We continue to pray in gratitude for the work of our federal, provincial and local leaders, our medical community and our front-line health care workers for all they are doing to support and protect the health and safety of all of us. We thank our payroll, finance, ICTS, purchasing, human resources, building services and maintenance staff who have had a very busy week supporting essential services in our board.
We are reminded by our Medical Officers of Health of the critical role we each have in slowing the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to be vigilant practicing physical distancing and avoiding non-essential gatherings. Further, for those who have travelled over the March Break, the importance of self-isolating for 14 days upon your return. (You are halfway there, thank you!).
The Ministry of Education is continually updating the Learn at Home website which is providing excellent resources to support a continuation learning for our students.
At present we are asking our teachers and other staff to connect with parents/guardians of our students to obtain key information regarding access to technology at home. This needed information will support our continued planning. As the school closure period is likely to be extended, our Minister of Education has shared that as of April 6 teacher led instruction and learning will be taking place.
As we reflect on our present circumstances, I share excerpts from Pope Francis’ Urbi et Orbi address last week on coronavirus and Jesus calming the storm.
“When evening had come” (Mark 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everyone with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat . . . are all of us.”
“Like the disciples, we will experience that with Him on board there will be no shipwreck. Because this is God’s strength: turning to the good everything that happens to us, even the bad things. He brings serenity into our storms, because with God life never dies.
“ ‘Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?’ Lord, you are calling to us, calling us to faith. Which is not so much believing that you exist but coming to you and trusting in you. This Lent your call reverberates urgently: ‘Be converted!’, ‘Return to me with all your heart (Joel 2:12). You are calling on us to seize this time of trail as a time of choosing It is not the time of your judgment, but of our judgement; a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.”
Stay safe as we continue to pray and look out for each other . . . from a distance (of course)!