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Educational continuity in the digital age

The Le Sommet high school of the Commission scolaire des Premieres-Seigneuries has, like the entire school system, been plunged into a roller coaster of emotions, but above all of possibilities since last March. Its management team tells us about the challenges that the entire school team takes up with passion!
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by the management team of Le Sommet school (CS des Premieres-Seigneuries)
Sonie Boulet, Maryse Desroches, Annie Gosselin and Stéphanie Lemieux
@DesrochesMarys1 @Gosselin_a @SLemieuxCP 

The Le Sommet high school of the Commission scolaire des Premieres-Seigneuries has, like the entire school system, been plunged into a roller coaster of emotions, but above all of possibilities since last March. In 2014, the school embarked on a digital shift in order to offer a technopedagogical environment in the service of student success. At that time, we knew that the integration of technological tools offered new educational horizons, made it possible to motivate and engage students, but we can now say that in the context of a pandemic, this shift will have enabled us to facilitate the 'emergence of new learning and communication strategies.

The number ONE is too small to perform well

Since the integration of the iPad in 2014, the Summit team has made great strides. Note, for example, the development of collaborative practices and increased pedagogical flexibility. Although all students and teachers at the school own an iPad, the arrival of Covid-19 has prompted the team to unlearn several well-established practices to relearn new ways of communicating and working together.

I work a lot, but it's really stimulating! I feel that something positive is happening! I rub my hands with pleasure!

- JULIE BÉLISLE, SCHOOL TECHNOPEDAGOGIST

The higher the goal, the more teamwork is needed. In this case, the vision was clear and shared: to stay in touch with all our students and to offer pedagogical continuity to each of them by taking them where they are. 

When you realize that others can help you do a better job than you could on your own, you take a big step forward.

- Quote from ANDREW CARNEGIE

Quickly, working groups focusing on the strengths of each were formed: a team of speakers to reflect on the follow-up of vulnerable students and communications with each of them and a second team made up of teachers in each subject to reflect on an online teaching schedule supported by techno-pedagogues. In the face of the unknown, everyone's knowledge, expertise and previous experiences had to be put to use in order to limit missteps.

Remote office of Stéphane Valois, teacher of the drama and media arts concentration

The mobilization of staff, their commitment and motivation to be part of the parade rather than adopting the spectator posture, despite not having all the information, demonstrate a great team maturity. Since the integration of digital in the community, we have witnessed this tolerance for ambiguity, risk taking and innovation. We can now say that this paradigm shift over the past few years has greatly helped the team to continue to grow at an exponential rate.

A place for all

Obviously, although the iPad has been integrated into school for several years, not everyone had the same ease in using it. In the last few weeks, great solidarity initiatives have emerged: teachers who record and share capsules, “tests” of lessons between adults, teachers who participate in the lessons of their colleagues who were already experimenting with teaching in the classroom. distance, virtual educational discussions. Teachers less tech-savvy have teamed up with other colleagues to be ready to launch into distance education on May 11. The school team has transformed into a professional learning community at high speed!

Humanize social distancing

Despite the distance, the members of the Le Sommet school team have never been so close to each other. Benevolence and mutual aid are palpable. All of them are keen to help despite being learners themselves. Rational thinking is great for making a decision, but the heart is just as important for reaching the desired destination.

“I feel super ready for next week and it's thanks to my amazing colleagues! Help, support, advice… We are a great team of fire! "

- MARIE-FRANCE GIROUX, TEACHER

Several actions were put in place, in addition to those intended to structure the ministry's requests: telephone chain to ensure that everyone was in good shape, virtual coffee shops to mark important weeks such as those for support staff and secretaries experienced during confinement, videos of staff and students, virtual meetings for new teachers led by mentors from the school and 5 to 6 virtual ones to keep in touch and meet, sometimes, the family of colleagues.

In addition, great initiatives are still to come for graduating students and recipients of the meritas gala, for whom we have great surprises in store in the weeks to come. A sub-working group is thinking about a 2.0 concept, while waiting for the real ball which has been moved to next fall. 

For a team to reach the top, it is not enough that they have a good start

The next few weeks will be just as important as those which led to the establishment of this new distance education structure. Regulation and adjustments will be necessary. Thanks to the maturity of the team, these regulatory meetings will make it possible to realize that it is more important to take an imperfect first step than not to move forward. This change in practice initiated in 2014 will undoubtedly have contributed to the successful implementation of distance education forced by the context of the pandemic.

Success will not be having thought about a perfect plan from day one, but having done collective learning which will propel us towards a 2.0 education during the next school year. This is how we will have the feeling of having done our duty.

“We have just opened the door for a new way of working in education. We will not be able to go back in time for certain things. "

- STÉPHANE VALOIS, TEACHER

Let it be said, we have no control over events, but we do have control over our attitude and reactions. After a first roller coaster ride, passengers were able to experience certain emotions, share them and can now take another ride while savoring the frenzy and pleasure that this ride provides. For passengers who are still to be convinced to experience these strong emotions, they will be able to sit in a basket next to a more confident passenger who will know how to reassure them. We are sure that everyone will take a liking to this collective merry-go-round, even if it is a bit mind-blowing at times!

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