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Superintendent’s Weekly Update: 05/07

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Superintendent’s Weekly Update. May 7, 2020

Dear Sunshine Coast families,

Premier Horgan announced on Wednesday a BC Restart Plan to return our province to a more prosperous and less restrictive “new normal”.  The Plan covers many angles for provincial functioning, but I will focus on the emerging educational guidelines. Please note that specific plans related to this will be coming out in the next few weeks from the Ministry to support all school districts in their next steps. The framework leaves some questions unanswered, such as specific start dates for our students. Given the complexity of the challenge across the province, this is understandable.

The government states:

Reopening our Schools

  • As COVID-19 spread, governments everywhere took action to reduce in the classroom learning.
  • For most British Columbians with young children, this meant having to stay at home to look after their kids. While many workplaces have made work-from-home accommodations, that hasn’t been an option for everyone.
  • Our schools and educators rose to the challenge with online instruction and resources to keep our kids learning, but this placed a heavy burden on parents to support their kids as they learned at home.
  • We know there is no substitute for in-class instruction — and an important step toward our recovery is getting kids back into the classroom, so parents can get back into the workplace.
  • Initial health data indicates children are less affected than adults by the COVID-19 virus. Public health staff and officials will continue to review the health data. And the Ministry of Education and school divisions all around B.C. are reviewing options to allow for a safe return to school.
  • An announcement on a phased approach to resuming in-class instruction will be made in the coming weeks.
  • This will not be a return to normal. With weeks left in the school year, we anticipate many kids will not return to the classroom until September.
  • But we are also exploring ways to safely get some kids back to school before the summer, to allow more parents to return to work. How these changes unfold are the focus of intensive discussion among Ministry of Education officials, school trustees, the BC Teachers’ Federation, CUPE, and other education sector partners.

Our staff will continue with their extensive efforts of connecting with students and families in their support of literacy, numeracy, key high school subject areas, and Core Competencies. As we receive further information from the Ministry of Education we will plan for having some students returning to school before the summer. We will keep you informed as we move forward.

Here are some updates for this week:

Continuation of Learning:

  • Please note that our teachers have a Professional Development Day on Monday, May 11th. They will be pursuing professional learning to support their students and will not likely be in contact with students on that day.

Communication:

  • If you have questions or comments about your child’s learning, please contact your child’s teacher. If the matter is more school related, please connect with your child’s principal. If the matter is more related to the direction of the district, please email me. If you don’t know who to talk to, contact any of us. We are here to help.

Tips to help your family’s well-being

Families Staying Active

Canadian kids need active bodies to build their best brains. In order for them to reach their full mental, emotional and intellectual potential, their bodies have to move to get the wheels in their brains turning!

This ParticipACTION App has great ideas for home activities content for the whole family!

All of us at School District 46 wish you the very best as we all navigate the daily and ongoing challenges of this pandemic together.

Take care,

Patrick

Patrick Bocking

Superintendent of Schools

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