Dear Bowmore families,
We know that the news of a ‘Stay at Home’ order, along with the extension of a school closure until February 10th, is not what anyone had hoped to hear. We also know that working and learning from home has created added stress for some of our students and their families. We thank you for all that you do to support your child in their education, and encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher if you have any specific concerns affecting your child, and how they are coping with this change. A link to the TDSB’s Mental Health and Well Being webpage can be found further down in this update.
We acknowledge that teaching remotely has also been challenging for teachers. Nevertheless, we have seen some remarkable work being done by our teachers and students in their online classroom environments. Despite technology learning curves and issues - including Google Meet and Zoom crashes - our staff have been sharing resources and ideas, and supporting each other to make the most of our online reality.
The following are some updates from the school, as well as a few messages from Bowmore’s School Council. Please be reminded that tomorrow, Friday, January 15th, is a PA Day. There will be no classes scheduled for this day.
Remote Learning Considerations for Synchronous Learning
This summer, the Ministry of Education introduced Policy / Program Memorandum No. 164 on the Requirements for Remote Learning. This memorandum provides direction to school boards on remote learning requirements, including implementation and reporting. The PPM is linked here in its entirety for your reference, with some highlights below.
Minimum Requirements for Synchronous Learning
- During periods of remote learning where students are at home for more than three days in a given week, boards must ensure that students are provided with synchronous learning. The minimum requirements for synchronous learning help to ensure that students have access to both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities.
- Educators should use their professional judgement to provide some flexibility to students on an individual basis when students are unable to participate in synchronous learning.
- The table below outlines the minimum amount of time per day that students, depending on their grade level, must be provided with synchronous learning as part of their scheduled or timetabled learning.
Grade Level of Students
Daily Minimum Synchronous Learning Time Requirement
Grades 1 to 3
Grades 4 to 8
Our regular timetable remains as is with minor adjustments already shared by individual teachers.
During this time of remote learning, we have decided that we would limit the amount of ‘homework’ given to students that involves being online. As a school, we have agreed that, particularly for younger grade students, any homework assigned should be offline involving reading, exercising or other non-digital activities. Work during asynchronous learning time is not considered homework, but an extension of what is being taught that day. The exceptions to ‘after the school day’ homework would be completing work not finished during the day, or for older students, ongoing project-based work. Of course, each classroom and teacher will continue to communicate with families regarding all aspects of school, including homework.
Navigating from one classroom ‘meeting’ to another (Google Meet or Zoom) can be challenging for some students, particularly younger children. As a school, we have agreed to limit the number of links used by a classroom. Educators will do this by sharing a common link for each class, and making specialty teachers co-hosts for these meetings. Our hope is to minimize the number of transitions students need to make in a day. Please note that classrooms of older students may maintain their current meeting schedule, as these students are much better able to navigate these changes.
With the switch to remote learning, there has also been a change to the way that teacher’s take attendance. The new system is a bit of a learning curve, but we have shared with staff the process associated with the new routines, and the staff has responded accordingly. What has remained the same is the legal requirement for attendance to be taken. Please ensure that your child is on time each day in the morning and after lunch to avoid the automated call from the TDSB’s attendance system. As usual, if you know your child will be away from class, please contact the school by email or phone to let us know. You can find more information about Attendance and Safe ‘Arrivals’ at https://www.tdsb.on.ca/EarlyYears/Kindergarten/Safe-Arrival-Program.
Bowmore Mask Sales
The Bowmore Student Council is still selling Bowmore Masks. You have until the evening of Sunday January 17th to make your online purchase at the following address - http://bowmore.hardboiledinc.com/
So far $1078 has been raised and used for grocery gift cards for families, and for a local food bank and Women’s shelter. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Comendador at Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support, Mr. Comendador, Mrs. Jarvis, Mr. Hopkin & the Bowmore Student Council.
COVID Public Health Webinar
Our Public Health Nurses have been temporarily re-deployed during the school closure period so the scheduled COVID Public Health webinar scheduled for January has been postponed until we return to learning at Bowmore.
Support for Learners Rebate
The Ontario government is expanding the Support for Learners program to include intermediate school students aged 13 through grade 12. The one-time payment of $200 is to help offset education expenses during the school lockdown. For more information visit: https://www.ontario.ca/page/get-support-learners. The deadline to apply is February 8, 2021. Student applications will be open from January 11, 2021 to February 8, 2021.
HPE @ Bowmore Updates for January - Mr. Overby
Monthly Wellness Focus
Check out this month's fun Healthy Habit Challenge which is from the Toronto Public Health 10-5-2-1-0 Into Kids' Health initiative ... eating 5 portions of fruits & vegetables each day! This challenge is great for students and their families to be mindful and intentional with eating habits as we start off the new year! Eating well is key to our overall well-being.
Practicing Physical Education Skills @ Home
Just a reminder of the importance of staying fit and continuing to develop skills whether at school or at home. This month in PE, many classes will introduce target games and focus on practicing throwing skills (underhand, overhand, tossing). When at home, students are encouraged to practise these skills as best as they can in a safe way. Check out the videos in the skills section of the HPE site for good form and practice ideas:
Parenting through COVID: Managing Screens and Self-Regulation
Join TDSB school social worker Zenobia Homavazir for a virtual drop in session on Thursday January 21st from 12 to 12:45pm. This lunchtime chat will focus on providing parents and caregivers a space to discuss the ups and downs of parenting during a pandemic. Please pre-register by using this link: https://forms.gle/jZb3tCEtJAGLrW2L8.
Support for Your Mental Health and Well-Being During COVID-19
The TDSB’s ongoing list of sites and resources to support you and your family during the COVID-19 Pandemic - https://www.tdsb.on.ca/In-Person-Learning/Resources-During-Covid-19
X Movement Classroom Subscription
Bowmore School Council is pleased to be offering all Bowmore parents, guardians and caregivers a free subscription to the X Movement Classroom.
What is X Movement Classroom?
X Movement Classroom is an online health and wellness classroom that has partnered with the University of Toronto to create virtual health and wellness activities. Teachers have access to this to be used in their classrooms and families have access to use in their home at any time.
Please see the following video for your quick review - Welcome to X Movement Classroom on Vimeo. Here is how you can register:
- STEP 1: Go to http://xmovementclassroom.com/pages/parents using the Google Chrome Web Browser.
- Step 2: Under 'Create an account' enter your Email, Full Name & Password details. Then click 'Continue'.
- Step 3: On the right-hand side, enter Bowmore's discount code: BOWMORE80, and click 'Apply'.
- Step 4: You'll receive a message saying that no payment details are needed. Click 'Complete'. If this message doesn't appear, please email: email@example.com and we will help you out.
- Step 5: Welcome to X Movement Classroom! You're now ready to start streaming 100+ Health & Wellness videos on demand.
School Council Website Update
Bowmore School Council is in the process of updating the website (https://bowmoresc.com) and we would like to hear from you. Please fill out the questionnaire (linked below) to help provide us with ideas on how we can update the current website. All entries will be kept anonymous - https://forms.gle/rRHMPQ18Kk6dYUox6
As always, we appreciate your support and partnership with us and look forward to the time when we can be back at school with all of your wonderful children. Until then, be safe and stay well.
Heather, Joel and Stephen