MAY 21, 2020
MAY 12, 2020
Dear QMS Parents & Guardians,
As you know, we’ve been planning for some time for a possible return to campus before the end of the school year. It’s what I’ve previously referred to as our ‘Plan B.’ We are excited to let you know that recent announcements and decisions will make that possibility a reality for a great many of you. We will be sharing our detailed plan with you in the next few days, but essentially, we’ll be offering a carefully staged return on June 1, 2020 for our Kindergarten to Grade 7 students. Obviously, there will be very detailed requirements about drop-off, pick-up and the actual dynamics of what will happen on campus. The overall aim will be to create ‘a bubble’ where everyone, and I mean everyone, who comes onto campus is monitored. To that end, we have purchased a high-end thermal imaging system which will help us funnel everyone as they enter our facilities. It takes 30 temperatures per second as people walk through a designated entry point. I know that it’s not foolproof, but it is just another step in trying to give us as much security as possible.
I don’t want to unsettle any of you, so please feel that you can reach out to any one of our QMS team members after you receive the detailed plan or even before if you have any significant misgivings about the whole prospect. The Senior School will continue online, but we are also leaning towards some form of reconnection to the campus one day a week or one afternoon a week for Senior students. The overall hope is that the light at the end of the tunnel will actually morph into the opening to a brave new world that is much more akin to what we were used to than the last eight weeks have been. Thank you as always for your support and understanding.
In addition, we are actively working on end-of-year celebratory activities which will be a combination of online and modified in-person events where possible. We look forward to recognizing the culmination of our students’ hard work during this challenging academic year.
Head of School
APRIL 3, 2020
Dear QMS Parents, Guardians and Students,
As we all reach the end of a very different first week of term, I would like us to take some time to reflect this weekend. As we do that, I hope that we can find some place for recognition of the collective efforts that we have all made to cope with the very significant changes in the ways that our lives are unfolding. The challenges can be daunting indeed, but from what I’ve seen and heard, we are all drawing on our best selves to meet them and overcome them. I want to congratulate you all and thank you for the way you have handled the demands of the transition to online education and virtual interaction. Generally, we are social beings so I understand that this can all be very stressful and exhausting.
I am very proud of our teachers and staff for the devotion to duty that I have already seen in my short time here and I sense that our School has a very supportive community. As we dig in for a “longer haul” than we perhaps expected at the outset, I want us to remember to look after ourselves and each other. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have time each day to have breaks from technology and messaging.
In our modified timetable at the Senior School we have set contact times for teachers, which are 8:45am–3:00pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with Tuesday/Thursday evenings at 7:30pm–9:00pm set aside for our international students. Some faculty have further altered these times for international students depending on their time zone. In our Junior School the scheduled faculty assistance time is roughly 8:45am–12:00pm, Monday–Friday.
If we all try to work within these times for student and parent contact then we will achieve the best results in the long run while staying healthy. To that end, I would ask all of us to refrain from sending and receiving (and checking!) school-related emails and messages over the weekend unless it is urgent. Let’s see if we can reinstate the weekend as a time to rest, replenish and enjoy our families. It’s not a race, but if it were, it would definitely be more akin to a marathon than a sprint. Everything we can do now to look after ourselves will pay dividends later on.
As always, I welcome your feedback. Please send a quick email to set-up a phone call if you would like, or you can always reach me directly on my cell at 250.732.1811 if your matter is more pressing. Finally, thank you one and all for your significant efforts to work together to win this particular battle. It’s that same cooperation and teamwork that will win the war.
- David Robertson, Head of School