Diligence, Preparedness and Reconciliation

If a positive has emerged from living amid COVID-19, it is the increasing number of people of all ages spending time outdoors physically active. I along with so many others were on the Thames Valley Parkway this weekend walking, biking, running or rollerblading. The fall colours and summer like temperatures truly made biking 40+ kilometers an enjoyable way to spend to a Sunday.
The continued increase of new COVID-19 cases in the province requires all of us to be ever more diligent in adhering to the health and safety practices of physical distancing (bubbling), masking and hand hygiene.
We encourage the use of the COVID-19 provincial self-screening tool found on our board website. It is important to note, with respect to the symptoms listed, we are asked to choose any/all that are new, worsening, and not related to other known causes or conditions. A sore throat, for example, that is related to a known allergy would not be a symptom that is checked off.
Given the uncertainty of COVID-19, we need to be prepared to pivot as necessary between three modes of learning: conventional with enhanced safety protocols, adapted (cohort) or full remote learning. To support our students and families with respect to digital technology, two excellent resources have been developed. Thank you for the leadership provided by Superintendent Fernandes who along with Linda Vandeven and Rick Reaume assembled these resources.
  • Digital Learning Classrooms provides key information to support our Board’s digital mission of “enriching the learning experience through technological engagement, integration and innovation.”
  • VLE Basics – Getting Started in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is an informative guide to accessing the VLE, accessing classes, getting updates, and so much more.
This week we are honouring Orange Shirt Day, which acknowledges the tragedy of residential schools in Canada. Orange Shirt Day is an important step in reconciliation with our Indigenous nations, in particular with our neighbouring Indigenous nations of Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Munsee Delaware Nation, and Oneida Nation of the Thames.
As was shared by Canadian Coalition of Catholic Bishops, "We see our relationship with Indigenous Peoples as a major pastoral priority. In recent years, we have seen many examples of healing and reconciliation and we are committed to building on these efforts, working in close partnership with one another and learning to walk together."
Our board is part of the Downie Wenjack Foundation's Legacy Schools Program which provides excellent resources to enrich and deepen the LDCSB's Orange Shirt Day experience for all students, K-12, within our Board. Thank you to Superintendent Furlong along with Tammy Dennome, and Ray John Jr. for their leadership and in promoting Orange Shirt Day. Thank you as well to our schools and the Catholic Education Centre for your participation.
“Autumn leaves don’t fall they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”
Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing.