COVID-19 INFORMATION UPDATE - Mar. 13, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your understanding as we work to ensure that our students and staff continue to be as safe as possible during this challenging time. Our goal is to provide you with the most current information on COVID-19 and its impact on us both locally and globally.

With the recent announcement by the World Health Organization of COVID-19 being classified as a pandemic, a number of new realities have emerged for us here in Saanich. This letter outlines some of the more pertinent issues that are affecting our school district.

Spring Break School Cleaning

Our schools will be undergoing a ‘deep clean’ over Spring Break that will include:

  • Extra sanitization on contact surfaces such as doorknobs, door bars, handrails, desks and tables.
  • Fogging of all schools with a probiotic cleaner. This sanitization process is safe for plants, animals and food surfaces. A bleach-based fogger will be used in school common areas.  Fogging of school buses will be done after Spring Break.

Spring Break Travel

As of March 12th, provincial health officials are strongly advising all British Columbians against nonessential travel outside of Canada. Should you and your family travel outside of the country there is now an expectation of self-quarantining for 14 days upon your return. As such, it is highly recommended that families remain in BC during the Spring Break period to avoid any potential interruption to your child’s schooling when we re-open.

A letter to parents from the Deputy Minister of Education can be found on our district website.

Talking to Your Children

A new virus such as COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for children to understand, especially if someone in their school or family is sick or they observe troubling messages in the media. It is normal for children to feel worried and have questions. You can support your children by reassuring them about their personal safety and health. Telling them that it is okay to be concerned is comforting. Reassure them they are safe and there are many things they can do to stay healthy:

  • Wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home if they are not feeling well
  • Keep their hands away from their face and mouth
  • Eat healthy foods, keep physically active, and get lots of sleep

We have also prepared a more comprehensive guide for parents on how best to support your child during this uncertain time with COVID-19. There are suggestions for parents of children in Elementary, Middle and Secondary levels.

You can find the information here: Talking to your kids about COVID-19

COVID-19 Health Information Websites

At this time, the province has not issued any order to extend the Spring Break period. As this situation is fluid, it is important that parents continue to monitor the news as well as check our district website for the most current information.

Thank you, again, for your understanding during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

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A Message from the Superintendent - COVID-19 Update - Mar. 9 , 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you are aware, the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has continued to impact countries around the world. Given the evolving nature of this health issue, we are sending parents and staff a current update, including how it may impact the many families who are looking forward to travelling this Spring Break. Understandably, there is a good deal of concern with respect to international travel, including international field trips and personal vacations. Public health officials are advising the public to reference Government of Canada travel health notices to inform decision making regarding their travel plans. Situations can change quickly, so checking the site regularly is strongly advised.

The public has been made aware there is an updated warning to avoid non-essential travel to Iran, Northern Italy and some areas of South Korea. In addition, some countries have enacted measures which restrict some movement and public gatherings. We are currently aware of school closures in Japan and Italy, as well as restrictions on public gatherings in France.

After careful consideration we have decided to cancel Saanich School District international field trips planned for Japan and Europe due to the possible elevated risk for students and staff travelling in these regions.

We are also asking parents and staff who are travelling overseas for personal travel to please consider that there may be a need for these travellers to be quarantined upon their return to Canada. Island Health is currently recommending that travelers returning from Iran, China and Italy self-quarantine for 14 days. Please note that these areas may change and expand as the situation evolves. We are working closely and take direction from our provincial health experts at the BC Ministry of Health and Island Health.

For more information on COVID-19, including ways to reduce your risk of infection, please refer to the following resources:

We thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please contact your school administration directly.

Sincerely,
Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Provincial Information Update (Feb 28, 2020)

The Ministry of Health has issued a letter to all parents / guardians on Feb 28th which you can read HERE.  It provides the most recent updates on COVID-19 including suggestions on prevention, cleaning / disinfecting, food sharing and speaking with your children about the virus.   

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Pink Shirt Day - Wed Feb 26th

Show your awareness towards anti-bullying by wearing pink on Wed Feb 26th.  Schools across BC and Canada will be showing their support of positive interactions between people on this annual event.  You can learn more about this intiative at Pink Shirt Day.

Saanich IB Diploma Program Information Session Feb 13th, 7pm, Parkland Secondary School

Admission Open

Dream Big - Work Hard

Parkland Secondary School

Come visit Parkland Secondary School on Feb 13th at 7pm (rescheduled from the snow day) to find out more about this world class program that is designed particularly for those students who want to be well prepared for university and who are interested in an internationally oriented education here in BC.

www.parklandIB.ca

Free Workshop: Parents as Education and Career Coaches

COPACS and the Saanich School District proudly invite you to attend a free seminar for parents! 

Please join us on Thursday, January 30th, 2020 at 6:30 pm at Stelly's Secondary School for an informative and interactive session to help parents and guardians navigate the new world of career options open to students!

Please click here for more information.

Kindergarten French Immersion Lottery - Registration Information

Due to the popularity of the French Immersion program and limited space, a placement process using a lottery system will be used for new FI Kindergarten registrations.

There will be an information meeting for all parents interested in registering for Kindergarten French Immersion at 6pm on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at Deep Cove Elementary.

Registration requests received at your FI catchment school during Kindergarten Registration Week Monday, January 27 to Friday, January 31, 2020 will be included in the lottery.

The lottery will follow Saanich Schools enrolling priorities: