids-Help Phone have increased in recent weeks by 350 per cent nationally and calls provincially to domestic violence centres are seeing dramatic spikes.

“The last thing our families need is an additional stressor by feeling that their children are not keeping up, or have concerns about marks. I ask—both as a teacher myself and as a father—for all of us to do the best we can to be reasonable and understand that every one of us is working in very challenging environments.

“We must never lose perspective that our kids need us to be there for them, now more than ever.”

Full-page colour advertisements with no-tech learning activities are being distributed each week in free weekly newspapers.

“We need to always be mindful of what is reasonable to expect and what is reasonable to ask of our kids in this environment. As a colleague once reminded, ‘We only come this way once.’ Let’s remember that kids are kids.”

To support families and students able to go online, the board continues its HPEDSB Learning at Home website.

“The resources and activities at both are educator created and verified, and are listed by grade. The newspaper ads, in particular, feature a series of language and mathematics activities for K-12 that can easily be done at home.”

The board website, www.HPEschools.ca contains current information, including tips sheets for families and educators, links to public health agencies, and perhaps most important, contact information for Kids Help Phone.

“I encourage you to keep in touch with your child’s teacher(s), as they care about your child’s learning and engagement. Stay safe and be well,” concluded Monteith.

Filed Under: Hastings & Prince Edward District School BoardLocal News

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