We hope you all had a pleasant and healthy Easter. We know that this message is reaching most of you in your homes, where you’re struggling to maintain a semblance of normal life while remaining safe. As we face the extraordinary challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to remind you that École Socrates-Démosthène (our principals, teachers, educators and support staff), and the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal remain by your side, and are fully committed to providing educational and administrative services from a distance to our families to the best of our ability in this new reality.
As has been announced, the Ministry of Education (MEES) has ordered schools across Quebec closed until at least the 1st of May because of COVID-19. All Socrates-Démosthène campuses will remain closed during this time as our administrators and faculty are required to work from home. The question we are all asking is when and if schools will reopen this year. This is a question that has been extensively studied by the Quebec Government along with Public Health officials. We can assure you there has been extensive debate on this matter and we expect to have news from officials this week. Minister Jean-Francois Roberge summed it up best stating : « Je ne suis pas sûr de rouvrir, mais je sais qu’on sera ouvert. »
In addition to the incredible efforts our teachers are making to educate your children from a distance, MEES has introduced new tools that could also supplement these efforts. They include:
– The l’École ouverte website, created by MEES, where you can choose from thousands of resources to learn, create and have fun with your children.
– The trousses pédagogiques (educational kits) consist of a menu of fun learning activities allowing students to maintain their skills by school level (preschool, elementary and secondary). They will be personalized by Faculty before being transmitted to you.
– Télé-Québec en classe offers original contents to students from prekindergarten to high school on television and on the Web (please refer to the poster at the end of this message).
Furthermore, our School and our students, led by our Greek teachers, will be taking part in the International Student Painting Competition: “Near or far, WE are all ONE”,, as will thousands of children from around the globe confined to their homes because of the COVID-19 situation.
Socrates-Démosthène remains part of the radio show Ta Molivia Ston Aera on MikeFM 105.1. Thanks to an incredible collaborative effort by HCGM officials, our Greek teachers, our students, their families and MikeFM, every Wednesday from 12:00-1:00 pm, we can all witness and hear first-hand what makes our School, and particularly our students, so special.
Faculty has been instructed to use every possible tool at their disposal to educate and communicate. Please keep in mind that no evaluations will be conducted during the school closure. Our School encourages all its students, with the help of their parents, to follow along to the best of their capacity and capability.
Should schools not re-open this year, our students’ final evaluation will be based on the first two completed terms. All ministerial exams have been cancelled for this year. MEES has made it clear that there is no possibility of extending the school year. Every campus has been completely disinfected and will remain so until students and staff return.
Meanwhile, most special activities and outings have also been cancelled until the rest of the school year. We are now examining other options for our grade 6 graduation gala in June as well as the grade 6 and high school trips to Greece. These three activities are being reassessed.
As for the school uniform for next year, fitting trials have been cancelled. Our new supplier, Maison d’Uniformes Lemira, is preparing on-line ordering forms that will be available soon.
Finally, we urge all of you to rigorously adhere to the directives from the public health agencies in reference to coronavirus in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us healthy. We are starting to see the light but we still have a way to go.