Monday, May 4, 2020
Students, Parents and Guardians,
Recently, the Minister of Education made a decision regarding the status of students’ marks. He decided that a
student’s mark cannot be lower than it was on March 13, 2020. As a Board, we have decided that our benchmark
will be students’ midterm report card marks. I am writing to implore students to stay engaged and embrace
All students will have the opportunity to improve their marks, regardless of their status on the midterm report card.
If a student was not passing a course as indicated on the midterm report, there are still many opportunities to work
hard, stay connected with teachers, and obtain the credit for the course in question. If students were passing or
doing well on the mid-term report card, they should finish the year by continuing to engage with teachers.
We recognize that students and families may conclude that since marks cannot go down from the mid term report,
there is no value in continuing to work hard. Please consider an alternative perspective: Students, continuing to
work hard and engaging with your teachers is essential and in your best interest. A mark is an indication of a degree
of learning. While we recognize the decision made by the Minister is intended to reduce stress and the burden on
students, it is not a good indication of the learning that truly took place in a course. Whatever you do next, you will
need the learning that will be lost if you decide to disengage from your teachers. If you are a grade 9 or 10 student
and decide to disengage, you will create a gap in your learning. The gap must be closed at some point. You will be
faced with more work, more stress, and a steeper hill to climb when you begin courses in the fall. If you are a grade
11 or 12 student, you risk much by disengagement. You will create a gap during a time when you must be vigilant
and take all opportunities to prepare for your grade 12 year or to be successful when you begin your post-secondary
challenges. In all cases, the wisest choice is to remain engaged with your teachers and continue to learn essential
concepts and skills to prepare for challenges that are still to come.
One of the many strengths of our school community is that we have a culture of caring and there is a great deal of
trust between staff and students. While it might be easier for students to disengage at this point, staff are ready and
willing to continue to work diligently to ensure students are prepared to be successful when we return. As a staff, we are
focused on closing the gaps in learning in an effort to minimize the negative impact on students. Student
engagement and dedication are essential for this to work. We must take on this challenge as a whole school
community. Students, your decision to remain engaged and work hard is important!
This unprecedented time necessitates innovation, accommodation, and compromise. As a school community, we
must persevere and create conditions where students will have the greatest probability of success. Please know that
the staff are very concerned about the well-being of our students. Students, please continue to contact your teachers
as you engage in learning or need assistance.
Stay Engaged, Embrace Learning, Stay Safe.
Mr. Reid and Mr. Gray
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