This letter follows today’s letter by Superintendent Sylvia Russell and last week’s survey on the Parent Portal. As you are aware, the Ministry of Education announced that there is an opportunity for a partial return to in-school learning on June 1st. With this is mind, our secondary schools have been busy collaborating with our senior management team and partner groups to create a plan that incorporates the Health and Safety guidelines outlined by our Provincial Health Officer, Worksafe BC and the Ministry of Education. In all of our planning, student and staff safety is the top priority.
Secondary school students have the opportunity to return to school for time equivalent to one day a week. All secondary schools in SD 42 have chosen to structure this time as two mornings per week rather than one full day. Our in-school time will be dedicated to providing students assistance and support with their remote learning opportunities. Students who attend school a part of the week will continue to learn remotely for the remainder of week. Some students, including students with diverse abilities, may require more time in school, and these arrangements will be made in consultation with support teachers / case managers and administration.
We have developed an invitation-based system that will allow staff to invite students to school in a manner and pace that supports all learners in a priority order. Beginning May 28th teachers will make contact to invite specific students for a short school day from 830 – 11:10 am, Monday to Thursdays beginning June 1st. A student invitation is only for a specific day, not a period of days, unless otherwise specifically communicated. This focused approach will allow each invited student significant time to work to complete outstanding learning directly with their teacher. Some learning environments will not be available due to the number of in-room touch points: textiles lab, foods lab or technology shops are closed. Moreover, some staff will not be available due to medical accommodations. Additional “school days” for students will be added as necessary.
Our return to school will look vastly different than when your child attended school in March. As mentioned above, the safety of our students and staff is our priority, therefore, our secondary schools have put a number of measures in place:
- Parents are responsible for checking the health of their child(ren) before school. If your child is ill, or shows any symptoms such as fever, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, it is imperative that you keep them at home. Students who become ill or develop any of the above symptoms at school will be isolated and a parent/guardian will be called and required to pick the student up as quickly as possible. Medical clearance from a health professional will be required before a return to school is permitted.
- Students need to be prepared for the complete session, including bring their own resources, (pens, pencils, technology) as lockers are not to be accessed. Teachers will not lend out resources.
- Students will line up outside the appointed door following the pattern indicated by signage including cones.
- Students will be required to enter a specific door based on the teacher who extended the invitation. This will be a part of the invitation communication from the teacher.
- Drop in students cannot be accommodated.
- Each student will be checked in / attendance checked at their entrance door.
- Students will first enter into a marshaling area (the gym, support room or café) and line up socially distant, according to teacher. Teachers will collect their students and escort them to their classroom. The teacher will have their students wash their hands prior to entering a workspace, the exception is workspaces that include hand washing spaces.
- Student workspaces will be multi-graded. Each workspace has an occupancy limit and students, with at least one staff member, will remain in this space for the duration of the morning. It should be noted that students may not be able to work directly with their teachers, as some teachers will have health issues preventing their return to face-to-face instruction at this time.
- Hallways are unidirectional.
- Students are not free to enter or exit the classroom. Washroom trips should be minimized. Students will be required to use the designated washroom nearest their workspace.
- Lockers are not to be used. With permission, at the conclusion of the day, a locker may be emptied. Textbooks not in “further” use can be returned to common table at the exits.
- Students should plan on staying for the entire session. At the end of the session they will be directed to their assigned exit by a staff member and they should leave the school property immediately.
- Cafeteria, vending machines, school store and water fountains are all closed. We encourage your child to bring a reusable water bottle from home. If your child brings a snack, we are following the pack it in/pack it out model where whatever they bring, including garbage, goes home.
- All Students will exit the building at lunch, except students staying under prearranged direct supervision i.e. students and case managers.
- General socialization in common spaces will not be permitted.
We know that many of our families filled in the survey on the Parent Portal last week. If after reading this you are comfortable with the response you gave on the survey, there is no need to confirm your selection. However, if after reading this letter you have changed your mind, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate the change you would like to make. If you did not complete the Parent Portal survey last week and wish to sign up for in-school learning, please email me at: email@example.com , with the requested teacher(s) name. I will ensure that it is noted that your son or daughter wishes to have dedicated time to complete demonstration of learning. Please remember that face-to-face instruction is built upon the information from digital delivery. This is not separate or additional learning, as such participation is not required.
There is no need to respond if you will be continuing with remote learning only.
Despite the restrictions of this current plan, we look forward to welcoming students back to school at the start of June.