Saanich Schools StrongStart Restart Information

The Saanich School District would like to thank all families for their patience and support as we worked through the challenges and logistics of opening StrongStart.  We are very happy to announce that we will be offering in-person programming for small groups of families beginning on Monday, November 2.
These programs are conducted by qualified early childhood educators who lead a variety of learning activities designed to support children on their learning path before they enter school. 

The Schedule for opening will be as follows:
 

Brentwood Elementary Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-10:30AM Brentwood Protocols
Lochside Elementary Monday/Wednesday 9:30-10:30AM Lochside Protocols
Sidney Elementary Tuesday/Thursday 9:15-10:15AM Sidney Protocols

 

Registration and Application Information

Please read the details below carefully before applying:

  1. Families will only be able to apply to attend StrongStart for one day a week for four consecutive weeks.  **please note, that because of contact tracing students will need to attend each week on the same day (i.e. only Mondays)
  2. The first Strong Start sessions will be the four weeks from November 2-November 28.  After this session we will review our procedures and perhaps look at expanding offerings
  3. Space will be limited.  Families that do not get in will be waitlisted for future sessions
  4. All families who accepted to attend a StrongStart must complete a District Registration Form.  Bring your completed registration form to the StrongStart Centre you are accepted to.  
  5. The Application to Attend will go live on Tuesday, October 27 at 9:00 am

School Catchment Boundary Review

Saanich School District Seeks Community Input for School Catchment Boundary Review

The Saanich School District is seeking community input to inform a school catchment boundary review. The purpose of the review is to address imbalance between school capacities and catchment populations in the southern zone of the district, and to consider other catchment boundary issues that may exist in the district.

To balance school capacities with catchment populations, the district completed a study identifying options to add capacity where possible, and to adjust catchment boundaries where necessary

To participate in our survey, open until end of the day October 21, click here.


Free Workshop: Parents as Education and Career Coaches - Virtual Zoom Session

The Saanich Career Education department invites you to attend a free seminar for parents! 

Please join us on Monday, November 9th, 2020 from 7 pm - 8:30 pm for an informative session to help parents and guardians navigate the new world of career options open to students!    

PLEASE NOTE Registration is required - click here for more information.

COVID-19 Testing Procedures for Children (Sept 18 2020)

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Today, Island Health provided school districts with a letter that we are sharing with all parents about the new gargle test for COVID-19.  It provides information about the new test, when to go for the test, as well as health checks and return-to-school protocols.  You can find the letter Taking Your Student For a Mouth Rinse & Gargle COVID-19 Test on our district website here.

Sincerely

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

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Stage 2 - Q&A (Updated Sept. 7, 2020)

Q&A have been grouped into four themes: Click here to view the answers.

  1. RETURN TO SCHOOL
    1. Why are schools returning to in-class instruction in September?
    2. Is it safe for children to return to school?
    3. What has B.C. learned from the reopening of schools in other places?
  2. HEALTH & SAFETY
    1. Why are safety measures in K-12 schools regarding physical distancing and masks different than what is expected in the general community?
    2. What is the frequency and protocol for classroom cleaning?
    3. Will playgrounds be sanitized between the different learning groups using them?
    4. How is SD63 ensuring that the HVAC systems are satisfactory?
    5. Will parents need to supply masks and sanitizing supplies?
    6. What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the school?
    7. Will children keep their school supplies at school, or will they be expected to bring in their items daily?
    8. What is a daily health check? When and how should I do them?
    9. Will I be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case in my child’s school?
    10. Is it safe to share books and other paper documents?
    11. How were the learning group sizes determined?
  3. LEARNING COHORTS & PHYSICAL DISTANCING
    1. What are cohorts or learning groups?
    2. Are children required to be physically distancing in their classroom?
  4. STUDENT LEARNING
    1. ​If I register my child for distributed learning or home schooling, will they lose their place at their current school?
    2. When do I have to decide about whether to choose in-class instruction, distributed learning, remote learning or home schooling for my child?
    3. What is the Remote Learning option?
    4. Can students move back and forth between In-class and Remote Learning?
    5. What supports will be in place for students with disabilities and diverse abilities?
    6. What about immunocompromised students and parents/caregivers?
    7. What are the initial proportions of students in each of the learning options?
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Letter to Parents: Returning to School Operations (Aug 27, 2020)

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Re: Returning to School Options

As indicated by the Minister of Education yesterday, the Province is providing districts with funding to allow for a remote learning option for those parents/guardians who are not yet ready to have their child(ren) return to in-class instruction. The purpose of the email is to provide you with a description of the options available to you as we begin school in September. We are providing a Declaration Form so we can accurately plan for start-up in the limited amount of time we have before school begins. It is important we receive a form for each child who will be entering Kindergarten through Grade 12. Please complete the Declaration Form no later than Monday, August 31st at 3:00 pm. This information is critical to our planning as we ready for school in September.

Families will need to select from 1 of 4 instructional methods for each of their children:

  1. Student will return to In-Class Learning at school (Elementary and Middle 100% attendance model; Secondary 75%-100% attendance model).
  2. Student has been enrolled in Distributed Learning. Please see the following link for more information about this option: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/support/classroom-alternatives.
  3. Student will Learn Remotely through the district and maintain a place in their school for when they are ready to return. **Please see the information below regarding this option.
  4. Student will enroll in Homeschooling. Please see the following link for more information about this option: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/support/classroom-alternatives.

Link to Declaration Form: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/Return-To-School-Declaration

Option #3: Remote Learning

On August 26th, the Minister of Education announced that districts will now provide a remote learning option as part of their offerings to their community. Link to Minister’s announcement: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0057-001592

In Saanich, the Remote Learning option will have the following components:

  • Students will learn remotely at home with the assistance of a teacher assigned by the district (not their regular classroom teacher).
  • Teachers will connect with students periodically throughout the week.
  • The focus for all levels will be on core academics:
    • Elementary / Middle – Language Arts and Math
    • Secondary – Core Academic Subjects (no electives will be offered due to their instructional nature).
  • French Immersion will be supported for Elementary, Middle and Secondary.
  • Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be followed and supported.

We expect the Remote Learning option to begin sometime during the week of September 21, 2020. Students who are enrolled in the Remote Learning option will have the option of returning to In-Class Learning in their school at natural breaks during the year (i.e., Quarter-semester breaks: 10 weeks/20 weeks) as well as the Winter and Spring Breaks. This is to minimize changes to Student Cohorts (Learning Groups) within the school.

Immune-compromised Students: If your child has a medical condition that prevents them from learning at school, please contact your local school directly for more information. As we have always done, schools will continue to work with families to best support your children who are medically compromised.

We know that this time of uncertainty has been challenging for families. Our goal continues to ensure that we build a robust educational program in our schools to meet your needs. Thank you for your continuing patience and understanding.

Please complete the Declaration Form by 3:00 pm on Monday, August 31, 2020.

Link to Declaration Form: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/Return-To-School-Declaration

Sincerely,
Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

DE/klg

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A Message from the Superintendent – Stage 2 Plan Approval (Aug 26 2020)

Good afternoon Parents / Guardians,

Here in Saanich, it goes without saying that these past few months have been like no other in our educational careers – I’m sure it has been challenging for both you and your children as well.  We have been asked to adjust and accommodate to a new set of expectations on a regular basis.  However, I continue to hear of many examples in our community about how we have rallied around the challenges before us – building bridges of understanding and compassion, supporting each other when needed and finding creative ways to be successful in whatever we are doing.  It is a poignant reminder to me about me how lucky we are to work and learn in a community which cares so passionately about our schools, our students and each other.

And as we ready ourselves for another school year, we are finding another new ‘normal’.  In terms of our school district, we continue to work diligently behind the scenes to ready our schools for September -- buildings have been scrubbed, supplies have been ordered and school timetables have been adjusted where needed.  In my previous email to you, I briefly outlined our organizational plans for Elementary schools, Middle schools and Secondary schools.  You can find my message from Aug 21st on our district webpage.

I am pleased to report that the Ministry of Education has recently approved our overall re-start plan – both our Stage 2 Operational Plan as well as our district Health & Safety plan .  We have posted both of these on our school district website.  I would encourage you to visit the site to read them as there is a wealth of new information –  particularly about the extensive health and safety measures that have been put in place.   For your additional information, there is a Ministry of Education media event this afternoon at 1:30 pm.  Should there be any further information at this time we will continue to share pertinent details with you in a timely fashion.

Your school’s administration will be reaching out to parents later today and again next week as we work to finalize information on the preparations at school.  Please ensure that you check your school’s normal communications including your school’s website. 

I am very proud of the work we have done and will continue to do to provide the best possible educational experience for your children in a safe and welcoming environment.  We look forward to seeing them in September.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

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