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.

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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Spare Room? Become a Homestay Family!

Saanich International Student Program (SISP) is in need of host families for international students joining our district in September 2021. 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.* 

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 

Return to School Updates – A Message from the Superintendent (Aug 25 2021)

Good afternoon Parents/Guardians,

I hope that you and your families have had an enjoyable summer.  As you know, we are getting ready to receive your children in school after Labour Day.  School offices are open next week as we make the final push towards Sept 7th.  I want to take this opportunity to provide you with some information on a few items including health and safety as it pertains to the pandemic. 

Full-Time In-Person Instruction

The Ministry of Education confirmed in their Tuesday media release that schools are returning to full-time in-person instruction this September.

Pandemic Health & Safety Protocols

Also announced on Tuesday were the updated operational guidelines for K-12 schools.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • As mandated by WorkSafeBC, a new Communicable Disease Program will replace our district’s Safety Plan.  It will have many similarities to our current plan but will reflect any new measures being implemented in our schools.  Ours will be available on our district website early next week.
  • Regional Medical Health Officers will now have the authority to implement additional safety requirements at a regional, district or school level should that be required.
  • All K-12 staff and students in Gr 4-12 are required to wear masks while indoors or on the school bus.  K-Gr 3 students are encouraged to wear masks, but this remains the choice of the student and their family.
  • General cleaning of the premises, and the cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces, will occur at least once in a 24-hour period.
  • Staff and students (or their parents if appropriate) are to continue to do their own Daily Health Check and should remain home if they are not feeling well. 
  • Visitors will still be required to sign-in at the office or front counter to confirm that they are feeling well.
  • Our ventilation systems will continue to use high-filtering MERV 13 filters as recommended.  Ventilation performance will also continue to be monitored by our Facilities Department.
  • School gatherings and events will now align with provincial/regional guidelines.  The following activities will now be able to occur:
    • School sports 
    • Extra-curricular activities & assemblies
    • Theater and dance performances
    • Staff gatherings and meetings

Additional guidance and information can be found in the Ministry of Education document: Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings.

Vaccination Update – From Island Health

Island Health MHO, Dr. Mike Benusic: “We are making great headway with youth vaccination rates on the Island and would like to get students and staff off to a great start with the school year with high immunization rates among eligible students and staff. We are sitting today at about 69% of youth 12-17 with at least 1 dose of vaccine, and vaccinating more every day.”

Please see the attached Information Sheet from Island Health on student vaccination.

Welcome Back

We know that school is important for our students and our goal remains to provide an engaging learning environment while prioritizing appropriate health and safety measures.  We are looking forward to a positive and safe year ahead and are excited to see our students again.  See you after Labour Day.

 

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

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National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept 30th) – All Saanich Schools to be Closed (A Message from the Superintendent) August 4, 2021

Good afternoon Parents/Guardians,

I wanted to send you this recent provincial announcement about September 30th so that you had as much notice as possible.

On June 3rd of this year the federal government announced that Bill C-5An Act to amend the Bills of Exchange Act, the Interpretation Act and the Canada Labour Code (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation), had received Royal Assent and that the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation would be observed by federal government employees and by federally regulated workplaces every year, starting on September 30, 2021.  All Provinces and Territories would need to enact subsequent legislation if they wished other employees within their province/territory to also observe these days. 

I am contacting you today to provide you with the latest information from the BC government.

We received word that the BC government has declared Sept 30th as a holiday this year for all provincial public sector employees – this includes public school districts.  This means that Thursday Sept 30th all Saanich School District schools and the Board Office will be closed.  This is a day for all of us to consider what each of us can do to further the prospects of TRUE Truth and Reconciliation.

Details on various school and district operational implications will be coming over the next few weeks, once we receive more information from the Ministry of Education.  This will include considerations for potential impacts to school schedules.

You can find the provincial announcement about this new holiday here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021FIN0048-001531 .  The provincial government is also beginning to engage with Indigenous partners and the business/labour communities to determine the most appropriate way to commemorate this day next year and beyond.  

We are looking forward to a great year ahead here in Saanich Schools.  See you all in September.

Yours truly,
Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

Annual General Meetings

The Annual General Meetings for the School District 63 Business Company and its two subsidiary companies, Saanich International Student Recruiting Services Inc. and Saanich International Distributed Learning Services Inc., will be held on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 at 4:00 pm at School District 63 School Board Office, 2125 Keating Cross Road, Saanichton, B.C.