I am delighted and honoured to be back in Mount Forest to serve as Principal during this historic time in education. We are all faced with the tremendous challenge of balancing the safety of our school community with the rigours of academic excellence – but I can confidently say that I know our Wolverines are up to this challenge. Our school will be implementing new Covid-19 protocols and requirements that everyone in our school community must follow in order to keep students, staff, our families, and our local community safe and healthy.
The goal of the Upper Grand District School Board, is for all of our students to accomplish a safe return to in-person learning, and to earn up to two credits this quadmester. To help meet this goal, our new school instructional model includes reduced class sizes and half days of remote instruction with the support of a teacher. At this time there will not be any varsity sports or in-person extracurricular activities. Once the academic school year is safely underway, our staff will be exploring possible virtual extracurricular opportunities for our students to collaborate with their peers in creative and social ways, so that their high school experience can be enriched.
At Wellington Heights, we are very fortunate to have such a caring, dedicated, and conscientious teaching staff, who have been working diligently and creatively to plan for both in-person and remote instruction. Our Administrative Assistants, Guidance Staff and Custodial Staff have also been working long hours to prepare for the arrival of students this year, and I am grateful for their support.
In this quadmester, with continued partial learning at home through remote instruction, it may be difficult for students to maintain self-discipline and to aim for higher than mediocrity. In the words of former Arthur District High School Principal, P.E. Brown, “Do not forget that our years spent in formal education are a preparation for our future responsibilities in the world of work. In the course of this preparation, we can do nothing else other than insist on our best possible effort in everything we undertake.” Whether that be in the completion of our studies, the following of our Covid-19 protocols, or our participation in extracurricular activities, we must develop the habit of giving nothing but our best effort. “In this manner, by giving our closest attention to seemingly minor details and by striving for perfection in what appear to be small matters, we are making the best possible preparation for our vocation in life.”
In closing, since our school motto is, “Be Kind And Learn,” I encourage our students to treat everyone they encounter at Wellington Heights and beyond with kindness always, and to focus at school on continually improving their learning. This motto, coupled with our school values of “Pride, Respect, and Friendship” should guide our students and ground our students in all that they do, and in all that they endeavour to be. Together, we will show our Wolverine pride as we collaboratively work to combat Covid-19, while achieving the greatest academic achievements possible. In the words of former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, remember that, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Best wishes to all of our students, staff, and school community members for a memorable and successful year ahead!
Mr. Brent Bloch