The pandemic has brought many challenges to the world, Canadian society and every school. Astolot rose to this challenge during March Break 2020, teachers used their time to prepare for running Astolot online.
On March 23rd our students resumed their class, online with the same schedule and routine they were accustom to, on site. During the first week we looked at how we could better provide online school and adjustments were made over the next three weeks to the daily schedule. Using zoom, TedED, word, PowerPoint, google docs and google slide we successful engaged students in academic work. Students adjusted quickly. Parents had a greater struggle with students at home and working from home, job loss, or being separate from family who usually assist.
Exercise was important to our students. Younger students have regular body breaks. A few parents offered and run exercise breaks for the middle age group. The majority of our high school population is enrolled in Healthy Active Living, a happy coincidence, during this time.
Student struggle came in the next few weeks, as less focus was required with how to learn, and turned to missing their friends. Group chats have been facilitated, some students are virtually playing chess, some still struggled. Our high school students stepped up to make connections with the younger ones; chatting, playing hangman. Anxiety, lack of control, isolation still caused emotional stress for some, therefore, we began social groups for older students with experienced staff who lead group to discuss challenges with staying home.
This week and next we adding platforms and more interactive learning to grade 1 to 8. High school students are critiquing and creating to assist staff and younger students. The school community is aware, their principal, has begun a course to create engaging, interactive, well assessed online learning. This is a time for everyone to adjust and try something new.
Overall, our school community is doing well with a few bumps along the way.
We wish everyone health, in all aspects of their lives, over the next few months.
Jennifer Cowan, Principal