We got this

School Re-Start Update – A Message from Dave Eberwein, Superintendent of Schools (July 31, 2020)

Dear Parents / Guardians,

As you have probably heard, the provincial government made an announcement on Wednesday about the planned re-start of school in the province.  

            Wed July 29th Provincial Media Release about School Re-start: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0040-001415 

Dr. Bonnie Henry, our Provincial Health Officer, and the Hon. Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, made the announcement together where they focussed on the importance of health and safety as a primary driver in their plan.  As a fundamental goal, we all recognize that students benefit greatly by being back in school.  As more data about COVID-19 is gathered provincially, nationally and globally, revised guidelines continue to be developed around how best to move forward.  Part of this evolution of protocols is the concept of students being able to work in defined cohorts or learning groups.  Dr. Henry has implemented this new idea as one that is both safe and manageable.

In her announcement, Dr. Henry indicated that all students in Grades K-12 will be able to come back to school full-time in September in defined cohorts (learning groups) at each school level (i.e. Elem = 60 students; Middle = 60 students; Secondary = 120 students).  Detailed information on the Re-start Plan, including a broader description of student cohorts, can be found on the Ministry of Education website. 

            BC’s School Re-Start Plan: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caring-orderly/k-12-education-restart-plan.pdf

As per the announcement on Wednesday, we anticipate schools opening in September within a revised Stage 2.

As a school district, we have already begun to have discussions on what this model will mean for our schools.  District staff are beginning to explore ideas around how the cohort model may affect things like student scheduling.  In addition, we are ensuring that any new requirements within the newly revised BCCDC health and safety guidelines are implemented in a timely fashion.  

            Updated BCCDC Health Guidelines for Schools: http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/COVID_public_guidance/Guidance-k-12-schools.pdf 

We are fortunate that we have this initial news at the end of July so that we can continue to be thoughtful in our planning and communications as we move through this truly unique COVID-19 reality and its impact on our schools.  Additional information is expected from the province in August.

Our Stage 2 Plan will be available Aug 26th on our website once it has been completed and reviewed by the Ministry of Education.  Thank you for your continuing support and understanding as we work to ensure your children are both safe and receiving a strong educational program.  You can expect further communication from our district and your child’s school in the weeks ahead.  

Wishing you a wonderful rest of your summer,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools


Student and Parent Survey Results

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Parent and Student Surveys. You can view a summary of the themes resulting from feedback here.

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 Thursday, August 27th, 2020 at 4:00 pm at School District 63 School Board Office, 2125 Keating Cross Road, Saanichton, B.C.

Grad 2020 - Trailers, Times, and Info

Saanich Schools, in association with Roll Focus and Shaw Cable, is proud to announce the viewing dates for the upcoming Virtual Graduation Ceremonies, celebrating the achievements of our Class of 2020!

For times, and how to access: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/grad2020

More info: https://www.sd63.bc.ca/grad2020


A Message from the Superintendent to all Parents and Guardians (June 23, 2020)

Dear parents / guardians,

First of all, I want to express my sincere thank-you to the parents and guardians of students in our district.  This has been an extraordinary school year and one that we wouldn’t have been able to get through to this point without your support and understanding.  To say this year has been unprecedented would be an understatement.  The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all of us to make significant transitions in our lives.  The delivery of education was no different.  We made several significant transitions this year into new teaching and learning realities.  And while it has been an incredible year of challenges and growth, I know that our success has been rooted in the relationships we have and the importance we place on people.  I am particularly proud of our staff who have accomplished some amazing things in a relatively short period of time. 


September 2020

Like every spring, we continue to plan for next September.  What is different this spring is the uncertainty of what the teaching and learning will look like after Labour Day.  Today’s email will hopefully provide you with a glimpse into what we know so far and what might be possible when we return to classes again in September.

I thought it might be helpful to provide a very quick overview of the province’s 5-stage Education Re-start Plan.  Below is a brief outline of where we’ve been and where we may be heading:

BC’s Restart Plan – Educational Stages



Stage 1

Full in-class instruction (regular school)

Possibly in September 2020

Stage 2

Mostly in-class instruction / some remote learning

Possibly in September 2020

Stage 3 (our current stage)

40% in-class instruction (Elementary)

20% in-class instruction (Middle / Secondary)

June 2020

Possibly in September 2020

Stage 4

Full remote learning

ESW support program / vulnerable student program

April & May 2020

Possibly in September 2020

Stage 5

Full remote learning (no in-class instruction)

March 17th – March 31st

Possibly in September 2020

If you would like to review the province’s plan in detail, you can find a more complete description of the 5 Stage Education Restart Plan on the Ministry of Education website.

The provincial government will make the decision on the stage for September later this summer.  And while we do not yet know which stage that will be, the likelihood is that it will either be Stage 1 (full in-school learning), Stage 2 or Stage 3 (where we are today).  We anticipate a general announcement from government some time before the end of June with more specific information in the last half of August. 

We anticipate the update in August to have specifics around:

  • The amount of in-class instruction (and remote learning) that will mandated
  • Enhanced operational guidelines for school districts
  • Updated Health & Safety recommendations
  • Additional resources for parents and teaching staff

One of the most important factors taken into consideration by the government is the health and safety of our students and staff.  No matter which stage we will find ourselves in come September, I can assure you that we will continue to put forth our best efforts to provide your children with the education they need and deserve. 


Continuing Uncertainty

These continue to be uncertain times.  With uncertainty often comes anxiety about not being able to predict things.  I understand that feeling. 

We have been working through this uncertainty as a school district as well as a broader community for the past several months.  There have been a lot of questions as we’ve moved forward including such things as teaching and learning platforms, student assessment and reporting, technology access and how we can help support various community issues such as food security.  As a district, we approached each challenge with determination and put an action plan into place.  And while we can always do better, we also accomplished a tremendous amount in a relatively short period of time with many people contributing along the way.  I am very proud of our team and how they stepped up to support you and your children.

We will do so again this summer and into the fall.    


Keeping You Informed

I will ensure that we keep you informed as more information becomes available to us.  Please remember to visit our district website (COVID-19 Updates) for the most recent information available.  You can also expect periodic updates by email.

And finally, I wish all of you a wonderful summer with family and friends.  I hope that you find time to rest as well as rejuvenate.  I look forward to our continuing journey together next fall.


Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools


A Message from the Superintendent - Remote Learning Survey (June 17-24, 2020)

Hello everyone,

As we round out this school year, we want to give our community an opportunity to provide us with feedback on the very unique circumstances we found ourselves in for these past three months.  We are asking staff, students and parents about their experiences with remote learning.  

As we prepare for September, we are also waiting for more details from the provincial government on our educational direction.  While we don’t know exactly what school will look like in September, we can prepare for possible scenarios including a full return to in-class instruction or a partial return with remote learning.

We have created a short survey for you to complete, which will provide us with feedback on the remote learning experience from this past spring so that we can learn from it and perhaps make some adjustments for the fall.

Feel free to answer only the questions that you are comfortable answering.  Your feedback is important to us.  We commit to sharing a summary of the themes through our district website once we have collected and reviewed them.

We continue to appreciate your support as we navigate these uncharted waters.

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools


A Message from Saanich Schools

June 5, 2020


A Message from Saanich Schools

The present attention being given around the world to the reality of racism and its effects reminds us of the critical importance we all play in erasing it. What we say and do matters when our goal is to provide equality for all in our society and in our schools.

As leaders within the Saanich school system, we reject racism.