January 11, 2021

Copyright Beadfx

We are excited to welcome students back to in-class learning on Monday, January 11, 2021. As educators, we know student learning is enhanced with in-person classes. There are no big changes from December but two minor changes are:

  • We are bringing back a common time when there will be prayer, O Canada, announcements and a groaner over the intercom;
  • We are changing the dates of our Jr. High Complementary Courses. Quarter 2 is extended to February 11. Quarter 3 is February 22 to April 29 and Quarter 4 is May 3 to June 17.

For those families that traveled outside the country during the Christmas break, we remind families of the self-isolation requirements.

Also, please see the below message from our Superintendent initially sent out on January 5, 2021:

Happy New Year to Families, Students, and Staff and welcome to the brand new year of 2021.

As was mentioned by Adrianna LaGrange, Minister of Education, in a Tweet yesterday, and with a Facebook post by Premier Jason Kenney, in-school classes will resume on Monday, January 11, 2021 for all junior and high school students who shifted to learning from home on November 30th, as well as for all elementary students who are currently learning from home this week.  This return to in-person classes at school does not include our students who have been and continue to be enrolled in our At-Home Learning program that began early in the school year.

We want to whole-heartedly thank all parents and families who have made significant sacrifices in order to support our students learning from home.  We ask that you pray for our students, families and staff as we continue to navigate this challenging situation.  

Thank you and God Bless,

Ken Sampson

Superintendent of Schools

Have a great rest of the week and we will see the students back in class on Monday.

Bussing Update

As we continue to plan to have all our students back in classes on January 11, 2021, we wanted to inform parents and students of two important bussing updates.

Changes to Bus Companies

As we move into our 2021 school year, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division is excited to continue transitioning transportation services to our new carrier, Southland Transportation Ltd.

Here is an update of the changes:

The only noticeable differences will be the “SOUTHLAND” name on the side of the bus and a new driver equipped with Southland driver identification for those taking the bus.  Otherwise, the bus routes and pick-up/drop-off times for the year will remain the same and can be accessed on the Lethbridge Transit School Bus website. 

To contact Southland Transportation directly, call 587-425-4245.  They are available Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm and, starting on January 11, 2021, from 6 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday. 

Changes to Bus Loading Protocols

To improve bus safety at Father Leonard Van Tighem, we created two new open gates in the west fence.  As students go out to the after school bus loading area, students may go directly to their bus if their bus is already there.  If their bus is not there, students will wait on the grass by the sign of their bus route.  By remaining on the grass and not the sidewalk, students will wait safely while the school bus drives up for loading.  Once the bus stops, students may proceed to their bus.

Please contact the school if you have any questions.

2021-2022 School Registration

Typically, with the start of a new year, we start the registration process for the next school year in January.  This year, we are starting the registration for the 2021-2022 school year a little differently.  Here is the process:

Please contact the school if you have any questions.

Asking Our Parents – January 2021

Parents are an important stakeholder in our learning community. We think it is imperative to give parents a voice. Private meetings and School Council can be an important part of this voice, but a simple survey works. Therefore, we are sending out this local survey to get your opinion on a variety of topics. Please take some time to answer this short and simple survey. We will share the results in the spring. Here is the survey link:

https://forms.gle/nbLcggc4iWeFmCbg7

Thank you for doing this survey.

Merry Christmas!

On behalf of everyone at Father Leonard Tighem School, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.  This Christmas season has been very different.  We tried our best at school to continue our Christmas traditions and events.  Although we had to do them differently, we saw many smiling faces during the Winter Challenge, Advent Celebrations, Sweet Day, Hot Chocolate Day, Bingo, and other Christmas activities.

We recognize Christmas can be a stressful season, and celebrating it during a pandemic will be challenging this year.  It may not be easy, but we need to focus on the birth of Christ.  As the angel told the shepherds, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”(Luke 2:10) 

Merry Christmas from around the world.
Merry Christmas in Blackfoot

Merry Christmas and have a safe and blessed 2021.

PS – If you see me after Christmas time, give me a Ukrainian Christmas greeting.  In the Ukrainian culture, during the Christmas season, you say, “Khristos Rodyvsya!” (Christ is born!) This is answered by “Slavite Yoho!” (Let Us Glorify Him!).

2020 Jr. High Awards

During November, we recognized our 2020 Jr. High Award winners.  Due to the pandemic, we did it a lot differently, and we did not give out all our traditional awards because of the move to online learning in the spring. The awards were given out to the recipients at CCH and our own school.  Here is a summary of the awards:

We want to congratulate all the winners—special thanks to Ms. Pilsner for all her work organizing the awards.

FLVT Learning at Home (January 4-8, 2021)

Elementary

Copyright ADDitude

As of January 4, 2020, all Grade 7 to 12 students in the province will be moving to At-Home Learning (Scenario 3) until January 11, 2021. On the November 27 announcement, we outlined the plan for our Jr. High students. Now we want to share with you the plan for our elementary students.

The week of January 4th will be quite different than the sudden spring decision to close schools and move to online learning.  FLVT will be trying to have elementary learning at home learning as ‘regular’ as possible.  Assigned classes are mandatory, teachers will be taking attendance, and teachers will follow regular assessment practices.

Here are the guidelines we are using (time commitment is per week):

The platform to deliver the educational program will balance Google Classroom/Google Meets and independent work.  There will be daily instruction using Google Meet.  Individual teachers will be sharing their schedules and expectations.  During the last school week in December, some teachers may be sharing paper packages for students to take home.

Google Classroom/Google Meets require a robust device. Since the plan for learning at home is only five days, the school division will not be lending out any devices. Students that do not have a device will focus on the paper packages.

We look forward to having all our students back on January 11, 2021.

Jr. High

As of November 30, 2020, all Grade 7 to 12 students in the province will be moving to At-Home Learning (Scenario 3) until January 11, 2021.  Although this sounds like a long time, the reality is it twenty school days.  We hope that this change will help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This change will be quite different than the sudden spring decision to close schools and move to online learning.  FLVT will be trying to have at-home learning as ‘regular’ as possible.  Assigned classes are mandatory, teachers will be taking attendance, and teachers will follow regular assessment practices.

We wanted to strike a balance approached to ensure student learning.  We do not think it is good to have students in front of a screen all day long.  In our balanced approach, we want to reduce screen time, maintain instruction, provide independent work, and continue teacher access.  Here are some key points to our approach:

  • The primary delivery system for at-home learning will be Google Classroom (online);
  • We will be following our regular timetable for academic cores of LA, math, social, and science and religion.  For example: if a student currently has math class on Monday and Wednesday during period 2, math at-home learning will be at that time;
  • FLVT Class: this class is challenging to deliver at-home; therefore, students will not be taking FLVT Class.  During this time, students will have a wellness break;
  • Period 4 Monday to Thursday Complementary Courses (options): like FLVT class, Complementary Courses are a challenge to continue in at-home learning.  Therefore, students will not have Complementary Courses.  During this time, the teacher may assign independent work, and teachers will be available to assist students.  Also, students may take wellness breaks at this time;
  • Health and Wellness Classes: there will be no new instruction in these classes.  Teachers will post instructions and wellness activities in Google Classroom;
  • Physical Education Classes: will be no new instruction in these classes.  Teachers will post instructions and physical education activities in Google Classroom;
  • Reading Classes: students are to read independently.  LA teachers will share expectations;
  • Period 5 Tutorial Classes: this will be a time for students to connect with their homeroom teacher, similar to what occurs on-site.  Teachers will be choosing one day a week that students must enter a Google Meet.  Teachers will contact students to inform them in their Google Classrooms;
  • Teachers have shared schedules with students.

We hope that this balanced approach will ensure the rigour of learning and student wellness.  Although this plan is for only twenty days, we may have to do some fine-tuning as we proceed.

Yesterday school staff informed students of our plan.  We hope this plan is short-lived, and we truly are looking forward to having all our students back on January 11, 2021.

Two additional points:

  • This plan has minimal impact on students that are currently enrolled in our AHL program.  There are minor time changes;
  • We will announce plans for our elementary learning at-home program soon.

Finally, here is an announcement from Mr. Sampson regarding the recent announcement and how it affects our students from Early Learning Program to Grade 12:

https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/resources_publications/news/whats_new/updated_public_health_measures

Thank you for your support and understanding as we all do our part to stop the spread.

Immunization Program: Temporarily Halted

November 13, 2020

Dear parents/guardians of students in Father Leonard Van Tighem School,

Our local Alberta Health Services (AHS) have let us know that, with the increase in COVID cases in the South Zone, all school school immunization programs have been temporarily halted. More information can be found in the below memo: 

Please contact the school if you have any questions.

FLVT: Jr. High Complementary Courses – Q2

We are about to complete our Quarter One Complementary Courses.  For Quarter Two, we are still unable to provide our traditional option classes.  Our Jr. High staff tried to balance what students wanted and maintain our COVID-19 protocols, especially our cohorts.  In choosing complementary courses, we tried to address both the physical and mental wellness of our students.  Here is the schedule of our Quarter Two Complementary Courses:

We think it is in the best interest of all students to participate in Complementary Courses and stay in school for the entire day. 

Please contact the school if you have any questions.

COVID-19 Pandemic Response and School Re-Entry Plan: Survey Says

Thank you to everyone for completing our recent survey FLVT Pandemic Response and School Re-Entry Plan.  We had 125 parents do the survey.  Overall, the results were very positive and supportive of our pandemic response and plan.  Here are the results:

Although 95.2% shows parental support, we do want to strengthen and improve.  As part of the survey, we asked two questions:

  1. What are some strengths in our Pandemic Response and School Re-Entry Plan?
  2. Knowing there are provincial and divisional requirements (for example, all students must be in cohorts), what are some areas of growth in our Pandemic Response and School Re-Entry Plan?

Here are the top answers regarding the strengths in our response and plan:

  1. Creating and following the protocols
  2. Focus on student cohorts
  3. Parent communication
  4. Student and staff mask use
  5. Use of muster points
  6. Closed campus

Here are the top answers regarding some areas of growth in our response and plan:

  1. Keep up the good/great work
  2. No changes needed
  3. Concern about inclement weather and muster points
  4. Request to begin co-curricular activities
  5. Masks – some requests to be more lenient in the Grade 4 to 9 classrooms and some suggestions to have masks mandated in Grade 1 to 3 classrooms

There were many answers to both questions, but these were the common responses. 

The school staff will examine all the responses and make changes when needed.  Some requests are out of our control as they are either divisional or provincial mandates.  These include co-curricular activities and mask-wearing protocols.

Overall, it is clear that our parent community overwhelmingly supports our pandemic response and school re-entry plan.  Parents are appreciative of the hard work of staff and students in implementing the response and plan.  And finally, a strong desire to continue following the protocols and, as one parent stated, “don’t let down your guard.”

Thank you again for doing the survey and for your support.