Educating and equipping discerning disciples of Jesus Christ for restorative work in His kingdom
Updated: May 21, 2020
Thank you to our Cedars community for your words of encouragement and prayers for our staff and leadership team throughout this pandemic. We are blessed to serve and be a part of such a great community of grace in these uncertain times. In addition to the resources we have been posting on our COVID-19 Updates page, we have established this list of frequently asked questions, and will update regularly throughout the Provincially mandated, staged return to “in-class instruction”.
Is Cedars closed?
NO. We are currently operating in Stage 4 of the Ministry of Education’s return to in-class instruction plan. In Stage 4, we are providing care for children of essential service workers and support for K-12 vulnerable learners on site. On June 1st, we will be moving to Stage 3, and providing part-time in-class instruction and/or support for K-12 learners, and will continue ESW child care and support for vulnerable learners. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to conduct business virtually. Payments can be made online or by phone. Office staff will resume 8am-4pm hours on June 1st. In-person meetings and service may be arranged by appointment. Overall, our school continues its not-for-profit operations and is committed to providing learning continuance for our students at-home and/or at-school, and to serve families under our current mission to educate and equip discerning disciples of Jesus Christ for restorative work in His kingdom.
Is Cedars providing Essential Service Worker (ESW) child care on site?
Yes. This service will begin on Tuesday, April 14th. Please contact Dave Rowland, our Director of Community Engagement, directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you (or those you know) require this service.
What is Cedars’ Continuity of Learning Plan?
Our leadership team worked hard throughout the Spring Break on many fronts, including a Continuity of Learning Plan. The Ministry of Education has made it very clear that they desire that students continue their educational programs in their respective “school of record”. No new distance learning (DL) funding will be issued for this school year, and transfers are strongly discouraged.
In the week of March 30th, staff made contact with each family to understand individual family needs and address initial questions. We have used this information in the development of learning plans that meet the needs of individual students and families. Our learning plan will focus on Christian Education (holistic well-being, spiritual practices, Biblical perspective), Literacy, and Numeracy. Elective options and resources will be provided to students and families to supplement a core learning plan for all students.
On the heels of the Ministry of Education’s announcement for schools to move to Stage 3, we updated our Continuity of Learning Plan to reflect a part-time K-12 return to in-class instruction on a voluntary basis. Details of our Stage 3 learning plan can be found on our COVID-Updates page.
When will Stage 3 begin?
The launch date for our Stage 3 Continuity of Learning Plan will be Monday, June 1st. Optional, part-time in-class instruction / support will be offered for the remaining weeks of June 2020. Parents and caregivers must sign-up their children for this service. We will continue to support all learners – at home or at school until our previously scheduled last day: Friday, June 19th.
What will my child need to bring on June 1st return?
Elementary classroom teachers will be putting together return to school letters with a list of school supplies, materials and snack ideas in the week of May 25th so parents can prepare their children for June 1st return. A general, high school letter will be linked in the Shake for grade 8-12 student preparation.
Will all learning be online?
It is important to note that our Continuity of Learning Plan is not “online classes”. It is not an online replication of in-class instruction and assessment. Virtual communication will be necessary to initiate learning plans, but much of the learning will continue to involve paper and pen, dialogue, physical activity, and hands-on projects.
Beginning June 1st, parents and caregivers will have the option of a part-time return to in-class instruction / support.
What technology do we need? What if we don’t have Internet access?
We will be collecting information regarding internet access and technology in the home in our survey conversations with families in the week of March 30th. We are working on a technology sharing/sign-out process for those who need devices. Google Classroom, Google Meet, and Zoom will be key software for our communication with students and parents; however, other tools may be utilized for work with our Primary students. However, we will not let technology be a barrier in our work with families – using traditional phone and drop-off of physical resources strategies where necessary.
Update: Technology has been distributed in a first “wave” of need. Please contact Jessica Rand (email@example.com) if you have any new needs around technology for your child and/or family.
Do I have to bring borrowed technology back on June 1st?
If you have signed up your child for a return to in-class instruction, you will be asked to either return or bring borrowed technology to the school. K-3 learners can return technology, as they will complete required learning experiences at the school. Grade 4-12 learners should bring borrowed technology back and forth, from home to school, to support learning plans in Google Classroom.
How will my child’s learning and/or special needs be met?
Following an initial needs assessment for all families in the week of March 30th, our Educational Support Services Coordinators will be in contact with individual families regarding support for learning and special needs students. Many of our Educational Assistants have expressed a desire to continue their work supporting teachers and our students with significant learning and/or special needs. We are committed to supporting all of our students, and will work with families to determine the best at-home and/or on-site strategies to do so. This has been a strength of Cedars, and we are committed to keeping it that way throughout this pandemic.
As of April 8th, our plan is for most elementary support staff (EAs, LA teachers) to continue working with students they were supporting prior to Spring Break. In addition, they will have a “case load” of students they are supporting, based on prior relationships and expertise. High school support staff will be working with case loads based on prior relationships, grade level, and expertise. It is very clear from our student and parent feedback that support services for our diverse learners needs to continue in this at-home learning context.
In addition to virtual, at-home support, our administration has prioritized in-person support at the school for some of our vulnerable learners in elementary and high school. This support is provided by some of our teachers and EAs and is done so respecting physical distancing and cleaning guidelines set out by the Provincial Health authorities.
How will learning be assessed?
Assessment of learning will continue through to the end of June for all students, and a final report card will be issued for K-12 students that reflects progress with respect to learning outcomes for Term 3 (elementary) and Semester 2 (High School). Term 3 and 4 report cards will be issued together in June for all high school students.
The Ministry of Education has indicated that all K-12 students need to be engaged in learning from March 17 to the end of June. Students need to demonstrate “sufficient learning” that equips them for continued study in literacy and numeracy (elementary) and areas of study (high school) in the next grade or level of education. Whether or not “sufficient learning” has occurred will be determined by teachers through a variety of assessments. The weighting of assessments for each student will take into account the current pandemic and the unique learning situation of each child.
The summative (final) assessments or grades for each student will be based on a blending of learning done prior to March 17th and learning demonstrated after March 17th. Teachers will use their professional judgment (and grace!) in the weighting of learning done before and after the suspension of in-class instruction. Given the personalized nature of assessment in this season, teachers will seek to be as transparent as possible regarding the adjustments made to grading advice in course syllabi and overviews.
What about tuition?
We recognize that this pandemic has impacted the employment and income for many of our Cedars families. We are committed to serving your family throughout these challenging times, and desire to provide continuity of learning for all of our students. At this time, Cedars is not making any changes to our tuition structure for April to June 2020. However, if you have experienced a layoff or work stoppage that has affected your family income, we encourage you to reach out to our Business Office directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive an application for a variety of tuition assistance options, including tuition deferral and/or reduction.
As we get a better picture of the overall financial impact for our school, we will continue to demonstrate good stewardship – considering tuition rebates for 2019/20 and/or vouchers toward 2020/21 tuition with any “surplus” we experience in this season. On May 21st, we issued a Tuition Survey to all parents and caregivers to provide feedback for our 2020/21 bugeting purposes. A link to this survey can be found on our COVID-Updates page.
We are able to pay tuition, but are there other families in need?
Although everyone is being impacted by this pandemic in some way, there are some families whose financial situation is minimally affected. If you are interested in making a specific donation toward tuition assistance for other families in need, please make contact with the Business Office (email@example.com) or make a donation online through our website. Donations such as these may not only help a family in need, but also contribute to the long-term flourishing of our school, in terms of enrolment continuance.
How are staff being impacted by these events?
During Spring Break, our leadership team contacted each of our staff members by phone. We are pleased to report that they are doing well and desire to continue their work with families and students – even in the present challenges. Our teachers and educational support staff are our greatest assets! Our leadership team continues to review the various return to work and government assistance programs for employers and employees, but will be holding off discussions of mandatory layoffs until we get a clear picture of educational support needs. Some staff members, for a variety of reasons, have chosen a voluntary layoff at this time. Many of our staff have school-aged children and will have a shared experience of working from home and helping facilitate learning continuance plans for their family. Layoffs – voluntary or otherwise – enacted at this time will be considered temporary and will not impact staffing decisions when in-class instruction suspensions are lifted.
Update: Thank you for your continued support and encouragement of our staff! We ask for your prayers as we head into our Stage 3 transition on June 1st. A well-deserved break for all is coming soon!
What about the Growing Together Building Project and Capital Campaign?
The Board and our Building Committee continue to meet virtually and work on our building project. This is not the first challenge to our building project endeavor, nor will it be the last. Prior to Spring Break, we put the first deposit on the manufacturing of our building. We are working with the bank and manufacturing company on the details of subsequent financing installments. The Board will be meeting in April to discuss the timeline of construction in light of this pandemic. We continue to seek the Lord regarding His will, His way, and His timing around this project. Although the Capital Campaign has taken a back seat to other concerns in this pandemic, the Capital Campaign Committee continues to meet to evaluate current and new avenues for funding our building project. The pursuit of new Capital Campaign funding will be put on hold during this global crisis. If you need to revisit Capital Campaign commitments due to financial hardship, please contact our Community Engagement Director, Dave Rowland by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please note that any donations for which you have received a 2019 tax receipt are not refundable.
If you haven’t checked our or Growing Together page recently, we encourage you to revisit this page for pictures and updates. We are pleased to share that our building permit has been granted by the city and work on the foundation has begun. Thanks be to God!
What about Graduation?
All of our grade 12s are on track for graduation and if they engage in our Continuity of Learning plan through to the end of June, they will graduate. Transcripts will be issued and communication between Cedars and post-secondary institutions will continue. It is our sincere desire to celebrate this significant rite of passage with our grade 12 students. We will be following the direction of the Ministry of Education and Provincial Health Officer with respect to gatherings of larger groups; however, it is likely that our Valedictorian Ceremony, Grad Banquet, and After Grad events will need to be postponed or replaced with creative alternatives.
We are currently featuring Grad Profiles in our weekly Shake e-newsletter and are planning virtual and drive-in events in June, and an outdoor ceremony in August.
Is there a plan to do Chapel?
We are exploring a live or recorded worship time for our PreK-12 students and families with our high school Worship Arts class and staff musicians. Most of our students are engaged in class devotions on a daily and/or weekly basis, and our music teacher is sharing worship/music appreciation resources through classroom teachers. If families are craving corporate worship opportunities, we would encourage them to visit some of our local church websites for Sunday morning service options.
Update: Check out our Cedars Updates Facebook page for a recent worship set recorded by our high school worship arts class!
What Spring events have been cancelled?
With social/physical distancing guidelines and travel restrictions currently in place, the following events have been cancelled or postponed or replaced with creative alternatives:
- BC School Sports (grade 8 basketball, golf, track & field) seasons – CANCELLED
- High School Spring Fling Dance (April 17) – CANCELLED
- Northern ProD Conference (April 23/24) – REPLACED (virtual, one day event on April 24)
- High School band trip to Alberta (May 6-10) – CANCELLED
- High School Parent-Teacher Interviews (April 27) – CANCELLED
- Grand Community Day (May 20) – CANCELLED
- Elementary Sports Day (June 5) – TBA
- High School Athletics Awards Night – June 9? (Details TBA)
- Grade 12 Capstone Presentations – June 11 (virtual, by invite only)
- Society AGM – June 17 (virtual; Details TBA)
- Grade 12 “Roast and Toast” Drive-in – June 18th
- Last Day of In-Class Instruction / Support – June 18th
- Kindergarten, and Grade 7 Graduation Events – June 19th “drive-in” style; Details TBA!
- Year-End BBQ (June 19) – CANCELLED
- Eagles Classic Golf Tournament (June 26) – CANCELLED
- Grad 2020 Valedictorian Ceremony – August 28t (Details TBA)