Mar 13, 2020: Letter from superintendent Sylvia Russell

March 13, 2020 2:04 PM

Dear families,

Before we head into spring break, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some important school-related updates on the novel coronavirus.

I have attached for you a letter from Deputy Minister Scott MacDonald that highlights a number of the important announcements made yesterday by Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

School Closures

First, Dr. Henry advised that school closures are not necessary at this time. Over the next two weeks, therefore, school districts in the province with a different spring break schedule than ours will remain open, as will our balanced calendar school Kanaka Creek, which will start its spring break holidays on March 30. All other schools in our district will start their break Monday, March 16 and reopen on Monday, March 30, 2020 as scheduled. If there are any updates or changes to these plans, I will immediately inform you.

The decision to close schools because of the coronavirus is not a local school district decision. Instead, such a decision would be made by the Provincial Health Officer. As Deputy Minister MacDonald notes in his letter, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and education stakeholders will be having ongoing discussions over the next two weeks. We will provide you with any updates as they become available.

Non-Essential Travel

Second, Dr. Henry strongly advised against all non-essential travel out of the country, including to the United States. She also asked that those who do travel out of the country self-isolate (stay away from school or work) for 14 days upon return to Canada.

If your family does decide to travel out of the country, I ask that you please comply with this important directive so that we can continue to keep our schools and communities healthy. Remember to advise your child’s school of the absence as you normally would.

Community Gatherings and Events

Finally, Dr. Henry directed that all community gatherings and events planned for 250 or more people be cancelled or postponed. As such, we have asked our schools to postpone any planned concerts, performances or assemblies.

These are unusual and challenging times, and we must all work together to keep our communities healthy and safe. Please consider carefully the Provincial Health Officer’s advice and take all the necessary precautions. We will continue to post all COVID-19 updates to the district website at Updates specific for the Fraser Health region will be posted to the district website, school websites, and sent to you directly through the parent portal.

I wish you and your family a healthy and restful spring break.


Sylvia Russell
Superintendent of Schools


The Deputy Minister’s letter is also available in the following languages:
French, Punjabi, Chinese

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