ISY Elementary Blog
Creating a New Normal
Mike Simpson, Elementary School Principal
January 22, 2020
It was another successful week of Transition Days with all grades on campus this week.

These days are obviously great opportunities for students to connect in person but, just as importantly, they also allow us to introduce a new hybrid mode of learning to the students.

We will have students who are unable to join us on campus for some time. It is very important to us that we can provide the best possible experience for all of our students wherever they may be. These Transition Days allow for teachers and students to work together to experiment and reflect on what works best for their learning community. It is challenging work at times but it is exciting for us to be working alongside our students as we create a new normal.

COVID Safety: Can my child go to school today?

Here is a link to a very useful Can my child go to school today? flowchart prepared by our ISY Medical Clinic. It will help decide whether to send your child to school if they, or someone they are close to, have been ill. 


Supporting your Child for Transition Days:

During our first few Transition Days, I have asked students how they have felt preparing for and entering the school campus for the first time in many months.  I found that most students reported a mixture of feelings: excitement and joy with a touch of anxiety or nervousness.  As a parent, you might wonder how to best support your child during this transition.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Offer opportunities for your child to share how they are feeling.  It is common and appropriate for students to have a mixture of feelings.  Change comes with uncertainty.  It is natural to be nervous about doing things in a new way.  Let them know it’s okay to share and talk about their feelings.
  • If your child expresses concern about health and safety, remind your child that policies and procedures, such as wearing masks and washing hands have been put into place to protect them.
  • Focus on the goals.  Transition Days offer opportunities for them to socially connect with friends and teachers, while preparing them for a possible hybrid model of learning.
  • If your child is ‘Zooming’ into the classroom on Transitional Days, they may feel isolated or disappointed.  Allow them to express their feelings and gently remind them that they will still participate and engage with peers and classwork.
  • Manage your own emotional health. Children take their emotional cues from adults.  

If you have any questions or concerns for your child or your family, please feel free to contact me at

Patty Amundson-Geisel

ISY Elementary Counselor

Child Protection, Covid Protection safeguards and MAP information session
On Thursday, January 28th at 5:30pm there will be a virtual meeting on zoom hosted by our ISY counselors and Director of Learning. During this session, we will share the good teaching practices and safeguarding measures that have been implemented during virtual learning.  Our nurse will review COVID safety procedures and practices that are important.  Our Director of Learning will explain how students will take MAP testing virtually in February.  
Virtual Recess is still running from 1:00-1:30 PM.  Students should use the All Grade Specialist Link to join on their assigned day.  All activities will be student driven but will include fun and games.

Grades 4 & 5: Tuesday
Grade 3: Wednesday
Grade 2: Thursday
Grade 1: Friday


All Transition Days start at 8:30am and end at 12:30pm

Students will be asked to practice social distancing at all times and please note that masks will need to be worn in all areas of the school. This includes while in classrooms. Please always enter through the front steps area as this entrance is outfitted with a thermal camera to check temperatures.  We also ask that everyone wash their hands at the sinks on the front steps before entering the campus.

MAP Testing

During the week of February 1-5, we will be MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) testing in the Elementary School (Grades 2 to 5). MAP assessments in Reading, Language, and Mathematics are online adaptive assessments that provide useful data in developing a fair and accurate assessment of a student’s academic achievement and growth.

To ensure a fair and accurate assessment of a student’s academic growth and achievement, teachers combine MAP assessment data with all other student data that they have collected in the classroom. This combination of data informs teacher instruction in meeting the needs of each child. 

More details will follow about why and how the students will be taking the tests in such a unique year.


Did you know that Mr. Zar Li, our head security officer, was a former Mr. Myanmar! He is very fit and knows 100s of different exercises to stay fit.

Mr. Zar Li has kindly offered to run 15 minute work outs for our students that will start at 8:10am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. These work outs will start next Monday. The Zoom link for the workouts will be on the Friday Family Report email that you receive from your child(ren)’s teacher. All ages are welcome and parents are welcome to join in too.

The workouts will finish at 8:25am to give students time to get a drink and get organized before joining their classes at 8:30am.

These workouts do not replace regular P.E. classese during the school day. 

Previous Elementary School Posts