Dear Dunlace Families:
I hope that you and your family are keeping well as we practise social distancing and remain home. I have received many kind emails from our community, expressing gratitude and sharing stories of kindness and offers of help during these challenging and unprecedented times. Thank you. Please know that the Dunlace staff and I have been in touch and we are thinking about you and your families. The well-being of our staff, students and families remains our top priority.
Last week the government of Ontario announced that schools will not re-open on April 6th. As we receive more information on new timelines, I will share that information with our community. This week and next are being used to set up a system for success for our students. We are gathering information, assessing needs and creating plans for the continuation of learning. We will communicate these plans with you as soon as they are finalized. I am aware that many teachers have reached out to you to check in, but no specific instructions were given regarding learning activities. These will not be shared until further guidance is received from the TDSB.
Mental health and student well-being are an important focus during this time. On the TDSB website, there are a variety of mental health and well-being resources available for students and families, including resources for families related to COVID-19 (including Kids Help Phone, CAMH and resources on speaking with an anxious child). I encourage families to take advantage of the resources and reach out if you need additional support.
Last night, Dr. Malloy, Director of TDSB sent out an update for all parents. It contains the most updated information.
I was asked to include a few more online resources for families to help support learning while we wait for further guidance. In addition to the Ministry of Education’s Learning at Home and the TDSB additional resources, below are a few more websites that might help spark learning and curiosity in your children. Please understand that these resources do not replace what students have been learning at school, nor are they mandatory, but are intended to help support independent learning while at home
I appreciate what a challenging time this is for families. For my own children (Harrison-11, Ella-7), we have been trying to create a schedule that respects work commitments and the continuation of learning and play in our family. For those interested, here is what most of our days look like:
9:30 Daily reading/writing activities: A combination of writing letters to cousins, journal entries, independent reading or reading together, comic strip writing, word games, and online resources
10:30 Math: A combination of games (including cards, board games), daily practice of basic computation, math problem of the day, and online resources
11:30 Lunch and Outdoor play/Free time
12:30 Arts and Crafts/STEM (painting, drawing, colouring, building, any kind of craft, baking, cooking)
2:00 Outdoor time/Physical Activities
3:00 Free time
I encourage families to do what works best for them. Please continue to check the TDSB Website for updates and information. As always, you are welcome to contact me directly with any questions or concerns. I am available by email and will continue to be in touch.
On a lighter note, some of the staff and I have put together some writing/creative prompts for our students. We will share the links with you every few days and students are welcome to share their ideas and writing with us. This is a fun activity that is completely optional and we hope to share some of the responses on our Twitter feed (@TDSB_DunlacePS). We are looking forward to hearing from our students. Please note that the responses will not be graded, but will be shared with our community. Everyone is welcome to share their responses.
Our first prompt to kick things off- Writing Prompt #1
Below are some useful links and resources for families:
Toronto Public Health
TDSB-Includes the most updated information regarding Covid-19 and TDSB
Ministry of Education-Learn at Home
TDSB Mental Health and Well-Being Resources
Kids Help Phone
University of Waterloo Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing-Math Problems of the Week, available both in French and English CEMC- https://www.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/resources/potw.php
CBC Curio-Online streaming platform, currently with complimentary access, with collections of educational videos. https://curio.ca/en/
NASA-STEM activities for home, provided by NASA
Knowledge Hook- Online math questions, sorted by strand and grade. Ontario-based with premium access, while Ontario schools are closed.
Epic-Online books for students (for the remainder of the school year)
The Canadian Encyclopedia-Social Studies/History Articles related to Canadian History
Coding-Learn to code online
Lunchtime Doodles with Mo Willems-Draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks. All available on YouTube.
Music Maker-Compose music through Google Chrome
Smithsonian Museum Virtual Tour-Visit current exhibits in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
San Diego Zoo Cameras-See live feeds of various zoo animals along with some educational resources for families.
French-Free Illustrated French Children’s Books
Idello-French content and resources for families