Frequently Asked Questions during COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions during COVID-19

On March 17, 2020, the Ministry of Education suspended all in-classroom instruction indefinitely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. ​To provide our school communities with the latest information, we have created a list of frequently asked questions. This list also includes the FAQs sent out by the Ministry of Education on March 25, 2020. The FAQs on this page will be updated regularly as we receive additional information and clarification.

You can browse our FAQs by category using the tabs below, or search for your specific question in the field below.

If your question is not on the list, you can submit it through the “Submit a Question” tab at the bottom of this list. We are listening. Your question(s) will be reviewed by staff and the FAQs will be updated within 24 to 48 hours.

ESSENTIAL WORKER QUESTIONS
School District No. 42

We are currently getting all systems and structures into place. As soon as this work is done, we will be looking at the current hours with a view to expanding them.

Please contact us with a description of your special circumstances at register@sd42.ca and we will follow-up with you directly.

 

 

If you didn’t complete the essential service workers survey or you completed the survey incorrectly, please contact us at register@sd42.ca

 

Following the direction of the provincial government, the school district is currently prioritizing the provision of childcare and on-site educational services to children (ages 5-12) of tier one essential service workers in the health-care sector. We are not charging a fee for this service.

The school district will be providing childcare for children of essential service workers from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. The initial priority will be the provision of childcare to essential workers in the health-care profession.

The essential worker survey closed at 4 pm on Monday, March 30. The school district will follow-up with families requesting this service provision by Friday, April 3, 2020

Yes, staff with preschool-aged children can fill in the Essential Worker survey. However, please note priority will be given to families in which both parents are essential services workers.

If you do not require childcare services, you do not need to fill-in the Essential Worker survey.

Please fill in the Essential Service Worker survey. The survey closes at 4 pm on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Priority will be given to families in which both parents are essential services workers.

OPERATIONS
School District No. 42

Yes. Late phase of kindergarten registration is open from February 26 to June 21 on the parent portal. Learn more about the kindergarten registration process here: https://www.sd42.ca/kindergarten-registration/

For registration at all other grade levels, please contact your catchment school. Use the school locator tool to find your catchment school. 

On May 15, Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced that all schools in BC will be moving to Stage 3 of BC’s Restart Plan. As a result, effective June 1, 2020, families will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis. The goal is to return to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so. 

Please connect with the school principal directly to see what is being planned at school level. 

Kindergarten registration takes place online through the school district parent portal. The Late Registration Phase runs from February 26 to June 21. Learn more about the kindergarten registration process on the district website at https://www.sd42.ca/kindergarten-registration/ 

To register your child for kindergarten on the parent portal, go to https://parents.sd42.ca/

On May 15, Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced that all schools in BC will be moving to Stage 3 of BC’s Restart Plan. As a result, effective June 1, 2020, families will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis. The goal is to return to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so

Our secondary schools are moving forward with planning to hold the 2020 commencement event once the Provincial Health Officer lifts restrictions on the size of gatherings. We will look for ceremony dates that fall close to holidays when students who are away for studies or work are more likely to be home with their friends and families. The work on virtual ceremonies is already well underway and these will continue as planned.

Please connect with the school principal directly to see what is being planned at school level.

All plans and timelines identified for K-12 schools in the school district extend to the Alouette CyberSchool program.

Everyone entering our facilities will be required to complete a risk assessment questionnaire. Individuals who are sick or at risk of being sick will not be allowed access.

As recommended by Provincial Health Officials: promote and practise social/physical distancing; stay home and away from others if sick or in isolation; wash hands often; cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbows; avoid touching face with unwashed hands; avoid travel outside Canada; self-isolate for 14 days if returning from travel outside Canada or were exposed to COVID-19; and contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions about your health.

Controlled access to schools and worksites will be maintained to reduce exposure. Employees are asked to contact their supervisor before reporting to work at a school district facility.

There can be more than 50 students and staff in a school at any given time if they are not all in one area at the same time and are actively engaged in social/physical distancing (i.e. 2 metres apart). We will work with the Medical Health Officer to ensure appropriate protocol is in place.

 

During this COVID-19 outbreak, all Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District sites are receiving enhanced cleaning, which focuses on increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces, doorknobs, desktops, washrooms, etc. Controlled access to schools and worksites will also be maintained to reduce exposure.

We have not received this direction from the Ministry of Education. The decision to extend the school year would be made by the Minister. It is too early to determine if this will be necessary.

At this time, our administrative and operational sites (District Education Office, Maintenance Department, Riverside Centre) are closed to the public until further notice, but our staff will continue providing services.

For assistance, please call 604.463.4200 or email deo_reception@sd42.ca.

SD42 school playgrounds opened on June 1. Playground users should continue to follow all public health guidelines, including maintaining two-metre (six feet) physical distancing and washing or sanitizing hands before and after play.

STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTION
School District No. 42

Please email Thomas Haney Secondary principal directly with your question at grant_frend@sd42.ca 

Please connect with the school principal directly to see what is being planned at school level. 

If you have concerns about the number/length of online instructional meetings (too many or too few), please reach out to your child’s teacher to discuss you specific concerns. If you have already reached out to your child’s teacher but continue to have concerns, please connect with the school principal.

Please contact your child’s principal by email or call your child’s school between 8:00 am and 3:30 pm, Monday to Friday. If you’ve already discussed your child’s needs with your school principal but continue to have questions or concerns, please contact Learning Services directly at 604.467.1101.

All students should have been contacted by their teacher last week at the latest. Please contact acting principal Jeff Curwen directly at jeffrey_curwen@sd42.ca  so that he can follow up. 

Yes. Let your child’s teacher know that your child requires a device to support remote learning.

Your instructor will be getting in touch with you to discuss plans for remote instructional support.

At this time, it is too early to know if on-site/in-classroom summer school instruction will be able to proceed. We will revisit this question in a few weeks once we know more.

Yes. Final grades for students will be based on work completed to date as well as the assessment of participation in learning opportunities that will occur over the coming months.

Students should discuss with their teacher(s) what steps need to be taken to remove the incomplete. Final grades for students will be based on work completed to date as well as the assessment of participation in learning opportunities that will occur over the coming months.

You are not expected to purchase any new learning supplies for your child. Principals have followed up with all teachers to reinforce that we should not be requesting families to purchase any new learning materials in the current context.

Teachers will provide students with guidance on how and when the capstone project will need to be completed.

Please advise your teacher of any technology needs or limitations so that these can be addressed/accommodated.

Your teacher will be able to advise you on expectations regarding any outstanding assignments or previously scheduled tests/exams. 

Within this unique/complex context, the planning that teachers are undertaking will fall within the following general guidelines:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3: planning will focus on language and literacy as well as numeracy from the provincial curriculum. An average of five to seven hours of learning opportunities per student per week.
  • Grades 4 to 7: focus on language and literacy and numeracy, as well as an opportunity to incorporate science and social studies through “cross-curricular learning”. An average of seven to ten hours of learning opportunities per student per week.
  • Grades 8 to 12: planning will be in relation to all current courses. An average of one to two hours of learning opportunities per course per student per week.

Parents will be hearing directly from their child’s teacher, which will allow for discussion regarding individual student learning beyond these general guidelines. Our goal is to provide our students with engaging, meaningful and manageable learning opportunities.

The school district is developing a document for students, advising how to access Office 365 (including the Microsoft Teams feature). This document will include information on how to obtain usernames/passwords.

The decision to suspend in-classroom instruction was made by the Provincial Health Officer, who will also advise once in-classroom instruction can resume. 

Teachers will determine the appropriate resource(s) based on the subject of study and the needs of the students in the class. The school district will not be prescribing any one specific platform or resource.

The decision to suspend in-class instruction was made by the Provincial Health Officer. Teachers will be reaching out to families during the week of March 30 to plan for alternate program delivery, which * may * include online learning. 

PE teachers will provide at-home learning opportunities. 

We are currently developing a plan for Kanaka Creek elementary and will be providing Kanaka Creek families with an update soon.

Teachers will be in touch with families during the week of March 30, and those conversations will help inform the development of learning opportunities. Some of the learning may be online, but we recognize that not all of our families will have access to online resources. Alternate deliveries of learning opportunities may need to be considered/developed.

 

We recognize that the suspension of all in-class instruction impacts our current models for trades training programs and apprenticeship programs. Our careers program staff will be working to review individual programs and determine the best alternative instructional model to allow for continuity of learning. We will be reaching out to students in our trades/apprenticeships programs within the next two weeks to provide them with an update.

In the first week after spring break, all online instructors will be reaching out to their students to outline the necessary changes to ensure students have the opportunity to continue their learning and complete the course(s).

 

We are currently developing a plan for Kanaka Creek elementary and will be providing Kanaka Creek families with an update soon.

This will be different depending on the teacher. Your child’s teacher will be able to provide you with more information as plans are fully developed and finalized.

The Grade 12 capstone project is still required. Teachers will provide students with guidance on how the capstone project will be completed.

High school students will hear from one main contact during the week of March 30.

We recognize that this is a challenging time, and we do not want to overburden students and families with unrealistic expectations. Please discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher.

The March 27, 2020 superintendent’s letter to families (sent through the parent portal) included an attachment with a list of all SD42 online resources. If you are not on the portal and did not receive this document, please contact your school principal and request a copy.

Our goal is to provide students with engaging, meaningful and manageable learning opportunities, but we also recognize that some of our learners will have limited access to online resources. Teachers will connect with families during the week of March 30 to discuss details.

The school district does not want to overburden students and families with unrealistic expectations. Our goal is to provide students with engaging, meaningful and manageable learning opportunities. We also recognize that some of our learners will have limited access to online resources. Teachers will connect with families during the week of March 30 to discuss details.

All plans and timelines identified for K-12 schools in the school district extend to the Outreach program and other district alternate programs.

Please fill in the Essential Service Worker survey. The survey closes at 4 pm on Monday, March 30, 2020.

Please contact your school principal to get more information about available resources.

Our secondary schools are moving forward with planning to hold the 2020 commencement event once the Provincial Health Officer lifts restrictions on the size of gatherings. We will look for ceremony dates that fall close to holidays when students who are away for studies or work are more likely to be home with their friends and families. The work on virtual ceremonies is already well underway and these will continue as planned.

At this time access to schools is limited to school personnel. School administration will advise students of the protocol for picking up items from school.

We do not believe there will be an impact, however, it’s best that you check with your college or university.

Please discuss this with your teacher and school administration. Every effort will be made to support students being able to demonstrate their learning successfully.  

At this time, we would expect mid-term reports to go home as scheduled.

Although in-classroom instruction has been suspended, teachers will reconnect with students after spring break to make plans for continued support of student learning.

As part of planning for ongoing instruction, we are proactively identifying supports or accommodations that need to be made to support the learning for all students.

The Ministry of Education has indicated that school districts should develop educational continuity plans, and we are working on those resources now. As they are finalized, we will communicate with parents, students and staff accordingly.

STAFF
School District No. 42

Please advise your principal of your childcare needs.

Teachers will have access to schools to gather the supplies they need. Staff are encouraged to utilize available resources at this time.

Yes. Plans for a flexible work schedule (between home and a worksite) will be discussed between individual employees and their direct supervisor/principal during the week of March 30, 2020. 

It is government expectation that pay will continue until further notice for employees whose work who would otherwise not have been interrupted save for the pandemic response.

Unfortunately, there will likely be a lack of work for our TTOCs and casual employees. Records of Employment for Employment Insurance (EI) purposes are being made readily available through payroll and uploaded to Service Canada the week of March 23, 2020.

Staff are expected to be at work as discussed with their supervisor/principal. Some staff may work remotely where practicable to do so. More direction with respect to this will be provided the week of March 30, 2020.

If you are unable to work or are working remotely, you will be expected to log your absences. If you are working through a situation of mandated quarantine, the district will be contacted directly by the Public Health Officer and process your leave accordingly. If you are on a mandated self-isolation, you would need to ensure you contact Human Resources to ensure your leave is coded appropriately.

SUSPENDING IN-CLASS INSTRUCTION
Ministry of Education
  • The PHO’s order is intended to prevent large groups of people from gathering in close quarters with one another. There could be more than 50 students and staff in a school at any given time if they are not all in one area at the same time and are actively engaged in physical distancing to the extent possible.
  • School districts are considering how to prioritize in-person visits to schools and explore how to reserve these opportunities for those who need it most (i.e. children of essential service workers or students that will not be able to engage in learning easily from home).
  • School districts are encouraged to work and communicate regularly with their local medical health officer in the health authority to ensure that protocols that are put in place in schools respect the guidelines provided by the PHO.
  • The Ministry has suspended in-person instruction and directed school districts and independent school authorities to develop plans to ensure on-going instruction, as well as services and supports for the children of essential service workers. The intent is that a limited number of students will be present in-person in schools at any given time in order to allow for sufficient physical distancing.
  • The Ministry of Education will be working with the PHO and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) to provide direction to school districts and independent school authorities on how to ensure the health and safety of staff and/or students who are present in schools now, and in the weeks ahead.
  • At this time, the Ministry of Education is advising school districts and independent school authorities to consider how to:
    • Ensure schools continue to follow the highest standard of cleaning practices;
    • Promote and support physical distancing between staff and students in schools and offices; and
    • Control access to buildings to limit exposure.
  • The provincial government under direction of the PHO has decided not to close child care programs at this time, although it is recognized that some childcare operators have made the decision to close on their own.
  • Where child care is being operated in conjunction with K-12 schools, it’s expected that boards of education and/ or independent school authorities will determine ways to continue these services.
  • The Ministry of Education is working closely with the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to ensure children aged 0-12 of Essential Service Workers have access to care.
  • MCFD is taking steps to support the child care sector while ensuring parents who must work during the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have access to child care, with recently announced new funding for providers.
  • More information can be found on this webpage focused on childcare questions/answers and resources in response to COVID-19.
  • Government has taken the advice of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to suspend in-class instruction in K-12 schools across the province to ensure the health and safety of school staff, students, parents and communities is protected.
  • K-12 schools are still open so that school district staff can continue to support operations in the school district and serve the needs of the community, even if in-class instruction is suspended.
  • The Ministry of Education will continue to follow the daily direction of public health officials and scientists in making fact-based decisions when it comes to B.C.’s school system.
  • In-person classroom instruction has been suspended for all public and independent schools, in British Columbia (B.C.).
  • Most FirstNations schools have also elected to follow this direction.
  • The same rules apply regardless of whether schools are located in urban or rural areas.
  • For information about how First Nations schools are approaching on-going learning, the individual First Nation or school principal should be contacted. Many First Nations schools are also posting regular updates through social media on their Facebook pages or Twitter accounts.
  • No, schools are not closed. On March 17, 2020, under the direction of Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the Provincial Government directed all K-12 schools to immediately suspend in-class instruction until further notice.
  • Since in-class instruction has been suspended, school districts and independent school authorities are currently reviewing and planning learning opportunities for students.
  • It is up to local boards of education and independent school authorities to determine hours of operation for and access to school board offices and school offices.
LEARNING/EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Ministry of Education
  • Each school district and independent school authority will be responsible for determining how best to permit access to schools and classrooms in order for parents to retrieve personal or educational items.
  • Access to schools and classrooms will need to be carefully arranged in order to respect the guidelines established by the PHO on physical distancing.
  • The time commitment required from parents will depend on a number of factors including the grade level of the student and the approach used by the school and individual teacher.
  • Some support from parents will likely be required, especially for younger children who may require explanations and guidance on how to approach home learning activities.
  • For more details on expectations of parents, please connect with either your child’s classroom teacher or the school principal in the coming weeks.
  • In addition to the plans developed by school districts to provide out-of-classroom learning opportunities for students, the Ministry of Education is creating a website with home learning resources to help parents support their children while in-class instruction is suspended.
  • The website is expected to launch on Friday, March 27, 2020 and will be updated over the coming weeks.
  • The Ministry of Education expects school districts and independent school authorities to send out a communication to parents as soon as possible, keeping parents informed about their planning processes.
  • Homeschooling is an alternative method of teaching offered outside the B.C. education system. Typically, a family member delivers the entire educational program to children at home, without direct support from teachers (other than assessments).
  • School districts will work to best support parents and students with access to French learning resources.
  • School districts and independent school authorities have been asked to put in place learning opportunities for students as soon as practically possible, no later than mid-April. They will be taking the time over the coming weeks to develop plans for how ongoing learning opportunities can be provided to students during this period of time.
  • Each school district and independent school is expected to communicate with parents as soon as possible following their scheduled spring break about the learning opportunities that will be made available to students and when parents can expect to receive more information.
  • If parents are seeking additional information on what to expect over the coming weeks, they should inquire with either their child’s classroom teacher or school principal for more information. How will online or remote learning work? What if I don’t have a computer or if I have unreliable internet services?
  • School districts and independent schools are developing plans for how they can deliver learning opportunities using alternative methods (i.e. not in-person), which could include online learning. The alternative approaches put in place in individual schools and classes may look slightly different depending on the students and families that these schools serve, which is why the planning needs to be completed at the local level.
  • School districts and independent schools are in the process of gathering information from their families to inform their local planning process and this includes asking parents about access to technology within their homes.
  • Some school districts and independent schools are considering loaning equipment for students and potential in-person learning options, based on a prioritization of need, to make sure all students have the tools they need to learn away from a school building.
  • Learning opportunities will look different during this time. Each school district and independent school authority will develop a plan that best responds to the needs of their local community. This could include measures such as online learning tools and/or resource packages or assignments e-mailed from teachers to parents.
  • The Ministry of Education is working with school districts and independent school authorities to support them in their local planning efforts.
SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND DIVERSE (SPECIAL) NEEDS
Ministry of Education
  • School districts have been asked to ensure meal programs continue where possible in alignment with PHO guidelines. School districts with universal programs have been asked to prioritize families facing food insecurity.
  • Meal programs will be delivered safely and in alignment with the directives from the Provincial Health Officer, which may require creative and innovative approaches.
  • School districts with existing meal programs are requested to continue to support students experiencing food insecurity in the community where possible. This will require re-assessing student need based on current context and engaging with community agencies to align supports.
  • School districts with universal meal programs may not need to continue to provide meals to all students; but should identify those families and students most in need and develop options for on-going meal service.
  • Districts are also encouraged to partner with non-profits and community agencies on unique local approaches where possible.
  • The Ministry of Education is in close contact with the Ministry of Children and Family Development on this issue.  Funding for autism services and respite falls under their area of responsibility and continued planning is underway on how to respond to some of the unique challenges faced by families. Access to Child and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) staffing, AIS BC and Autism Funding Branch continues to assist families to find the services and supports that meet their needs.
  • Most organizations that typically support families continue to be in service during this time; however, support may be offered in different ways. Families are encouraged to access supports from the agencies they are familiar with and have accessed prior to the pandemic.
  • The Family Support Institute and Inclusion BC are both continuing to provide supports to families through new service delivery models during the pandemic.
  • Yes, the individual learning goals identified in students’ IEPs will continue to be a part of their learning.
  • School districts and independent school authorities have been asked to ensure students with disabilities and diverse abilities have access to the same level of on-going learning as all other students. For students who were receiving specialized supports (e.g. physical therapy, occupational therapy) on-site, school district and independent school teams have been asked to consider alternate service delivery models where feasible.
  • For students who were receiving 1:1 service, school-based teams will work with families and caregivers to develop a plan for on-going learning and supports.
  • School districts and independent school authorities have been asked to consider the care needs of parents of students with disabilities who have no other care options as a part of their planning for supporting the children of essential service workers.
  • From a learning perspective, all students with disabilities and diverse abilities should have access to the same level of on-going instruction and support.
  • School districts and independent school authorities have been asked to ensure students with disabilities and diverse abilities have access to the same level of on-going learning as all other students. As a part of planning  for on-going instruction, schools should be proactively identifying supports or accommodations that need to be made to support learning for students with disabilities and diverse abilities.
MARKS, ASSESSMENTS AND GRADUATION
Ministry of Education

•  The Ministry of Education will be working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to support smooth transitions to post-secondary education for students.

  • Transcripts remain available to students through the Ministry of Education’s Student Transcript Service. The transcripts will be updated when schools are able to report final marks.
  • For grades 10 and 11 students, graduation assessments will be postponed.
  • Every student eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.
  • The only graduation assessment required for current Grade 12 students is the Grade 10 numeracy assessment.
  • The Ministry of Education will ensure Grade 12 students who have not yet completed the Grade 10 numeracy assessment and who are otherwise on track to graduate are able to meet this graduation requirement.
  • Teachers and Principals will support all students as part of the continuity of learning and help those students who may need additional supports to meet graduation requirements.
  • The Ministry of Education is also working with post-secondary institutions to ensure graduating students will transition successfully.
  • For more information, please read B.C. Minister of Education Rob Fleming’s letter on March 17 about assessments, marks and graduation for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year.
PARENTS UNABLE TO STAY HOME AND ESSENTIAL WORKERS
Ministry of Education
  • The Ministry of Education expects school districts and independent schools to develop plans to maintain some level of service for children of people who are performing essential services across our province – services critical to preserving life, health and societal functioning.
  • This may look different depending on the school district and possibly the school/community and could be childcare, educational instruction or a combination of the two.
  • Please contact your school principal if direction has not been communicated to you within the coming week or so.
HEALTH AND SAFETY RESOURCES
Ministry of Education
  • Every British Columbian has a role to play in reducing the spread of this virus and protecting the people we love.
  • The most important things people can do to limit the spread of the virus are:
    • Stay home as much as possible and limit contact with other people.
    • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching your face.
  • The province has launched a new non-medical information line for British Columbians who have questions about COVID-19: 1-888-COVID19. Phone lines are open 7 days a week from 7:30 AM to 8 PM, and information is available in more than 110 languages.
  • B.C.’s COVID-19 website has many resources available at www.gov.bc.ca/covid19
  • The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website also has many resources for British Columbians who want more information about COVID-19, at http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/
  • If you think you have symptoms, the Ministry of Health has developed an online self-assessment tool atcovid19.thrive.health.
  • If you have symptoms you can call 8-1-1 to pre-arrange health testing. If you have symptoms associated withCOVID-19, self-isolate.
SUBMIT A QUESTION
Enter your question:

What question is being answered?

FAQ Author:

What name should be displayed with your FAQ?

Please note: while you will not receive confirmation that your question has been submitted, we will receive and review the question(s) you submit.

Our vision
Our vision is for every individual to feel valued and for all learners to reach their potential.
Our mission
Our mission is to support all individuals in their development as successful learners, and as respectful, caring and responsible members of society.