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Middle School paves the way: How to stay connected when you are remote

To keep our community connected and spirits high, our Middle School student council and counsellors arranged spirit week for over 250 students currently remote learning at home.

What are the themes of spirit week?
“We want to bring some silliness, fun and laughter to students who are home learning by having silly sock day, funky hair day, hats, wigs and funky glasses day” student counsellor Alison Black-Storm answers and flashes her silly socks.

How do you keep students motivated while at home?
“It's hard to keep over 250 students motivated but as a department we send out mails and videos to make them smile. We give ideas for fun activities and we also offer them different techniques to support their emotional and physical well-being during this time and to keep that whole community feel going.”

Alison goes on to say, “We are using various methods to connect. We have a community page with videos and articles to support parents and students.” She explains that counsellors are also holding just-for-fun Google meets with students and parents. "It's good for them to have some fun, connect and just hang out and where parents can ask questions and find support if required.”

What are the funniest things you have seen that students have done?
“I have not been privy to that information or seen anything," Alison tactfully answers, "but I am sure students wear smart tops on camera but secretly have their pjs on underneath. I hope the children generate more fun ideas and more silly and fun stuff comes out of it.”

What fun things have you done personally at home?
“As a family we have spent a lot of time together doing activities that normally would not be number 1 on the list,” Alison says. “We have played board games, completed jigsaws, watched family films together, but the highlight was a Zoom birthday party that we held for one of my children’s birthday. A global affair,” Alison adds, “with family and friends from Scotland, Australia and Denmark all eating cake and dancing together via video.

As a community, we deeply appreciate how the school counsellors are working extremely hard to maintain the community feel of the school and to support both parents and students, especially those who are struggling to connect during this time.