COVID-19 Info Centre
The first phase of our remote learning plan
Translations of this letter are available: use the Google Translate switch at top of page.
ਇਸ ਪੱਤਰ ਦੇ ਅਨੁਵਾਦ ਇਸ ਲਿੰਕ ਤੇ ਉਪਲਬਧ ਹਨ. ਪੇਜ ਦੇ ਸਿਖਰ ‘ਤੇ ਗੂਗਲ ਟ੍ਰਾਂਸਲੇਟ ਸਵਿੱਚ ਦੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਕਰੋ.
Dear parents and students,
As a parent, I know this last week has been challenging: we’re all filled with worries about our loved ones and facing so many unanswered questions. As the Superintendent, when it comes to education, I can tell you: all of our teams have been working tirelessly to build a plan and provide some of those answers, as quickly as we can.
Where does this work-in-progress stand? The remote learning plan will be phased in over the next few weeks. Here’s what you can expect from us and what we need from you …
First, we urgently need all families to take this easy, 2-minute survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P9BSRKT
*This survey is for estimation purposes only.
This survey must be completed by Monday March 30th, at 10 am. It will give us the rough numbers required to help us plan for two major needs: how to fulfill the Ministry mandate to provide child care options for children of essential service workers (those working in health care, emergency services, supply chain, or those supporting children of emergency service workers, etc … with priority going to health care and emergency service workers), and how we gauge the number of families that have access to the technology/devices the remote learning plan will be centred around (and how many families may need to borrow devices or require another workaround).
On Monday the only people at your local school will be principals, vice-principals and custodial staff. PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO YOUR SCHOOL ON MONDAY. For the limited cases where this might be necessary, please wait until you have been told by your child’s principal that it is okay to do so. Principals and VPs will first be reaching out to their school teams. Then, through the week, each school may start to bring some limited staff back into the building – with new procedures on staged entries and strict physical distancing (social distancing) enforcement for anybody in the building. This measure is part of keeping the health and safety of all our employees, as well as your family, as our top priority.
What can you, as parents and students, expect next week?
- Your child’s classroom teacher will be reaching out to your family. In the first round of contact, they’ll be doing a few things: getting a sense of your ability to access the technology, connecting with families whose children might have specific vulnerabilities, creating space to understand what’s generally happening for your child and your family, and laying the groundwork needed to get everybody set up properly.
- Guided remote learning, as will be delivered by your child’s classroom teacher, will not be happening in the first week. That will be phased in, beginning in week two, once both teachers and students have been outfitted with the proper tools and given the time to prepare new lessons targeted to the kids in their classes.That said, below you’ll find info on how you can help start your child’s journey into remote learning … adding some structure and providing age-appropriate resources to help focus your kids.
- If your family does not have access to a device (computer or tablet) that will allow for remote learning, early next week we will share information on how to request the loan of a Chromebook.
- You will also hear from your school’s principal next week. They will have information on the path ahead and the new procedures in place to ensure health and safety of anybody in the building – in adherence to physical distancing mandates from the Provincial Health Officer. Included in this: if you need to retrieve items your child left at school, the principal will soon let you know how to schedule time to do so. For the time being, nobody will be allowed access to our schools without an appointment.
As mentioned above, there are things you can start now to get your kids ready. To help them transition from Spring Break into the work patterns that will make remote learning more successful, it’s important to establish new routines around learning. We’ve prepared a beginners guide with tools and resources that you can start implementing when you’re ready: https://newwestschools.ca/remote-learning-starters-laying-ground-for-the-plan-ahead/
Another helpful resource has been put together by the Ministry of Education. This FAQ, listed at the top of this page, has been compiled to help parents understand more about the overall process, the decisions made and the guidelines each district is working under: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/program-management/safe-caring-and-orderly-schools
We know you still have many questions. We’re working hard to provide those answers.
We will continue to work with staff in every one of our departments to engage them in providing innovative and accessible solutions for as many of our students, families and staff as we can. And, as the situation evolves, we will move with it as well – always taking direction from and working in collaboration with the health authorities who are taking the lead on the COVID-19 outbreak.
You’ll hear more from us next week. As mentioned, we’ll be reaching out to speak to you about technology access and consent, principals and teachers will start connecting with your family/their students, there will be new resources shared, and we’ll loop back to plot the broader timelines for the next phases of this very detailed process.
Again, please remember that we need your support in completing this quick survey around various types of needs you may or may not have as a family: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P9BSRKT
If you have questions or concerns about your individual kids and their education, please reach out to your school principals next week.
The district website will be update regularly, with new resources and info posted as we have it.
This will be new for all of us. It will not look like in-class learning. And we know there will be a few bumps. But, if we continue to collaborate, be flexible and make sure the health and well-being of our students, staff, families and community are at the heart of our decisions, we know we’ll be on the right path. And through that process we can give students the opportunity to continue learning in ways that will both provide them with stability and enrich their growing minds.
We’re in this together,
Superintendent of Schools / CEO