Delta teachers will be going back to work Monday.
In a letter to parents Friday, school district superintendent Doug Sheppard said that since the March 17th news that in-class instruction was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, district staff have been making plans to support the delivery of learning opportunities for students based on guidance provided by the Ministry of Education.
Education Minister Rob Fleming yesterday said government is working with all 60 school boards, independent school authorities, First Nations schools, teachers, school leaders, support staff, public health officials and all education partners on a coordinated approach.
The Delta district and school principals are letting parents know what to expect in the next couple of weeks.
Here’s how the rest of Sheppard's letter reads:
These plans are guided by the following four principles listed in order of priority:
1. Maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and employees.
2. Provide the services needed to support children of our essential workers.
3. Support vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
4. Provide continuity of educational opportunities for all students.
On Monday, March 30, our teachers will return to work, albeit remotely for the vast majority of them. It is going to take a while to assess what is needed to provide learning opportunities to students, and to get everything ready and in place. We appreciate your continued patience and understanding at this time.
What you can expect next week:
• Teachers will be contacting students before the end of next week (April 3).
This will enable them to check in with students, inquire about the resources they have and/or need, determine any additional supports required for children with complex learning needs, and identify whether children have parents who work in an essential service as defined by the Provincial Government.
• The Ministry and school district are working on providing online resources for parents and students to access. Learning opportunities for students:
• Starting the week of April 6 and going forward, your children will have the resources and contacts needed to proceed with learning from home. More detail will be provided by your child’s school in the coming days.
• Learning opportunities will be introduced gradually - we are acutely aware of the need to avoid overloading students or their parents at this already stressful time. In addition, opportunities for learning in this new environment will be very different than before, and it is going to take time to plan appropriately for this new delivery model.
• The outlook for each student will be different depending on the grade they are in and the number of classes they are taking.
• We are committed to ensuring that whatever we provide is fully accessible to all of our students.
Access to schools:
•Please keep your children at home.
• If you have school-aged children and are a healthcare/health services worker as defined by the provincial government trying to make a decision between working or staying with your children, please email ESW@deltasd.bc.ca with your contact information and immediate needs for next week. Someone from the school district will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss next steps.
• We will be providing scheduled access for students who need to retrieve school supplies or personal belongings. Please await further information from your school.
It is important that as few people as possible are in our schools to enable us to comply with the Provincial Health Officer’s direction on physical distancing and to maintain the increased cleanliness standards required so that we can help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
As a result, there will be very few staff on site which limits our ability to supervise students and keep them safe.
We recognize that this may be an incredibly stressful time for families, and it may be difficult for students to focus on learning.
Please try to provide as much of a sense of calm and normalcy for your children as you are able, as it will help to reduce their anxiety. While the suspension of in-person classroom learning continues, please know that we will provide resources and activities for you to access and use in a manner that best fits your family’s needs. In addition, we will continue to post regular updates to the district website.
For general inquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We encourage you to stay healthy and safe.
Sheppard says learning opportunities will be introduced gradually - we are acutely aware of the need to avoid overloading students or their parents at this already stressful time
Here’s a letter to parents by Pinewood Elementary principal James Hope:
Dear Pinewood Community:
I sincerely hope that during these unprecedented times your family managed to find some rest and enjoyment over the Spring Break.
Under normal circumstances, students would be getting ready to return to school on Monday, March 30 but this will not be the case this year.
As you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students across BC have been asked to remain at home until further notice.
Our education system is in the process of planning for, and adapting to, a new way of learning, and we appreciate your patience while we sort through what it means for our school to provide educational opportunities for students in the current, evolving reality.
Next week, principals and teachers will be working behind the scenes to prepare so student learning can start to shift to a different model.
Administrators and staff will be learning alongside students – learning to teach in a different manner, and it will take time. While students will not be attending school, learning is not over.
Teachers will be guiding and supporting students as they learn from home.
Communication and connection will be the key to our success.
Next week, your child’s teacher will reach out via telephone to connect with you.
They want to check in to see how students and their families are doing. They want to reassure you that learning will gradually commence just as soon as is reasonably possible, with the current target being April 6.
We thank you for your patience while teachers themselves learn how to best provide learning opportunities for students.
During this public health crisis, please remember that the Ministry of Education and the Delta School District’s priorities are:
1. Maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students, families and staff.
2. Providing services to support children of essential workers.
3. Supporting vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
4. Providing continuity of educational opportunities for all students.
I understand there is a lot of uncertainty and stress for students and their families.
I want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these extraordinary times and to let you know that all the staff at Pinewood will continue to be supportive for students and all our community members. Please continue to monitor the Delta School District website at https://www.deltasd.bc.ca for the most up-to-date information.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me at the school.
Mr. J. Hope
Principal, Pinewood Elementary