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Notes from the Secondary School - 7.9.2020

A New School Year

Welcome back! We are incredibly happy to have students back on the ISD campus as of last Thursday when we welcomed Grade 12 and Grade 6. This first day was topped by Friday, when we had all Grade 11 and 12 students on campus all day. While a different start to the year than we are used to, none has felt better than this.

The picture below shows the Class of 2020 from Thursday when they first came on campus. We know they will have an outstanding Senior Year, just as each of the grade levels will.

On Campus Arrival

Please note that students are not able to enter campus before 8:00am. Students who arrive before this will have to remain outside the main gate until 8:00am. We know that this is a challenge for some families, but we do not have sufficient faculty on site before 8:00am to ensure students’ physical safety.

Ordering Lunch from Ansamble

We have a new lunch provider and an email was sent home last Friday outlining how to order food. Please make sure to see that email. Ansamble, our new provider, will begin providing food as of Monday, September 7 and students must pre-order to receive their food.

On Campus Onboarding Process

Each grade level will be taken through an onboarding process as they come to campus for the first time. The onboarding will get students used to what it feels like to be on campus and always spread out by 2 metres, and will also take them through key safety expectations. As an example, please see the Grade 12 presentation via the embedded link.

Grades 6, 11, and 12 have gone through the onboarding process and over the week of September 7-11, the remaining grades will go through their respective presentations as they come to campus for the first time.

Following up to Ensure Student Safety

The expectations to help ensure our community’s safety are clear and have been shared directly with students, in person before they start on campus. There are two key expectations - students must:

  1. Wear masks on campus

  2. Maintain a physical distance from other students of at least 2 metres

These two expectations are vital to our community’s safety and the tolerance for not respecting these two expectations will be incredibly low, and the consequences in following up will be stringent.

Please note - if a student chooses not to respect either of these two expectations, they will receive one warning. The warning will constitute an in-person meeting with the student and the student’s family that day, and the student will be sent home for the remainder of the day.

A second occurrence of the student choosing not to respect the expectations will have the student moved to online learning for a period of two weeks.

Any further incident will be referred to the Director and the student will be placed on Behavioral Probation. The consequences will be determined on an individual basis, and may involve be moved permanently to online learning.

JAGUAR Connect

We will continue into the second year with JAG Connect - our way to start each day in the Secondary School in the morning. Whether on campus or online, each morning students across the Secondary School will start their day with their advisory group in Jaguar Connect from 8:30-8:40.

Jaguar Connect was a new initiative last year that grew out of ISD’s Strategic Plan. One of our key goals is to develop an excellent advisory program to help ensure students’ social and emotional needs are met, as well as to help ensure students acquire key social and emotional learning knowledge and dispositions.

The purpose of Jaguar Connect is to provide every student, every day a positive, shared experience that shows there is an adult in the community who cares about them. Further, Jaguar Connect helps establish and strengthen positive relationships between students. Beyond the social and emotional goals, Jaguar Connect also ensures students are present, informed and ready for the upcoming day.

Secondary Teaching & Learning Coffee Mornings

Typically on the first Tuesday of each month we will host an informal coffee for Secondary Parents in the Admin Conference Room. Please come out to our first meeting on Tuesday, September 15 beginning at 8:30.

Christine Press, the school’s Data Czaress, Paul Lennon, our IB Diploma Program Coordinator, and Jen Loria, our IB Middle Years Program Coordinator will lead the sessions. The focus of this first meeting will be making connections, logging into Managebac, and a general introduction to the IB, both MYP and DP in regards to assessment.

Dress Code - on campus … and at home

Two years ago the Middle School and High School Student Councils worked collaboratively to come up with a new dress code for Secondary School students. The initiative was student-driven and the desire for change was grounded in the previous dress code being biased against our female students and not being grounded in points of principle. The student council began the process by establishing foundational beliefs to justify the need for a dress code and then created expectations in accordance that are gender-neutral

Last year went well in regards to students adhering to their expectations. This year, we will have one addition to the Dress Code - that is, while learning from home, students will be expected to respect the same standards when learning online. Please take the time to read the entire dress code via this link. Importantly, please take the time to review the expectations with your children to help us ensure they meet our expectations.

Lorne Bird | Secondary School Principal

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