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.

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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