COVID-19 Communiqué March 26

Dear Parents and Students,

 

With the March Break about to conclude, we are now ready to resume the school year and the delivery, and probably the completion, of our curriculum in a very different manner and look forward for you and the children to join us on this new venture.  In fact, the teachers and staff have so far spent innumerable hours over the last few weeks planning, training and preparing for the unexpected and are now ready to make a major shift in paradigm regarding the delivery of our curriculum at all grade levels of the school remotely through the Google Classroom Online platform.  We will in this way continue to maintain the course and the standard and ensure to continue to provide our students with the same excellent instruction and education worthy of La Citadelle.  We naturally count on your patience and extraordinary support to bring the school year to fruition and the students to promotion and graduation. 

 

To implement our virtual program of study, we will follow the regular schedule of classes which we have readily adapted to the online classroom and which will serve as a platform to our teaching strategies beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020.  In that context, the regular school day as we know it, within the framework of our 2 week cycles, will still be composed of seven virtual classes and three recesses and the students will be expected to conform to the daily schedule of classes and take their learning seriously and diligently in that new context. 

 

To initiate the process we ask all parents to make the necessary arrangements to procure the students with a private space to study, all of their educational resources and a computer / laptop with a webcam and to encourage them to wake-up on time, and properly prepare themselves with standard breakfast and hygiene so that they may attend classes on time during the day.

  

At the outset, it is expected that students, equipped with their textbooks, notebooks, cahiers and Agendas will login to each class on Google Classroom at the prescribed time (via their timetables) and that they will follow the instructions provided by the teacher, which will be provided to students in a variety of formats that we all have to adapt to and be patient with, e.g. audio recordings, video presentations, video conferencing or message posts and word documents, and more – all of which will eventually lead students to interact with their teacher, perform tasks, execute activities, complete assignments, connect to online links, watch videos or films during the period, and complete homework assigned for the next period, and more. 

 

It is fundamental at this junction that we all understand that we will all be navigating the open ended unsecure internet extensively and need to demystify at the outset the erroneous presumption that we will be using the selected platform, or any for that matter, as a substitute for the real live classroom or that teachers will be delivering Socratic lessons on the board and supervising the children during the day.  The main purpose of our well thought and planned mode of online delivery of the curriculum at La Citadelle is not to babysit the children or amuse them while they are at home, but to maintain the course, impart the curriculum and have the students study and learn independently under the guidance of their teachers and the support of their parents.  We intend to evaluate the academic progress of the children by the end of the year in one way or another and count on all stakeholders to take the task seriously so that we can achieve our educational objectives leading to the promotion and graduation of our students at the end of the year at La Citadelle.

In that context, teachers have been instructed to follow their assigned curriculum, adapt their lessons to the various grade levels and provide the students with the necessary guidance and latitude to allow them to accomplish their tasks within this virtual platform, beyond the prescribed time constraints if necessary, and above all, to continue to learn while enjoying the experience. 

 

It is naturally logical to understand that the online delivery mode of instruction will be evolving as we go forward and will most likely include in some capacity assessment and evaluation in the form of quizzes, tests, projects, etc., as well as video conferencing in some capacity and will also be commensurate with the age, grade level and level of maturity of the student and highly recommend that the students rely on their own potential and assume their academic responsibilities with limited but guided assistance as they have been used to do in class during the school year.  If students or parents have specific questions about the lessons being covered, they can email the subject teacher directly.  We encourage students / parents to only email necessary questions and to be patient upon receiving a response from the teachers. Occasionally, students and parents (depending on the grade level) will also receive emails from their Homeroom teachers that might provide additional guidance for the students. 

 

As for our LIV graduating students, please rest assured that you will complete all of your credits this academic year and continue to be on track to graduate at the end of June 2020 and be prepared for your anticipated university pursuits as planned.

 

In closing, I cannot stress enough that, during this very unusual time in our life as a school, we all need to support each other to be as successful as we possibly can.  Because of the worldwide health crisis, students, parents, and teachers of La Citadelle all are going to have to adapt to the changing educational environment.  Doing so will require our collective patience and strength as a school community.  This is certainly new to all of us as an experience, but I am confident that if we work together and support each other, we will be successful. 

 

Please note that I will be communicating with you this week-end to provide you with the log-in and other related instructions prior to the start the term on Monday morning, March 30, 2020.

 

Thank you, stay safe and have a great evening!

 

Alfred Abouchar

Headmaster

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