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A lesson in resilience


A lesson in resilience
SHS student

One of the strengths of our special school is our innovative and flexible approach to teaching and learning.

Sterling Hall has an amazing small school advantage — we are small enough to be nimble, responsive, flexible and innovative and we have no shortage of gifted and passionate teachers and staff who dig deep. And that is exactly what they did when the world unexpectedly changed and our small school, along with our community, had to adapt to a global health crisis.

In remarkably short order, and with the support of our wonderful families, we were able to develop a plan to move forward and navigate these new waters together. Our vision to provide unparalleled learning for our boys drove us to develop and implement an emergency distance learning program when the pandemic presented very challenging circumstances in March.

You are all total rockstars and always go above and beyond for the boys at Sterling Hall! It is a crazy time and everyone is trying to adapt and keep up with the constant changes and through it all you have managed to introduce a whole new program for our boys.”
- Parent, Grades 3 and 6 Students

Our team of administrators, faculty and staff found innovative ways to teach our boys remotely when in-class learning was not possible. We weren’t just teaching the concept of resiliency — we were living it! That initial iteration of our emergency distance learning program has now evolved into an enhanced Continuous Learning Program that is providing flexibility to learners who are immunocompromised, or to all students to seamlessly transition from on-campus to remote and back again.

At the start of this journey, we recognized that given the evolving nature of this public health crisis, our plans must be flexible and responsive. We ensured our academic program was in place, and then, with the extended duration of the global pandemic, we deliberately layered on additional program offerings, including more community-based activities. Once our program was refined, we implemented co-curricular opportunities, Friday Assemblies and virtual events to foster broader school engagement and a sense of belonging and connection for our boys and their families.

This pandemic has had a catastrophic impact on the world. And yet, the boys are able to teach us every day. One of these lessons is optimism. Never before have so many boys expressed so much gratitude. The statement, “I love school,” is being shared by boys in every division. Especially on our return to school, gratitude from our entire SHS community was immense; felt by teachers & staff for parent support, and exuded by parents who were extremely grateful for the safe return of their boys to school, and for the Herculean efforts of the SHS leadership team.

It’s clear that a ton of work has gone into this. Love the many tips along the way. Thank you for going from zero to a hundred in such a short period of time.”
- Parent, Grade 5 Student


  • Belonging
  • Community
  • Learning