Dear Parents / Guardians,
Here we are in December almost 4 months into the new school year. It has certainly been a roller-coaster ride for everyone in our school system. I want to thank parents and guardians for your continuing support as we navigate the changing landscape in our schools and communities. Our strength is our resolve to find solutions when presented with the challenges before us and the amazing spirit of cooperation we have in our district. I am writing to you today to provide you with an update on a number of district items:
Health & Safety
We continue to follow the recommendations from Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team at the Provincial Health Office (PHO) who work in conjunction with the BC Centre for Disease Control. Our schools have enhanced safety protocols in place that include extensive cleaning and other safety measures such as hand-washing stations, mask protocols and student cohorts. Our schools are some of the most controlled environments in the province and continue to be safe places to work and learn. You can find more information about the latest information and guidelines at the following websites:
- BC’s Back to School Plan (updated Nov 30, 2020): https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school
- Provincial Health Officer (Dr. Bonnie Henry) Orders: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
We will continue to keep parents and guardians informed in a timely manner on any significant updates with our school operations. This will include things such as school schedules, any operational changes that may be required, as well as any Island Health notifications that need to be sent home. Island Health remains the regional authority on all medical issues related to COVID-19 and will direct the school district should there be an exposure in a school. We will work to ensure that this communication is efficient and transparent.
Winter Break (Dec 21st – Jan 1st)
At this time, there is no indication that the provincial government is planning to extend the upcoming Winter Break. This would be a provincial decision and not one controlled by the school district. The decision would come from either the PHO or the Ministry of Education.
The Holiday Season
This will be a very different holiday season for most families in our community. It is normally a time for gathering and celebrating. And while that may look quite different this year it can also be a time of rejuvenation and renewal. I know from visiting schools and speaking with students, staff and parents there is a need for some time to recharge. I want to take this time to wish everyone a wonderful upcoming holiday season – one that is filled with love and reconnection, however that might look. I have posted a new blog entry on my professional blog The Power of Why and hope that you may take a few minutes to read it: ‘Tis the Season for Hope
Superintendent & CEO, Saanich Schools