By Justin Seward
The world has been entrenched in the COVID-19 pandemic for a year.
Senator Gershaw principal Scott Angle reflected on a year with what the pandemic has brought on at the school level.
“Experience with navigating the pandemic as principal is learning to adapt quickly to a constantly changing environment,” said Angle.
“Reflecting on the last year, we have had a large number of changes that made the whole school system rethink our approach to education. Throughout the last year all staff in our schools are learning new forms of technology and altering curriculum delivery to best fit and engage students through that technology. Finding ways to connect with students and families while we are not physically at school has been a focus throughout the pandemic.”
Senator Gershaw has done in-class learning for most of this current school year and has come with a long list of adjustments.
“Navigating through the pandemic has caused students, parents, school staff, and school principals to learn and adapt to a very fluid situation,” he said.
“We had to rethink every facet of the school on how to best educate students with COVID safety in mind, and be ready to alter our plans on very short notice.”
Engaging students in technology has been an integral aspect of engaging the students through the pandemic as well as being able to livestream extra-curricular sports in the fall.
“We have rethought many of our celebrations and how to share them with our learning community,” said Angle.
“ We have had a greater following on social media and new ways of communicating digitally with our school community,” said Angle.
Angle will take away many things from this past school year including most notably how important school is in-person.
“Having students come into the building was something that in the past was expected and normal, he said
“When students were no longer allowed to be in school it brought to the forefront the importance of the daily in-person connection. This communication and connection is key between staff and students as well as with student peer groups, which is just not the same virtually.”
Activities that have kept students in a positive light through the pandemic have included taking advantage of the warmer weather by utilizing the outdoor spaces, having students completing challenges between classes, using the Bow Island skating rink, creating a greenhouse program, ‘Forks UP! for Canadian Ag, farming safety and increasing Ag programming in the spring.
“Whether in the classroom or virtually, all staff are finding ways to connect with students on a personal level, developing programming to engage students in the classroom and rethinking student assessment,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this has been some of the toughest times in society and education in recent memory, I am extremely proud of the work done within our schools to do the very best we can for the students we serve.”