As we find ourselves on the other side of spring break in this unusual new context, I wanted to reach out to provide you with a few updates and to thank you for your support and patience. We have been working hard to prepare meaningful learning opportunities for our students while ensuring the health and safety of our school communities.
For some of our staff, the shift to a virtual classroom will not be new; for many, however, the rapid change to a new format of instruction may be more challenging. Thankfully we have a school district ethos of collaboration and support that is the very cornerstone of our mission, vision and values. I see our instructional staff forming teams, supporting each other, and investigating the power of remote instruction. At the same time, we recognize the uniqueness of each individual and will work to ensure that we provide diverse learning opportunities for students who may not be able to engage meaningfully in the virtual space.
It is our goal to contact every student in our school district this week to check in and assess what supports we will need to put into place so that we can provide a meaningful and safe learning experience for all of our students. I know that our staff are looking forward to reconnecting with students.
We are also working hard to set up school-based educational programming for children of essential services workers. We consider it a privilege to contribute in this way and are quickly moving forward with this important work.
Essential Worker Survey is Now Closed
Thank you to all parents who completed our essential worker survey. This survey closed at 4 pm on Monday and staff are now reviewing all responses.
At this time, the provincial government has directed that school districts prioritize the provision of childcare and on-site educational services to children of tier one essential service workers in the health care sector. We will be reaching out to families who qualify for and require this service by end of today, Friday, April 3. If you are a tier one essential service worker in the health care sector requiring this service but you did not complete our survey, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reconnecting with Students
As I mentioned in my letter last week, your child’s teacher will be reconnecting with you and your child this week. The purpose of these initial conversations will be to get a sense of what your child’s unique needs may be and how we can best meet those needs in this new context. Teachers who have experience working in virtual classrooms will already be taking steps to provide students with learning opportunities and remote instructional support; teachers who are new to this way of teaching will be engaging with students next week and moving forward, but no later than mid-April.
If your child needs access to the school to retrieve an essential item that is required for learning (e.g. a device, a musical instrument, glasses), please advise your school principal by email or phone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, I wanted to remind you that we now have a collection of frequently asked questions on the school district website at https://www.sd42.ca/faq/. We have already received many questions from students, parents/guardians and staff, and have been adding the answers to our growing list on this page. The search feature on this page allows you to sort through the existing questions/answers. You can also submit any question(s) not on the list and we will post the answer(s) within 24-48 hours.
We continue to work hard to restructure our approaches to instruction so that we can support your children. It has been a challenging exercise but the work has had some joyous moments – found mostly in the reconnection of our staff to our students.
I hope that you, your family, and your friends are staying well.