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Parent/Guardian message re: Fuel Restriction

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On Friday, Nov. 19th, the Provincial government announced temporary restrictions on vehicle fuel purchases and travel in areas impacted by flooding to ensure the smooth and efficient movement of essential goods and services.  While Saanich Schools remain open for instruction, we have been asked to reduce vehicle fuel usage to the greatest extent possible.  Our goals remain keeping students safe, continuing in-person classroom instruction, and ensuring as the continuity of our educational programs.  Restrictions on vehicle fuel do not impact heating fuel (i.e. natural gas) so our schools will be operating normally.

How do these temporary restrictions affect Saanich Schools?

  • These temporary provincial restrictions are in place until midnight on Nov 30th.
  • As schools and school district sites will remain open, regular instruction will continue and school staff will continue to report to work.  Where remote work options are possible, some district staff will be provided with an option to work remotely after having a conversation with their supervisor to discuss possible options.
  • Where possible, parents, staff and students are encouraged to carpool, use public transit or alternate means of transportation.
  • All non-essential travel both within and outside the school district is to be deferred if possible. If travel is deemed essential, participants should look at options including carpooling, public transportation or other means of transportation.
    • Non-essential, face-to-face meetings should be held virtually where possible and practicable.
    • Field trips that are local or within walking distance can continue, but those that require travel by car or school bus should be deferred.
    • Extra-curricular sports are continuing at this time, but may change as circumstances change.  Coaches are asked to encourage carpooling where possible.
  • School buses and school district maintenance vehicles are not currently subject to the fuel restrictions and will continue to access their fuel at either commercial cardlock stations or retail gas stations.  

You can expect to hear from our district over the next two weeks as updates are provided by the Provincial government.  We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust as required.

This year has been a challenging one for British Columbians. We have been asked on several occasions to do our part to heed provincial orders, restrictions and guidance for the greater good. As we have seen each time, individuals and our community have come together to show incredible resilience, and more importantly, compassion for one another.  I thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this latest time for all of us to pull together.

If you have any questions please reach out to your school administration.

With appreciation,
Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

A message from Chair Dunford

Dear Saanich Schools community,
 
We are all acutely aware of the many impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, both in our personal lives and our professional responsibilities.  The Board of Education is extremely appreciative of the efforts from our staff, students, parents/guardians and the broader community during these unprecedented times.  Our schools continue to be wonderful places of learning and growth for our students, primarily because of the efforts from everyone in our schools and district.  On behalf of the Board, I wish to express our sincere thanks for your efforts.  
 
At a recent meeting of the Board of Education, trustees passed a motion with regards to the importance of ensuring that everyone within our district who is able to receive a COVID-19 vaccination does so to help ensure a safe working and learning environment:

That the Board express its support for COVID-19 vaccinations, in accordance with public health recommendations and encourage all employees and eligible students to avail themselves of the protection of the COVID-19 vaccine, for the health and well-being of all in School District 63.

Thank you, to our entire Saanich Schools community, for your ongoing efforts as we work together to provide our students with an outstanding educational experience.
 
Sincerely,

Tim Dunford
Board Chair

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Free Workshop: Parents as Education and Career Coaches - November 15th, 2021

Saanich School District proudly invites you to participate in a free virtual Zoom seminar for parents!

Please join us on Monday, November 15th, 2021 at 7 pm for an informative and interactive Virtual Zoom session to help parents and guardians navigate the world of career options open to students!  Please click here for more information and the link to register.

Spare Room? Become a Homestay Family!

Saanich International Student Program (SISP) is in need of host families for international students joining our district in February 2022. Make life-long friendships, receive a generous allowance of $975 per month to offset expenses and share the beauty of your home and community. 

*SISP is following all guidelines and requirements set by the Federal and Provincial Government regarding COVID-19.  Extensive safety protocols are in place.* 

Saanich Schools Strategic Plan 2022-2027 Consultation Survey

Re: The Board’s Strategic Plan (2022-2027)

There is still time to complete a short survey on the Board’s new Strategic Plan 2022-2027.  The Board of Education is interested in hearing from as many parents/guardians as possible about the 3 themes being considered.  You can find the survey on our School District website as well as HERE (The survey closes at the end of the day on Wed Nov 10th)

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Draft Strategic Plan 2022-2027 Overview

A Board’s Strategic Plan is designed to be a living document, based on evidence, that provides the school district with focus areas on which to improve student achievement.  It uses data to measure student improvement over time and is part of the planning cycle involving budget priorities and operational decisions.  Based on a review of provincial, district and school-level evidence, the Board has narrowed its focus to three areas designed to improve student success in Saanich Schools:

  • Literacy
  • Indigenous Learner Success
  • Mental Health and Wellness

A summary of various provincial reports on student achievement in Saanich can be found HERE.  Our district’s 2021-22 Framework for Enhancing Student Learning (FESL) report with examples of local data can be found HERE.

These three identified themes form the basis of the Board’s consultation with staff, students, parents/guardians and the broader community. There is space for your comments about each theme should you wish to comment on one, two or all three of them.  Please note that there is also an area for you to suggest other evidence-driven areas for the Board’s consideration in its next Strategic Plan.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein

Updated Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings - A Message from the Superintendent (Oct 1 2021)

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you may have heard, the Provincial Health Officer (Dr. Bonnie Henry) provided an update today to the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings.  You can find the announcement HERE

Beginning on Mon Oct 4th, all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask.  This measure builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to students in Gr 4-12.  So, beginning on Monday students in K-Gr 3, like their peers in Gr 4-12, will now be required to wear a mask in classrooms, common areas and on the school bus.  If you have a child in K-Gr 3, we would ask that you provide them with a mask beginning on Monday.  However, we have been able to secure some disposable masks for young children and plan to have these available in our schools on Monday as well. 

Dr. Henry has emphasized that schools continue to be very safe places for children.  Transmission of the COVID-19 virus continues to primarily occur in the home or in social settings, not in schools.  This enhanced mask mandate is part of the continuing evolution of health measures designed to help reduce the potential for transmission.  The government has also indicated that beginning in October, the Provincial Health Office will be releasing a new monthly report that will provide British Columbians with current information about the virus and how it affects school-aged children.  You can expect the October report around the middle of the month.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this time of increased precautions in our schools.  We know that school is critical for children’s social-emotional health, and as such, we continue to place a high priority on both their safety and learning environment to ensure that we are providing an engaging and welcoming space.

Respectfully,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

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Message to Parents/Guardians from the Superintendent & Board Chair (Sept 30th National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) Sept 28, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians:

As you are aware, September 30th has been declared as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.  It is an important day of recognition created in response to the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.  The Government of BC has declared this day as a provincial holiday, and as such, all Saanich schools will be closed.  It is an opportunity for all of us to take time to visibly acknowledge the legacy of residential schools in Canada – to honour the survivors and those who never returned home from these schools.

We will be visibly supporting this learning journey in our schools and district office on Sept 29th by wearing orange on Orange Shirt Day.  Schools will be conducting other activities as well that help to support greater understanding of Canada’s tragic and shameful residential school history.

September 30th may look different for many in our community – perhaps it will be a quiet day of reflection, the participation in a community event or a time to educate ourselves further about the history of residential schools and colonial impacts.  However you choose to remember, we encourage everyone to be active in their learning as we all continue on the path towards truth and reconciliation.

The school district’s Indigenous Education department has identified some resources that you may find insightful:

HÍSW̱ḴE

Dave Eberwein, Superintendent of Schools           Tim Dunford, Chair of the Board