We may have vacated the office, but we’re still hard at work on behalf of students to ensure they have the programs and supports they need once schools are reopened!  For the safety and wellbeing of our staff, our volunteers, and our supporters, EducationMatters will be operating remotely and practicing social distancing until it is safe to be back onsite and conducting face to face meetings with our stakeholders.  This is an unprecedented situation and we are all still adjusting to our current reality.  We already miss our awesome Calgary Board of Education (CBE) colleagues, we’ll miss getting to see our students learning and growing with the help of community investment, and we’re really going to miss catching up with our donors and supporters in person to show you the impact of your investment into our future leaders.

Seeing the silent hallways and classrooms of our usually vibrant schools is sobering and emotional for everyone who spends their days working to make life better for students.  The messages of love and care coming from educators and school staff for their students are equally heartwarming and heartbreaking, and the sense of urgency as to how to best support our most vulnerable students during uncertain times is palpable.  Right now CBE, like all other school boards, is hard at work creating learning continuation opportunities for all students after spring break and continue to update this page with resources as they become available.  This is tough on all of us, but it is especially difficult for our young people: the World Health Organization (WHO) released this infographic to help caregivers communicate with and comfort children during this time:

helping-children-cope-with-stress-print

EducationMatters continues to solicit and administer community investment to support students.  We will be working with CBE administration and donors in the coming months to best ascertain how to support our students, and we will be communicating with you as new priorities and initiatives emerge.  For many students school is a safe space for them and we want to ensure that they still have access to the supports that they need in the absence of physical classes.

We know this time is extra-stressful for graduating students concerned about diploma exams, and the news from the province in cancelling the exams can be confusing for some students.  The current crisis will not affect your ability to apply for and receive student awards – and with the current lull in classes, now is the ideal time to log onto our Student Awards portal and begin to apply for post-secondary funding.  A great way to help mitigate stress is to focus on something you can control – and applying for our and other student awards at this time is a great way to do something positive that has the potential to reap benefits in the coming months.  Our entire Student Awards program can be administered remotely (as can the programs of other major sources of student awards) and we will be disbursing funds in September as usual.    For any students struggling to access appropriate technology to apply for awards, give Kathy a call and she’ll help figure out a plan to keep you on track.

On a final note, we already know that we belong to a fantastic, caring community; together we can help each other to weather the current storm and rebuild once we emerge on the other side.