Message from Mission
It is official our first week of Off-Site learning is complete and staff and students have shared mixed emotions from it. For some the reality of RCS being spread out across hundreds of homes, instead of the Secondary Campus has sunk in. As a community we are in different stages of mourning as we acknowledge the loss of RCS activities - field trips, class activities, grad activities, friendship and mostly community. Teachers and students have been encouraged to 'see' each other again online. As we go forward it is our hope that students will be able to see unexpected blessings this unique time presents for us.
For now, some students have shared that they have appreciated:
- Not having to line up for the bathroom
- Getting to sleep in - or even go to school in pjs
- Training this is giving for potential online interviews or online classes
Microsoft (MS) Teams
To better allow students to communicate with teachers, the MS Teams now has a chat feature which allows for both text-like chats and video calls to take place. We see this as a necessary option to help with the pillars of Care, Community and Communication that are pillars of the Secondary Campus' Off-site Learning plan. However, we do recognize that with all tools, this has the potential to be used for good or negativity. As we enter into a new way of learning we encourage students to consider how their on-line actions reflect who they as a student of RCS.
Teachers have reminded their students to think about their actions. Here is an example of a conversation Mr. Merrell had recently with his class.
“I want to address my expectations around online conferencing and the etiquette that you have the opportunity to learn about at a much younger age than most. Is this going to be awkward at times? Yes. Are your peers and myself going to make funny faces or scratch our noses that you could screenshot and make a meme about? Probably. Should you? Well… what’s the endgame? Is it to deface your peers or you teacher and get a laugh out of your classmates? Is it to create humour out of someone else’s loss? If that is WHO you are at your core and you can’t help yourself, then I’ll forgive you, but I probably won’t trust you. And by now you know trust goes a long way in my classroom. So please, think twice, even three times if you have to, before you decide to do something sneaky, before you create that private message on ZOOM to a peer, before you sacrifice an opportunity to grow in exchange for a fleeting temptation. Help me help you to love God and to love one another by being professional and respectful online. If we can maintain this type of environment, the possibilities are endless when it comes to the fun we can have.”
While it is not our intention, it is possible for IT to get a copy of the chat messages that students are sending since students are using a school platform. We believe that our students can behave appropriately; however, we wanted to be upfront with students in the unfortunate event that they make poor online decisions that require attention from the administration. Please make good decisions. Practice good and appropriate digital citizenship that reflects our values as a school.
We want to take this opportunity to celebrate and thank the dedicated and gifted teachers for their amazing flexibility and professionalism in retooling themselves and revising their courses for the online environment. We all miss seeing our students in person. Staff have worked tirelessly to get the first week off to a great start. We hope you watched this week’s chapel. A heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Osborne and Mr. Merrell for organizing chapel this week. Well done!
Blessings on your week!