Nothing can stop us now!
As we race to the finish of another academic year and classes, activities and events wind down, it is a valuable exercise to take a moment and reflect on the triumphs of the past year.
In retrospect – it has been a year like no other. The pandemic and its impact on all aspects of life was the overwhelming global concern. For educational institutions like ours, that translated into a number of issues and challenges. From a mandated shutting down of all classroom learning to ensuring the safety and return of our international students to their respective countries and then back again, we were constantly navigating between ministerial dictates and the responsibilities towards our students. It is a testimony to our resilience and the dedication of our staff that student performance this year has been outstanding and one of the best in the history of Kells Academy.
Kells updates are presented below in reverse chronological order and the blog post is updated as new letters are issued. Bookmark this page for easy reference.
Dear Kells Community,
As we mark the 1 year anniversary of Covid-19, I would like to thank everyone who is part of the Kells family for coming together and supporting our students and teachers through their learning and teaching. There have been many changes along the way this past year with health and safety rules, schedules, and protocols. Thank you for your patience and kind encouragement as we all have helped each other through this challenging time like no other.
As we forge ahead with vigilance and strength, we will one day put this all behind us. Kells moves forward never wavering from our commitment of providing excellent education and care for our community. We continue to welcome new students and build our Kells family.
Thank you to all parents and guardians who filled out our E-learning survey. The survey results were very positive! Your feedback is extremely important as it provides us with suggestions and guidance to evolve and further improve the Kells online learning experience.
Since our survey, we are very pleased to see an increased level of student engagement through the use of cameras during online classes. Furthermore, students are settling into their routines and are becoming more comfortable with this new online environment.
As per my previous memo on April 28th, a reminder that the last day of school will be June 12th. Again, it is essential that students do their best to stay engaged with their courses in order to be best prepared for the upcoming school year.
In addition to our online classes, Ms. Ewanyshyn, Ms. Ali and I have held grade level assemblies to discuss best practices for online learning, mental health and well-being of students, assessment and evaluation for term 3 and upcoming events.
In regards to upcoming events; in light of Premier Legault’s announcement to close secondary school buildings until late August, we have decided to continue with the end of year celebrations, albeit online.
Given that the situation with the pandemic is changing every day and it remains unknown if social distancing will permit a physical gathering for a celebration like convocation, we have made the difficult decision to proceed with an online convocation. We feel that it is extremely important that graduates of 2020 are recognized and honoured in their final year of high school before leaving for post secondary education.
That being said, our online Convocation will be held on June 17th (time TBD). Parents, guardians and students can watch regardless of their location or time zone. A link will be shared with all members of the Kells community prior to the event.
During this ceremony, similar to previous years, we will have a guest speaker (Jonathan Jarry, Masters degree in molecular biology; most recently conducted research with Covid -19), a valedictorian speech, subject and special awards, diploma ceremony and a special student performance.
We have also ordered graduation caps with tassels which will be available for students to pick up from the school prior to convocation (schedule for pick up to follow). As well, celebratory diplomas will be available for pick up in the last week of June (again, schedule for pick up to follow). Finally, we are featuring 3 graduates per day via our Kells Instagram page (https://www.instagram.com/kellsacademy/?hl=en).
In regards to Prom, if possible in August, we will offer a celebration (location to be determined) for students interested. Unfortunately, the situation with the pandemic remains unpredictable, so we cannot book venues or confirm locations at this time.
Finally, our Athletics Banquet will be held online on June 2nd, at 3:00pm. We will celebrate the year in athletics and honour student athletes, as well as recognize team and individual awards. We will email certificates to each participant, however, trophies and medals will be made available for pick up at the end of the school year (schedule for pick up to follow).
As always, I hope you are staying healthy, safe and active! Have a wonderful long weekend!
As you may have heard yesterday afternoon from Premier Legault, all secondary school buildings in Quebec including Kells Academy will be closed until late August, 2020.
The Ministry of Education has made clear that the school year is still running, so while we realize that every home situation is different, we remind you of the importance of student attendance during live sessions.
As we continue E-learning during term 3, I’d like to remind everyone that it is essential that students do their best to stay engaged in order to acquire fundamental concepts and be prepared for the upcoming school year. Furthermore, teachers are and will continue to assess and evaluate students in term 3.
I’ve mentioned in previous memos that we are continuously evolving and trying our best to improve our E-learning experience. In order to offer an online experience that is rich in interaction between the student and teacher, it is vital that students enable their camera so teachers can connect with their students, as well as provide feedback. Furthermore, the camera function allows teachers to see how students are progressing and engaging with class concepts and tasks.
That being said, as of Monday, May 4th, all students will be expected to enable their camera feature during live sessions.
If you are not comfortable with your child enabling their camera, please contact Ms. Ewanyshyn for grade 7 & 8, and Mr. Banerjee for grade 9 - 11.
In regards to the last day of school; we will continue until June 12th. Although we will not have an exam period, teachers will prepare formal assessments which will be held during class time until June 12th.
In my next parent memo, I will provide the Kells community updates regarding the end of year ceremonies, celebrations and term 3 report cards.
Parents with children in the Elementary school will be receiving an update from Ms. Perlman.
Thank you for your ongoing support during this incredibly challenging time.
I hope you are staying healthy, safe and active!
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
We will be hosting virtual Parent Teacher Interviews on Thursday, April 16th from 9am - 2:30pm. As such, the regular school day will be replaced with interviews. This will be an opportunity for you to share feedback with teachers regarding our e-learning platform and inquire about your child’s progress.
As of Tuesday, April 14th at 7:30am, you will be able to log into the Portal to book your Parent Teacher appointment. The system will close at 4pm on Wednesday, April 15th. Once you have booked your appointments, your schedule will be available on the Portal.
Teachers will email you a Zoom link 5 minutes prior to your interview. Zoom can be accessed through a web platform or the Zoom application on a desktop. As well, Zoom can be accessed via the Zoom application on a mobile device. No account is required, simply click the link and it will prompt you to open the Zoom session. Please ensure you are using a device with a microphone.
If you are unfamiliar with Zoom, please see the instructions below.
How to join a Zoom Meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting
The link offers a quick video tutorial
Once you click on the link, at the bottom of the page; you can select the operating system you are using for specific instructions to download and set up your Zoom application.
As we navigate our first virtual Parent Teacher Interviews, a gentle reminder that many Kells teachers are also parents. Please be understanding if interviews are interrupted as they are doing their best to manage their home and professional life.
Please note that we have moved our PED Day to Monday April 20th, as such Friday, April 17th will be a regular school day.
If you would like to book an appointment with Ms. Wasserman (Guidance Counselor), or any member of administration, please email us directly to book an appointment by Wednesday April 15th.
Have a lovely long weekend and stay safe!
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
Thank you for your valuable feedback and kind words of encouragement to the Kells staff.
Following our staff meeting this morning, we have made adjustments to our e - learning platform to provide more flexibility to students, families and staff. Our goal with these changes is to continue to improve and facilitate accessibility to remote learning from various regions, increase student engagement and reduce screen time. Furthermore, we have discussed the management of student workloads and will be adapting the amount and type of work being assigned to students.
The following elements have been adapted:READ MORE
Kells staff make up the heart and soul of our school, but how much do we really know about them? This new series of profiles showcases the wonderful professionals who come together every day to ensure Kells students get the best experience possible.
First up, science and math teacher Raffaat Ghanem!
Kells students are certainly prepared for life’s challenges. Winter survival was on the agenda for Phys Ed. teacher Nicole Desmangles’ Outdoor Education class in February. Middle and High school students worked in teams to build Quinzee snow shelters in Trenholme Park.READ MORE
The middle and high school science fair is a longstanding tradition shared not only by the 2020 cohort of Kells students but likely also by their parents and grandparents. How many among us have brainstormed to come up with an original idea, applied the scientific method, and presented our results to fellow classmates and judges?
Kells’ science fair is compulsory for all science students at the grades 7 through 11 levels. Its aim is to encourage students to understand the world around them, to enrich their sense of inquiry, and to challenge them to seek solutions to environmental and social issues. The process helps students develop their critical thinking, conduct research, do experimentation and/or build technological objects, analyze their findings and communicate them effectively to others.
Over the years, Kells students have done very well at regional science fair competitions. We expect strong performances this year as well, and we are bringing the maximum number of entrants possible. Winners at the school-wide science fair are usually chosen to represent the school at the Montreal Regional Science and Technology Fair, where they compete against other students from anglophone schools in Greater Montreal. From there, they may be chosen to compete at the provincial, national and international levels.
This year’s exhibits ranged from testing various types of bridges to using albumin to treat skin and lavender oil for healing burns, making fire-resistant paint, designing an anti-snoring bracelet, and building a smart fire alarm and de-icing sprinkler system.
The winners of the 2020 edition of the Kells Science Fair held on January 24th were:READ MORE