June 25, 2020: Letter from superintendent Sylvia Russell

June 25, 2020 2:28 PM

Dear families,

Thank you for working with our staff as we reorganized to limit in-class instruction in March, moved quickly to provide remote learning opportunities and then opened up our schools again for limited in-school instruction in June. I know that the past several months have been challenging for our families, for our staff and for the province as a whole.

As we prepare for summer break, I am writing to provide some information about what you can expect for the new school year.

The Ministry of Education is aiming to open schools in September at Stage One of the K-12 Education Restart Plan. However, we know that conditions could change as we progress through the summer and must therefore prepare contingency plans. At this time, we are planning for both a full return to school and a hybrid educational model consisting of remote/online learning and in-classroom instruction. The K-12 Education Restart Plan outlines a number of stages, and as a school district we must anticipate and prepare for moving to any one of the stages identified. The Provincial Health Officer will provide school districts with direction on which stage to move to before schools reopen in the fall. We expect to receive this direction by August 20, and I will be in touch with you at that time to provide further information.

In preparation for the likely continuation of a hybrid model of remote and in-classroom instruction, our school district will work to improve remote delivery by limiting and standardizing the number of platforms our schools use to support online learning. We believe this standardization of online platforms will improve the experience for students, staff, and families.

If our province continues to effectively manage our pandemic, I encourage all students to make the return to in-classroom instruction in the fall. Our experience this June has shown that the health and safety procedures we have developed are effective and that we can reopen our schools for students and staff safely in the fall. The relationships that teachers, staff and students form in September are a critical foundation for the work that occurs during the school year. In the event the Provincial Health Officer needs to limit access to schools during flu season, students will be best served if they have already formed strong relationships with staff and know the routines of their new classroom(s). 

I wish you all a wonderful and happy summer!

Sylvia Russell


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