Dear Woodland Parents,

It has been a tumultuous week as the world responds to the ongoing crisis surrounding COVID-19.  Anxiety, fear and questions surround us as things change by the day. In the midst of this we are reminded “do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  This does not mean we dismiss the concerns and it does not promise we will not experience trouble but it suggests that God will be with us in the difficult circumstances. We take comfort in that.  

Many of you are wondering what is happening next as March Break comes to a close.  The purpose of this email is to keep you informed about next steps.

In my last communication I informed you that we would continue classes remotely beginning on Tuesday, March 24 but we are changing that to Wednesday, March 25.  We needed to make this change so that the teachers could adequately prepare for the changes that are taking place.  

What you can expect as we go forward:

  • By 9:00 AM on Wednesday, March 25 all of the teachers will post to Edsby instructions regarding online learning.  These instructions will include information about attendance record keeping, how they will communicate with students, schedules for class meetings, and general instructions regarding assignments and learning activities.  (Parents are able to access these instructions if they are already using the Edsby app. If you have not been using Edsby and would like to now be added please email the office and Mrs. Reitsma will provide you with instructions.)  

  • Parents should expect their teens to be “in school” from 9:00 AM to 3:00.  Not all of this time will require a computer but a significant amount of work will require a device of some sort. There will of course be some flexibility with the schedule but there are times that students will be required to join a mandatory class chat session (likely using Zoom - students should install the Zoom app).

  • If you do not have access to the internet or a device please email j.wright@woodland.on.ca or leave a message at the office.  Access to a printer would also be very helpful as there may be handouts etc. to print off and complete.

  • We have researched a number of best practices regarding on-line learning but understand this new format may create challenges and anxiety for our kids.  When students are feeling overwhelmed we, at the school, need to know so we can make reasonable adjustments. Email their teacher or guidance. We anticipate that social isolation might lead to a number of other issues so we ask that you communicate with us regarding changes that you are seeing in your children.  Administrators, guidance staff, ELL staff or Academic Support Team, are all available to help out.

  • We also have phone/video chat counselling through CAPS if someone is in need.  Call the CAPS switchboard for more info 1-866-347-0041.

  • We expect that loss of work or changes to your financial position may be creating problems for some of you in regards to tuition payments.  Please call or email the business office and we can explore options for moving forward.  

  • We will be opening the school on Monday from 12:00 - 4:00 PM to allow students who left materials at school to pick up books, instruments, binders and any items they might need from their lockers.  This is not an opportunity to connect with friends.  Limited numbers of students will be allowed in the school at a time and will be given no more than 3 minutes to retrieve their materials.  We will practice social distancing here and in the case where a family is self-isolating because of travel we can make a different arrangement to get school materials to you.  Please email me at principal@woodland.on.ca 

Your teachers are working very hard to make the necessary adjustments to teaching in an on-line environment.  I ask that you exercise patience, flexibility and grace as we make this transition. We will make mistakes and we will have to make changes on a regular basis.  We will try to communicate clearly and regularly as we adjust to the new learning environment.  

As a school our mission is to equip students for lives of Christian faith and service.  While the means by which we are doing this will change the goals will not change. We ask for your prayers and support for all our families and teachers as we walk through this difficult time.  

Blessings, 


John VanPelt
Principal

WOODLAND CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL| www.woodland.on.ca