The COVID-19 virus outbreak has affected everyone; not just in our Jewish community of Ottawa, but all over the world. At OJCS our foremost our concern is with the health and safety of our students, faculty, parents and families. Taking guidance from our North Star, “Each person is responsible for the other.” While the world is certainly different today than it was one week ago, at OJCS we are doing all that we can to continue to provide meaningful, high-quality secular, Jewish and French education and experiences that ensure that our graduates are prepared for success….while still keeping safety first. As such, this week we proudly launched our OJCS Distant Learning Program.
Thanks to our incredible faculty and the resources that were already in place, OJCS was uniquely prepared for a Distance Learning program. This is not to say it has been easy. In just under four days we: met both by grade level and by subject matter to lay out the when and the what as well as the how to navigate this new world that we are entering; met on Zoom and on Google Meet; we created calendars, schedules, resources, links, folders and drives and much more. Our teachers were professional and prepared to pivot and adapt. When the planning was done we had our OJCS Distance Learning program. Whether it winds up being a three-week, five-week or rest-of-the-school-year journey is not yet clear. What is clear, however, is that because of the work that our talented teachers have been putting into their professional growth over the last three years, the Ottawa Jewish Community School is ready to meet this moment. Let’s be sure to give each other permission to feel anxious or scared. Let’s recognize that we will have both failures and successes in the weeks ahead. Let’s create space for the messy learning and schedule challenges and conflicts.
This chapter in our journey may have been totally unexpected, but it does not delay us from our ultimate destination. We have been saying for years that the “future of education” is happening at OJCS. With a soft-launch today, Wednesday March 18th and an official launch on Monday March 23rd, the future begins now.