Due to the rapidly changing situation regarding the Covid-19 virus, Northmount’s physical facility is currently closed. Please continue reading for a statement from our Headmaster, Dr. Sheridan:
Dear Northmount Parents,
I hope this message finds all of our families mentally, physically and spiritually healthy and safe. Though I am sure we are all experiencing a sense of “cabin fever”, our efforts to social distance and flatten the COVID curve have helped provide optimism that we are heading in the right direction. On behalf of the Northmount community, I want to thank all of the First Responders and Frontline Workers in our community who have helped all of us navigate through these unprecedented times. I am also thankful for all of the families in our community for their support of Northmount, especially over the past seven weeks. Though this pandemic has not been easy on anyone, and harder on some than others, it is my hope that families have taken this time and spent it together in order to strengthen bonds and truly reflect on what is important.
As most of you are aware, this past Wednesday the Ontario Government extended the Emergency Order of shutdown to at least May 19th. The closure of Northmount and other private schools technically falls under this order and not the Education Act. As such, confusion may exist as to whether or not private schools will be able to open before all of the public boards do. I am quite confident that the Emergency Order, which is being extended by 14 days at a time, will fall in line with the closure of the public boards until at least May 31st, 2020. Regardless, the priority for Northmount School for Boys is to ensure the health and safety of our students and their families to the best of our ability. As such, all decisions regarding a “return to school” will align with directions given by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
With the above in mind, Northmount’s faculty will continue to provide daily online synchronous classes in the morning, via Webex, and teachers will be available in the afternoon for extra help in small group or one-to-one settings. A brief summary of all lessons and the corresponding homework is still available through Edsby. This format has proven to be quite successful and the school has received very positive feedback for putting this in place. As well, Advisors are reaching out to the boys and their families in order to set up appointments for personal meetings and support. In addition to this, and in order to provide social opportunities for the boys to enhance the educational experience during these times, the school is offering a family fitness class at 4:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, a myriad of clubs on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. for the students, and the praying of the Rosary on Fridays at 3:00 p.m. for all in the Northmount community. Though the latter offerings are all optional, I encourage our students and families to take advantage of them. Behind these academic and social interactions of day-to-day schooling, Northmount is putting in place plans for this year’s virtual graduation should they be needed, while ensuring that we are prepared for a “normal” opening to the school year in September. In all of this, I am very thankful for the patience and support of our Northmount community.
As we continue to find our bearings amidst this pandemic, time does not stand still, and, as I look at the calendar, I realize how close we are to the conclusion of our school year. That being said, I think it is important to stop and reflect on the gifts that we are given in each day, and especially those who love us and make us feel special. This Sunday is Mother’s Day and I hope we all take a moment to reflect on the importance of mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers in our lives. For all of the “Moms” in our Northmount community, I pass along a prayer and a poem:
“A Prayer for Mothers” (Sister Catherine Irene, IHM)
All-loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers young and old.
We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes and tend to our every need; May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.
We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; May they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.
We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.
We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.
We remember mothers. grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love.
“Mothers Prayer” (~Anon)
I said a Mother’s Day prayer for you
To thank The Lord above
For blessing me with a lifetime
Of your tenderhearted love.
I thanked God for the caring
You’ve shown me through the years,
For the closeness we’ve enjoyed
In time of laughter and of tears.
And so I thank you from the heart
For all you’ve done for me
And I bless The Lord for giving me
The best mother there could be!