A phased-in approach for a slow return to classes
May 7, 2020
Dear parents, students and staff,
As you may have heard, in collaboration with recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer, yesterday the Premier announced details of BC’s restart plan. Included in that was a plan for a phased-in approach that will see a slow return to in-class instruction over the next number of months. We have subsequently been in contact with the Ministry of Education, I have connected with Superintendents from other school districts and have already started to engage our teams in the process of building our plan to meet the direction we’ve now been given.
We’re currently in what is being referenced as Stage 4 of the Education Stages for K-12: remote learning for most students, with in-class learning opportunities for children of essential service workers and some of our vulnerable students.
By no later than the beginning of June, we will move into Stage 3: remote learning continuing for most students, with an optional, part-time return to in-class instruction for students whose families need to have kids back in classes (currently defined by the Ministry as in-class learning options for students in K-5 on part-time basis, and access to in-class learning as needed for grades 6-12 on a part-time basis).
What exactly will that look like? That’s what we’re working to quickly adjust for now.
The safety of our kids, staff and families will continue to be our top priority. We’re looking at how we’ll ensure safe distancing in schools, how we might increase our already adjusted cleaning and disinfecting schedules, what this will mean for teaching and staff assignments and much more.
Soon your school Principal will reach out with details of the plan and a survey. It will include the specifics you need to know (hours, days, expectations, etc) so you and your family can make a decision about whether you’d like to complete the remainder of the school year through a slightly modified version of the remote learning you’re currently engaged in, or if you’d like your kids included in the voluntary, part-time return to some in-class instruction.
We understand and respect that the needs of every family and every student are different. And we know it’s not just your child’s educational needs that you’re juggling. No matter which option you pursue, your child will be afforded equal opportunities to receive support through this new phase.
And the most exciting news from yesterday: if we continue to work together and follow the safe social distancing and other recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer, then we’re on track for a major return to in-class learning for September. So let’s keep working together … so we can land at a new normal that works for all our students and families, our staff and our community.
Superintendent of Schools / CEO