COVID-19 Info Centre

The plan for phase 3: Superintendent update

May 22, 2020


Dear students, parents and staff,

Over the last few months we have been collectively faced with circumstances and choices we each never saw coming. The path we’re walking together shifts often, usually quite quickly. And that’s about to happen again. Throughout this process though, we have shown tremendous resilience and support for one another and with the final weeks of the school year upon us, we remain committed to continuing on this way.

Last week your Principals reached out to gauge initial interest at each school around which families would like to take advantage of the optional part-time return to classes, and which families (for a variety of reasons) want to finish the school year through remote learning.

Using the feedback you provided, alongside additional guidance from the Ministry of Education and the health authorities, New Westminster Schools will be submitting our plan to the Ministry on Monday. We’ve come up with a plan that will work best, for most families – acknowledging some might change their previous thinking as they consider the details. But it will also give us the greatest ability to continue to keep students, staff and families safe. Moreover, it is a plan which can be adapted if needed.

Here’s what to expect:

  • K-5 will be operating at a maximum of 50% density: half days, five days a week
  • Grades 6-12 will be operating at a maximum of 20%: two half days, two days a week
  • A combination of in-class instruction and/or child care coverage at one of our Child Learning Centres will continue to be available 5 days a week for essential service workers (including for New Westminster School District staff who have school-aged children attending our Schools), as well as for students with diverse needs and abilities.
  • Remote learners will continue to receive support and instruction via the channels being used now, just on a slightly modified schedule to account for the split teaching model

Principals will send exact schedules for your school early next week. You will have the opportunity then to confirm if you’d like to go ahead as originally indicated, or let them know if you’ve changed your mind once you have a better sense of the exact details.

We also know you still have questions about health and safety, how schools will look different and what the implementation of Provincial Health Officer and Worksafe BC guidance will mean inside our schools. And for families sending children back in June, you’ll need to start a daily routine of doing health assessments for each of your children before sending them. We’ve created an online space to help answer all the questions you may have around these and other issues:

Again, we know every child and every family is in a different position right now. So we respect and value your right to make the decision that works best for you at this time … while we all work toward the anticipated next shift that will hopefully bring a full return to our schools in September.

Working together through this challenging time,
Karim Hachlaf
Superintendent of Schools / CEO


PDF – Phase 3 return plan update for May 22