Flags at Half-Mast

Canadian and BC flags have been lowered to half-mast at all school district sites in recognition of the death of former Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John Napier Wyndham Turner P.C., C.C., Q.C. The flags will remain at half-mast until Sept 27th and then lowered again on Oct 6, 2020 for his state funeral.

Saanich Schools honours the graduating class with a virtual ceremony

Saanich School District StrongStarts will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year

Please continue check on the StrongStart websites for updates.

Brentwood StrongStart 

Lochside StrongStart 

Sidney StrongStart 

A Message from the Superintendent – Phase 3 Begins on June 1st (May 29, 2020)

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Thank you for your continued support as we transition into Phase 3 next week – a partial return to in-school learning for some of our students.  If you previously indicated in our parent/guardian survey that your child will be returning next week you would have already received confirmation from the school about their cohort and schedule.  Please contact your school administrator if this has not happened.

Here are some other pertinent pieces of information:

  • School buses will be running their regular routes beginning Monday.  We may need to adjust these as we move through June depending on changing ridership levels.  We will certainly communicate to you any anticipated changes in advance. 
  • Schools have developed specific plans for their buildings on things like pedestrian traffic flow, handwashing and occupancy levels for places like washrooms and offices.  Please remind your children to follow the expectations and visual cues in their schools.
  • Students should be taking home what they bring to school to ensure that we can maintain as clutter-free an environment as possible.
  • Please ensure that you do a daily health check of your child.  If they are not feeling well (e.g. sore throat, cough, fever) we are asking that you keep them home until they are feeling better.
  • Remember that Friday, June 5th is a non-instructional day.  There will no teaching on this day.

Additional information over the next couple of weeks will be coming home from each school on a number of items, including:

  • Instruction and final assessment updates
  • Report card pick-up
  • Locker and desk clean-out procedures
  • Other end-of-year reminders

Our schools and classrooms are ready for your children.  The safety of everyone has always been our top priority and it continues to be as we move into Phase 3.  School will look different on Monday with new signage and procedures in place, but what remains the same is the excitement from our teachers, administrators and support staff to teach and support your children.  We look forward to the next four weeks as we transition to this next step in our journey together.  Thank you to all of the parents who have reached out in appreciation of the efforts from our amazing staff.  We are proud to be part of this community and the way we care for each other.

We have also recently placed a letter to parents from the Minister of Education (Rob Fleming) and the President of BCCPAC (Andrea Sinclair) on our district website about the return to classes next week.  You can find it HERE.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. 

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

Category: 

Letter to Parents from Educ Minister Fleming and BCCPAC (May 28, 2020)

Mr. Rob Fleming, the Minister of Education, and Ms. Andrea Sinclair, the president of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils have written a letter to all parents across the province about the re-start on June 1st in BC schools (see attachment).

Category: 

Returning to In-Class Instruction - Safety Protocols (May 25, 2020)

As we prepare to return to partial in-class instruction on June 1st we have been focussed on ensuring that our buildings continue to be safe places to work and learn.  As such, during this pandemic we have been taking our lead from both the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and WorkSafeBC (WSBC) which have created guidelines and expectations required for our sites.  You can find the protocols on their websites:

Category: 

A Message from the Superintendent - Partial Return to In-School Instruction (May 22, 2020)

Dear Parents / Guardians,

I want to take this opportunity to thank our entire parent community for your ongoing support and understanding as we continue to work diligently to provide your child(ren) with the best possible learning experiences during this extraordinary time.  Your kind words of encouragement and thanks have been greatly appreciated.  As you know, on Friday May 15th the provincial government announced their plan to move BC into Phase 3 in the BC Restart Plan.  My email to you today is focussed on what that means for Saanich Schools beginning June 1st:

Student and Staff Safety

We continue to rely on the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), WorkSafe BC (WSBC), The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the Ministry of Education for the guidelines we use in the preparation of our schools and learning spaces.  One of the better pieces of news we have on the Island is that the level of COVID-19 infection here is very low.  The BCCDC data dashboard is an excellent resource to see the current data on COVID-19: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/a6f23959a8b14bfa989e3cda29297ded. Be sure to look for the data particular to Island Health.

Even with this very good news that our infection rate is extremely low,  our primary focus in our district continues to be providing a safe learning and working environment for all of our students and staff.  We have been working with our Health &Safety committees this week to ensure that all of our sites have protocols in place for your child(ren)’s potential return to school on June 1st.  Information specific to your child(ren)’s school will be shared with you by your school administration in the days ahead – things like performing health checks on your child(ren) and drop-off and pick-up instructions.  

In-school Learning Schedules

As of June 1st Saanich Schools will be implementing a part-time return to instruction in all of our schools.  Thank you for the parents who have submitted their responses to the survey sent out last week.  For some parents, we recognize that it may have been challenging to provide an answer without having a complete picture of the proposed schedule.  We appreciate your understanding that we required numbers to be able to build an appropriate program.

Here is the plan beginning June 1st:

  • Elementary Schools (K-5) – 2 days per week for students who are returning (50% density of students within the school)
    • Students will be assigned to one of two cohorts (Mon/Tues or Wed/Thurs) following their regular school schedule
    • Fridays will be reserved for teachers connecting with students remaining on remote learning
    • Children of Essential Service Workers will be returning to their home schools and will still be accommodated for the school week
  • Middle Schools (6-8) – 1 day per week for students who are returning (20% density of students within the school)
    • Students will be assigned to a cohort for one day per week following their regular school schedule
    • Fridays will be reserved for teachers connecting with students remaining on remote learning
  • Secondary Schools (9-12) – 1 day per week for students who are returning (20% density of students within the school)
    • Students will be assigned to a cohort for one day per week following their regular school schedule
    • Fridays will be reserved for teachers connecting with students remaining on remote learning

Vulnerable students will continue to be supported on a daily basis – this may be up to 5 days in-school depending on the student’s particular needs.  Your child’s school will be connecting with you to discuss how they may be best supported for the month of June.

Students will be initially sorted into their specific cohort by last name.  This is being done primarily to assist families who may have more than one child in a particular school so that their schedules are aligned.  Some exceptions to this can be expected as we work to ensure that other specific supports for students are available within the school.  You will be contacted by your child(ren)’s school no later than Wed May 27th with information on their specific cohort.  Please contact your school principal if you have not heard from them by the end of the day on May 27th.

Busing will be available for students on their regular schedules.  We will be ensuring that specific physical distancing guidelines for school buses provided by the province are being followed.

In-school Learning Program

A variety of learning experiences can be expected in your child’s school.  Some classrooms may have students working on certain equipment (e.g. shop classes), while others may be providing individualized support for concepts being learned in remote learning (e.g. mathematics, language arts).  As we transition into Phase 3 for the month of June we are looking to find a balance that supports both the remote learners and in-class support.  As per provincial guidelines, teachers are not expected to use this limited period of classroom learning to ‘catch up’ on all aspects of the curriculum that may not have been taught in remote learning.  This is an opportunity to focus on topics that may require additional support until the end of June.

Details around the end of June (including report cards) will be communicated in the weeks ahead.  Further updates from your child(ren)’s school (including your child’s specific cohort) will be coming out next week.  Thank you, again, for your ongoing support.  We are in this incredible adventure together and we have already made great strides.  We look forward to working with you during this next leg of the journey.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

Category: 

A Message from the Superintendent – Provincial Announcement on Phase 3 part-time In-class Instruction (May 15, 2020)

Dear Parents / Guardians,

Today the provincial government announced plans to move into Phase 3 of school re-opening.  This phase applies to all K-12 students in our schools.  Each level (Elementary, Middle and Secondary) have different guidelines applied to them beginning June 1, 2020.

Parents have the choice as to whether they send their children back to school part-time beginning June 1st.   To ensure that we have accurate numbers of students who will be participating in this option, we have created an on-line survey for you to inform us if you will be sending your children to school part-time.  It is requested that you complete a survey for each child who is enrolled in Saanich Schools.  There are three different surveys, one for each level (Elementary, Middle and Secondary).  

Please complete the survey(s) no later than Tuesday, May 19th at 9:00am.

Here is a link to the parent survey:  https://www.sd63.bc.ca/support-survey-complete

Once we know the number of students expected beginning the week of June 1st we will be able to build a schedule for everyone.  Exact schedules and options on bussing are not yet determined.  They will be communicated back to you no later than Friday, May 22nd.  

We are working closely with our staff to ensure a smooth integration into this new phase, and will be spending the next week finalizing these plans with the guidelines being provided to us.  At the forefront of our planning is ensuring the safety of everyone who enters our schools and buildings.  This includes specific health and safety protocols as per the guidelines being distributed by the Provincial Health Office.  

I would ask for your patience as we work through the guidelines to finalize school protocols and student schedules.  Should you have any specific questions about your child, please contact your school administrator.

Sincerely,
 
Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools 

DE/kl

Category: 

Superintendent's COVID 19 Q&A - Grad 2020 Update

May 7, 2020 - Grad 2020 Update

Grade 12 students and parents,

This is an incredibly important time of year for you, our Grade 12 students, as we head into the commencement season. I have prepared a brief video message which outlines our district and school plans to celebrate this important milestone in your lives. This is the first of several messages to come about graduation. You can expect your school to be following up with you in the coming days.

We look forward to celebrating with you.

To ask Superintendent Dave Eberwein questions about Saanich School District's COVID-19 response and planning, please email

To view all previous videos, click here

Category: