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Message from Tina Sartori – Dec. 17, 2020

Crystal ball, anyone??

Dear MA Families, 

I am writing to you today from the place of the magical unknown. This is not one of my favourite places to sit in, but I am learning how to roll with it because we are living in uncertain times where things can change at the drop of a hat. 

We are aware of the potential announcements that may come from the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) and/or the provincial government regarding some additional closure time following the Holiday Break.  

“So Tina, tell us, what does all this mean for MA?!”

**** Insert crystal ball and swirling smoke **** 

The short answer is, I don’t know. 

The reason for this is that sometimes we have to follow the public school system rules and sometimes we don’t. Remember how we started school on time and the public schools started 2-3 weeks late? This was a time where we were able to make our own decisions, regardless of what the public system was putting into place.

The other issue is that we operate under two sets of regulations under the Ministry of Education: the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEYA) presides over Toddler and Casa programs, while Years 1 to 8 fall under the Private School Division; and, guess what – they have different rules! And we have to follow BOTH sets of rules all of the time, and public system ones sometimes. Clear as mud, right? Welcome to my world! 

Due to these two sets of regulations presiding over us, there is potential that *IF* there is a “school” shut down, Toddler and Casa may be able to function as normal (since they are regulated similar to daycare centres), and Years 1 to 8 may not be allowed to be at school. This is only speculation at this point. There are also other variables to a potential school shut down – such as: everyone is at home for online learning, or perhaps only the students are at home, while the staff can access the school. We don’t know.

As mentioned in the Progress Report email that you received last Friday, if we need to move online for the first two weeks of January, we are ready, and we will hit the ground running on Tuesday, Jan. 5, so staff can access their classroom and materials on that Monday, if necessary. We will use our text messaging system over the break to let you know if there is any action you need to take or to alert you to any important email messages. 

All this is to say that even if there is some announcement from TVDSB and/or the province, we ask you to sit tight, do some deep breathing and be patient; it will take some time to navigate through all the details to figure out what pertains to our school, and what we have to follow. 

We have been so successful this fall due to the relentless work of all our staff, parent community and our students, who are doing all we have asked. Your tireless efforts have meant school has been running smoothly for almost four months. This is truly amazing and we are so grateful. 

As always, if some kind of announcement is made, as soon as we have had time to process the information and realize the impacts, we will share it with all of you. 

And that’s not all! We have a gift to share with you before we head off for the break. Keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow. Coldplay fans, you are in for a treat. 

Until then… may peace, love and joy surround your family over this Winter Break. Enjoy not being on a schedule, and staying in your pyjamas as long as you want! We are ready to let go of 2020 and welcome the New Year; it will be brighter. 

Be well,

Tina Sartori, Executive Director

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