Functional School Closures

Any school closures will be announced by email to the school community. Additional information can be found in the Jan 6th district email to parents and guardians and from your child's school. Please monitor your email regularly.

We got this

Letter to all Parents and Caregivers from Minister Whiteside

Please find attached a letter from Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside to all Parents and Caregivers.

A Holiday Message from the Superintendent – Dec 8, 2021

Dear Parents / Guardians,

As we conclude the first four months of the school year, it is an important time for me to reflect on what has been, and hope for what the new year may bring.  Here are a few topics I thought would be important to share with you at this time:

Health & Safety

We continue to follow the recommendations from Dr. Bonnie Henry, her team at the Provincial Health Office (PHO), Island Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.  Our schools are some of the most controlled and safe environments in the province and continue to be wonderful places to work and learn.  You can find more information and guidelines at the following websites:

COVID-19 vaccination registration for children (ages 5-11) is now available. If you are looking for information on this topic, I encourage you to visit the provincial COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5-11 website.

Winter Break (Dec 20th – Jan 3rd)

The last day of classes in 2021 is Fri. Dec 17th.  Classes resume on Tues. Jan 4th. 

If you are planning to travel internationally it is important that you follow the expectations about COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements, as well as the possible need to quarantine upon your return.  You and/or your children may be required to isolate after travelling depending on your travel destination, duration, and any COVID-19 testing results you may receive.  This could require your child to be away from school for a bit when we return to classes in January.  The federal government rules for these considerations are being updated on a regular basis, so I encourage you to check the Government of Canada – COVID-19 Vaccinated Travellers Entering Canada website for the most current requirements and restrictions. 

The Holiday Season

This has been another challenging start to the school year – for everyone – staff, students and parents/guardians.  It is time for a break to connect with family and friends and return to a place where traditions make the holiday time special – things like seasonal music, food and decorations – things that provide many of us with comfort and joy.  My most recent blog post talks about the importance of these things, and the need to honour them.  I hope you can take a few minutes to read it.  You can find it here: SEASONAL TRADITIONS – AT HOME AND AT SCHOOL

All the best for the remainder of 2021 and the promise of a wonderful 2022.

Season’s Greetings,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

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

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

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.

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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