COVID-19

COVID-19 Updates

Min of Education - June School Restart Sets the Stage for September (June 25, 2020)

June 25 - The Ministry of Education released a general update on preparations for September.  This release does not provide any information on the anticipated stage being implemented, but it does mention the plan over the summer to prepare for this decision later on.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0034-001170 

A letter from the Minister of Education and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils is attached for your information.

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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

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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

Description

Timeline

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.

Respectfully,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools

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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

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Saanich Schools Playgrounds and Courts are now Open (June 11, 2020)

All school district playgrounds, courts and play spaces are now open for use by the public after school hours. Please follow the posted guidelines for safe usage of the equipment including the provincial health protocols of physical distancing and hand washing.  

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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

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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).

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