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June 30, 2020

MacLachlan To Open Second Campus

 

Hello everyone,

Summer has officially arrived and no doubt you’re looking forward to some relaxing times with your families in whatever form that might take!

We are excited to announce that MacLachlan has been successful in securing a 2nd campus location. Once the Ontario government allows schools to re-open, this additional campus will allow all MAC students to return to campus five days a week while meeting and exceeding government school re-opening guidelines.  Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 7 will be attending class at the Trafalgar Campus and Grade 8 to 12 will be attending at the new Glen Abbey Campus. Therefore all MAC students will be face-to-face on campus except those who have registered for MacRL2 option of full remote learning (Gr. PK-Gr. 6 only).

The 15,000 square foot Glen Abbey Campus is located at 1115 North Service Road West, between Third and Fourth Line. It is currently occupied as a modern office space. MacLachlan has now secured a change of use zoning permit to operate as a school in this space. We take occupancy August 1st and we are busy working with our architect and engineers to make minor adjustments as necessary to be ready for a return to school in September. We have included in this email the draft floor plan, current interior and exterior photos including some concept MAC signage. There is some lovely green space and a 3.5 km trail behind the school that we can use also.

Our staff are excited about this new space and are busy planning for delivering their programs in September with the added ability to shift how they need to teach depending on the circumstances of the pandemic.

MacLachlan’s top priority in re-opening our school is the health, safety and well-being of students and staff. At the same time MacLachlan will continue to deliver an exceptional educational experience and remain true to our school mission “cultivating intellectual curiosity in our students and inspiring them to be active contributors to our ever-changing world.”  Our mission statement has never been more relevant than in these unprecedented times.

The recent Ontario Ministry of Education (MOE) document ‘Approach to reopening schools’ provided some additional direction. I am pleased to advise that we already have plans in place to meet and/or exceed each of the requirements put forward.

We need to reiterate that these are our best laid plans at this point in time and adjustments may be required as the situation evolves and more information is available. To ensure you’re kept up to date we have included with this letter our latest revision to our Re-opening Protocols.

Once again we thank everyone for all their hard work and patience during the past few  months. Rest assured we are all looking forward to a more normal return to school in September and we will all be doing our very best to welcome everyone with open arms or elbow or toe taps as needed!

We will keep you updated throughout the summer and again invite you to reach out to us if you need any further information or with any concerns or questions.

Sincerely,

Lisa M. Duranleau, Executive Director
 
Michael Piening, Head of School

 

June 2020

We are in the continuous process of developing

MacLachlan College Re-Opening Plan and Protocols.

While taking into consideration MacLachlan’s own context, our plan and protocols are being developed based on current physical distancing guidelines and school re-opening plans of other provinces and countries in addition to advice from education, safety and risk assessment experts and consultants. We will also apply what we have learned from international webinars we have been attending and from colleagues we are in touch within other municipalities, provinces and countries.

Resuming on-campus instruction will be guided by health and safety guidelines, measures, protocols and orders as well as the principles developed for continuity of learning during the pandemic:

  • Maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and employees.
  • Support vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
  • Provide continuity of educational opportunities for all students.
  • The focus for the K-12 model is to increase in-class instruction in a gradual and controlled manner while ensuring health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • School density targets will be established to ensure the number of students in the K-12 environment aligns with public health guidance.
  • Measures will meet the requirements of Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.
  • In-person instruction will be offered within the school density targets using a blended learning model (on campus & remote/online learning).
  • On-campus in-person learning blended with some on-campus online learning will be delivered and balanced over the school week.
  • To accommodate health and safety measures including physical distancing and reducing physical contact, classes will be limited to 15 students at any one time dependent on room size.

Increased Health & Safety Measures

  • Parents will be asked to monitor their children daily for symptoms and not to send them to school if they are sick. People who are sick will not be allowed in school. We are investigating an app for all to use for daily COVID self-assessment.
  • Students will be asked to wash their hands frequently, including before coming to school. More hand wash stations will be installed in the school and students will have access to hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available.
  • School will be cleaned more frequently, including classrooms and high touch areas.
  • School may need to implement slightly staggered drop-off and pick up times and modify lunch and recess hours.
  • School and classrooms will look different:
    -Increased spacing between students in classrooms and smaller group activities
    -No physical contact sports but more time outside with classmates
  • Limitations on assemblies and other large gatherings.
  • At this time wearing non-medical masks or face shields will be a personal choice for students and teachers.
  • Students will be asked to label all their personal items and not to share them.
  • Parents will need to remind children to minimize physical contact with their friends.
  • If a staff member or student is unwell at school, our onsite medical personnel will follow set protocols to isolate and supervise the person in a designated room until they can go home.
  • If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, within the school, Public Health staff will ensure there is robust contact tracing and management of any clusters or outbreaks.  Cohorting of classes and teachers is crucial to quick and effective contact tracing. Public Health will also ensure that children, staff and parents have access to health care providers and that appropriate supports are in place.

On-Going Learning & Supports

  • Continuation of online/remote learning opportunities to supplement on-campus instruction.
  • Focus on mental health supports for students returning to school and those who may not be able to attend.

Cleaning, Sanitation and Disinfection

  • The School will exceed cleaning and disinfection protocols set-out by Ontario Public Health.
  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises will occur at least twice per day.
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
    -i.e. doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, tables, desks, chairs, keyboards and toys
  • Visibly dirty surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected.
  • Items that are not easily cleaned i.e., fabric or soft items, will be limited.

Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact

Physical distancing (i.e., maintaining a distance of 2 meters between two or more people) is challenging in a school setting, particularly with younger students.  As such, it is reasonable to establish different expectations for varying age levels and activities.  For example, younger students will be supported to have minimized physical contact with one another, while older students and adults should seek to maintain a safe physical distance whenever possible. 

Strategies to support Physical Distancing where possible in a school setting:

  • Avoid close greetings (e.g., hugs, handshakes).  Regularly remind students about keeping their “hands to yourself”.
  • Spread people out into different areas.
  • Use different classroom and learning environment configurations to allow distance between students and adults (i.e., different desk and table formations).
  • Organize students into smaller groups that stay together throughout the day.
  • Minimize the number of different teachers and educational assistants that interact with groups of students throughout the day (i.e. minimize the amount of mixing between students and different staff).
  • Stagger pick-up and drop-off times.
  • Stagger recess/snack, lunch and class transition times to provide a greater amount of space for everyone.
  • Take students outside more often.
  • Organize learning activities outside including snack time, play-based learning and unstructured time.
  • Take activities that involve movement, including those for physical health and education, outside. Group sports activities should be organized in a thoughtful way, taking into consideration personal measures.
  • Encourage appropriate hand hygiene practices before, during, after outdoor play.
  • Incorporate more individual activities or activities that encourage more space between students and staff.
  • For younger students, adapt group activities to minimize physical contact and reduce shared items.
  • For adolescent students, minimize group activities and avoid activities that require physical contact.
  • Manage flow of people in common areas, including hallways.
  • Parents and Caregivers and other non-staff adults entering the school should be minimized as much as is practical to do so.  They should also be reminded to practice diligent hand hygiene and maintain physical distance when they are in the school.
  • Assemblies and other school-wide events should be held virtually to avoid a large number of people gathered in one space.

Personal Measures

Stay Home When Sick

  • All students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 OR travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days OR were identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak must stay home and self-isolate, including children of essential service workers who are ill.
  • Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school.
  • Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to entering the school.
  • Conduct daily temperature checks if recommended and check daily for respiratory illness at drop-off by asking parents and caregivers to confirm the child does not have symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other respiratory disease.
  • Staff and students who are ill, should not be permitted to attend school.
  • Those unsure if they or a student should self-isolate should be directed to use the Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.

April 23, 2020

All Hands On Deck

 

Hello everyone,

I am speaking to you from my home where I am self-isolating with my husband Louis and our 5-month-old puppy Georgia.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our teachers, students, and parents for all the learning and support you have provided to help make MacLachlan’s remote learning a success. I think some of us may agree that the kids may prove more adaptable than us adults!

The COVID-19 pandemic is a never-before-experienced global crisis and has created a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the world especially for our children.

In March we were all plunged into remote learning and as a school community we stand together as we re-imagine our way through this remote learning pivot. We know that this involves much more work for all of us as a community, but we are all here to look out for one another.

All our hard work and dedication will have the result of each of our students completing this year’s curriculum, even though we may not be returning to campus this term. However, grade 8s will graduate well prepared for grade 9 and grade 12s will graduate and go on to their post-secondary studies next year.

There is a lot of uncertainty ahead of us and MacLachlan is listening and watching as other countries and provinces model, plan and test the re-opening of schools. Several of our provincial and international associations are supporting our school as we all move through this uncertain time together.

Our robust remote learning platform is now firmly in place and our teachers are well versed in its use. As we continue to enhance this program we are looking ahead to September 2020. We are preparing for different scenarios for the fall. We may be required to merge our remote learning platform with on-campus learning. We are investing in additional “Future Ready” learning programs and we are investigating additional technology tools that will augment and enhance our students’ learning in these unprecedented times.

As an Ontario private school MacLachlan is governed by the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Legislation. When we are told we can re-open we will. We will be well prepared to follow all guidelines and implement the measures we need, to get our kids back to school to learn in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment, albeit one with mechanisms in place for infection control.

To quote the Premier of Ontario “we need all hands on deck”.

We of course recognize that there is much uncertainly ahead, and the economy is not what is was. We anticipate that it may be very difficult for some of our families to cope financially. For families that are or may experience financial difficulty in paying any remaining tuition for this school year or for next year, we are here to listen and offer extended payment plans and financial assistance on a case-by-case basis through The MacLachlan College Educational Foundation.

Let’s all be strong and continue to stand together to crush this virus and do our part in staying home.

We wish you and your loved ones good health and hope to see you soon.

Thank you,
Lisa M. Duranleau,
Executive Director

April 9, 2020

Finding our way forward together: New update

 

Dear MAC Community, 

However you are celebrating this holiday we wish you happiness and good health. 

We understand as we go through this difficult time together that we all have unique reactions and solutions. We know that this situation is especially stressful for our parents with younger children and we thank you for your feedback and collaboration as our school navigates through this ever-evolving crisis.

Our leadership team is meeting, reviewing and continuing to implement our remote learning program in stages, by enhancing services, enriching the platforms and developing more routines and synchronous classes.

We are listening and trying to help everyone re-establish their routines and maintain our connections as a MAC family. As we enhance and build onto the platforms and programs, we are mindful that we could be continuing to learn remotely in September. No one knows at this point what September will look like, but we are preparing for different scenarios. Perhaps we will need to combine our remote learning with some combination of on-campus learning in smaller groups to maintain our social distancing. MAC certainly has enough staircases, entrances and hallways to spread out our community!

We are all working hard to customize our program for our school at this time, to reflect whatever scenarios we find ourselves in and we will do our best to respond on a case-by-case basis for financial assistance and extending payment plans where needed.    

Please know that we are committed to you.  We are taking a measured approach as we address the concerns of every member of our MAC community. We want to help to give our families certainty in such uncertain times.

We are confident that there will continue to be amazing learning happening every day for all of us here at MAC. We will ensure there is consistency in our students’ learning.

The road through this is unknown and there are going to be bumps, glitches, some wrong turns and frustrations, but together we will all find our way. 

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”– Marcus Aurelius

A heartfelt thank you to our students for adapting to their new learning environment, our staff for the huge amount of work and dedication you have given to implement our remote learning plan for our students, and our families for your continual patience and support during this unsettling time.

Please stay well and enjoy this long holiday weekend.

Lisa M. Duranleau,
Executive Director

April 3, 2020

An update on COVID-19

 

Dear MAC Community, 

Every one of us at MacLachlan sends our best wishes to you and your families. We know how trying a time this is so we’re doing our very best to find ways to help you manage your way through quite a remarkable transition.

What lies at the foundation of all of our efforts though is the willingness of our teaching community to help. Behind the scenes, our teachers have been working extraordinarily hard to help their students and your children adjust. We will find a way through this together and thank you so much for your willingness to collaborate.

We thought it might be useful to provide a simple chart of some helpful Do’s and Don’ts that may help you adjust to the new routines we’re all having to learn.

Wishing you all good health.

Lisa M. Duranleau
Executive Director

March 25, 2020

An update on COVID-19

 

Dear MAC Community,

We hope that you and your families are well and taking care of each other at home.

Under the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19 we are all challenged to keep up with a fast-moving and constantly developing situation.  With new information coming to us by the day, if not by the hour, we are reacting as quickly and thoughtfully as possible with everyone’s best interests in mind.

As we monitor and react to this global crisis, our first priority is our MAC community’s health and safety and well-being. Our teachers are focusing on delivering a robust and engaging whole child curriculum along with live video connection to all our clients. Our Microsoft TEAMS learning suite is a very robust platform with many features, one of the very best available today. We are using this licensed, supported, high-quality program for all our students to maintain consistency throughout the school.

We are confident that we can face this together as I know that our MAC community is strong and supportive of each other.  Let’s all stay connected!

 Keep checking back here to our homepage for COVID-19 updates and new resource links that provide information and answers to some of the most common questions.

Wishing you all good health.

Lisa M. Duranleau
Executive Director

March 20, 2020

An update on COVID-19


Dear MAC Community,

MPAC accounts

All of our staff have been working diligently to prepare materials for our students that they will be able to access through their MPAC accounts starting March 23rd. MPAC will be your first spot to find any instructions regarding programming for all of our grades and courses. If you have not already done so, this would be an ideal time to ensure you’re able to log in to your account.

Contacting school

If you have general questions about administrative items such as access to the school or other ‘business of school’ matters, these inquiries can be emailed to schooloffice@maclachlan.ca. If you have questions about assigned tasks or how to use some of the resources that a teacher has posted, please email or MPAC message the teacher directly.

School Activities

All school activities that were planned during the period March 23 – April 5 have been canceled or postponed. Due to the exceptional circumstances relating to COVID-19, the school will be reviewing all future school activities and deciding which can be rescheduled and which events we will look forward to in the next year.

The school will continue to communicate regularly to all families throughout this ongoing situation. Please keep checking your MPAC accounts and the MAC website for continuing updates.

Hope you’re all staying well. 

Lisa M. Duranleau
Executive Director

March 17, 2020

More updates on COVID-19


Dear MAC Community,

As promised, we are keeping you updated as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Today we have a couple of items to share.

Self-Assessment

So that we don’t overburden an already stressed medical care system it is important that each of us perform some degree of self assessment rather than occupy the time of professionals who can serve those truly in need. The Province of Ontario has posted this self-assessment tool and we encourage you to use it.

Self-Monitoring

It’s also important that we stay on top of our current condition and that of our family members. Public Health Ontario created this self-monitoring document to help us track symptoms or lack of consistently.

It’s time to come home

Prime Minister Trudeau has made it very clear with this directive – “If you’re abroad, it’s time for you to come home. If you’ve just arrived, you must self-isolate for 14 days.”

Please take care of yourselves and your families. 

Lisa M. Duranleau
Executive Director

March 16, 2020

An update on COVID-19


Dear MAC Community,

If you could find a silver lining in everything that is concerning about the COVID-19 pandemic it would be that we are all part of a caring, responsible and committed MAC family.

This note will provide you with the most recent updates regarding our response to this fast-evolving situation and convey our commitment to keep you updated as we learn more. Our intent is to provide quick updates on actions we are taking and to provide useful links to additional information.

School closure

On March 13 we made the decision to close the school until April 6. However, as the situation evolves, this may change. The school is locked and only cleaning staff are accessing the building to do extensive cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces.

We have planned for this school closing scenario and will continue our programs through the use of our existing MPAC course and grade pages, as well as other online resources for posting student work and communicating with families. Next week we will provide more detailed information on this process, but it is important for now that all families ensure they are able to login to their MPAC accounts.

Please keep checking your MPAC accounts for updates and feel free to contact the school with any questions or concerns.

Self-isolate

With all of our community in mind and with the most updated information from health officials, we are asking everyone to follow the Government of Canada’s call to self-isolate for 14 days, following any travel outside of Canada.

Social distancing 

Fewer interactions with people and the added distance when you must interact means less chance of exposure and transmission of this coronavirus. Social distancing lowers your chance of contracting or spreading the infection to someone else. Practicing social distancing means staying home as much as possible and if you must go out in public keep a gap of three metres (six feet) or more between yourselves and others.

Please take care of yourselves and your families. 

Lisa M. Duranleau
Executive Director