UPDATE - April 1, 2020 (3:00 pm)
The British Columbia Ministry of Education is working with all 60 school districts, independent school authorities, First Nations schools and education partners to support a coordinated approach in response to COVID-19. The health and safety of school staff, students, parents and communities is the highest priority.
To ensure B.C.’s K-12 education system supports the coordinated approach, the work will be guided by a set of principles to:
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.
The Ministry of Education has developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with the latest developments and will continue to update them.
March 26, 2020
Dear parents and guardians:
Just two weeks ago, students were learning and playing together in busy classrooms. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has put us in a new world of health warnings, physical distancing and indefinite shutdowns. I'm sure it has affected your family, perhaps in very difficult ways. To protect our loved ones and the healthcare system we all depend on, we can endure it for a while longer. Let me offer special thanks to those who are providing essential services and particularly those that work in healthcare who are always helping the hurting.
Although stopping this virus requires a period of physical separation from friends and neighbours, I've reminded my children that in the fight against this invisible enemy, people and nations around our planet are working side-by-side like they never have before.
In Peace River South, Superintendent Candace Clouthier, is leading our team as they prepare for the return of staff and teachers after spring break. I deeply admire the tireless efforts they are making to rapidly redesign public education to meet the challenge we face, which is to provide continuity of learning during a suspension of in-class instruction. Please remind your children next week that their teachers will be thinking of them as they plan a new way of learning outside of our usual buildings.
I am constantly amazed at the dedication of every staff member in our district. Their professional and personal commitment to your child's education holds firm. As this new way of learning takes shape, teachers and administrators will be in touch with you to provide information on how learning will continue. Thank you for your patience through this sudden transition. I encourage you to take time to thank your teachers and staff for the passion and effort they will be investing to make this a successful school year for your child, pandemic or not!
In the meantime, I hope you are able to take time together as a family and make a few memories to enjoy after we are through this dark season. Winter will eventually leave us, and children will soon be teaching us safe physical distancing by splashing in every muddy puddle.
Better days are ahead. Soon, we will be working, playing and learning – all together again.
Chad Anderson, SD59 Board Chair
March 26, 2020
On behalf of School District 59, I would like to start by recognizing what a difficult time we have all experienced in the last couple of weeks. I don’t believe there is anyone in our community who has not been impacted by the COVID -19 pandemic. Our thoughts are with all of our students and families as they cope with the changes and restrictions we now live under. Our district staff has been working diligently over spring break to put plans in place for next week as we begin the process of providing education differently in the coming weeks.
As you are aware, K-12 in-class instruction has been suspended following Spring Break. Next week on March 30th, staff will return to the school buildings to begin to plan for continued instruction. The buildings will not be open to the public as we endeavor to ensure the workplace is safe for our staff.
We know that you have many questions and we continue to ask for your patience. As this situation is rapidly evolving we are continually implementing procedures and safety protocols and continue to plan to provide learning outside of regular classrooms.
Please expect to hear from your child’s teacher or the school regarding the continuation of your child’s education program. We also know that many of you are concerned about getting your child’s belongings that were left in the school. Teachers will inform you of a plan for getting those items to you on a scheduled basis.
As teachers work through a continuation of education plan, know that they will have guidelines regarding curriculum and expectations of time or volume of work. There will also be arrangements for work to be returned and assessed. Some of this may be on-line or through work packages. We know this may be particularly challenging and stressful time for our students in Grade 12. We will be working to support our Grade 12’s in completing their requirements for graduation and hope those students will be able to celebrate their graduation in a meaningful way.
Please check our website regularly as we will be providing updates and links as they are made available. Please make sure to take care of yourselves as we work together to stop the spread of this virus.
Candace Clouthier, SD59 Superintendent
UPDATE – March 18, 2020 (5:15 pm)
Yesterday, the Minister of Education made an announcement to suspend in-class learning in BC schools.
Everyone at School District 59 understands the impact of this decision will vary from family-to-family. We remain focused on doing all that we can to ensure the safety of your children. As the Minister of Education has indicated, we will work to develop ways to ensure children’s learning continues.
During the time remaining in spring break, district staff will work with the Ministry to develop a plan that meets our needs locally. On return from spring break, school staff will take time to solidify plans and put them into action.
What we know at this time:
The situation is evolving rapidly. We will do our best to keep everyone informed as new information becomes available. Please check our website for updates: www.sd59.bc.ca
UPDATE - March 17, 2020 (1:00 pm)
The Premier and the Minister of Education, under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, have announced the suspension of K-12 in-class instruction. Schools will remain closed after Spring Break.
We will provide more information and detail as it becomes available.
Northern Health region residents now have access to an Online Clinic to assist with COVID-19 information and questions.
March 15, 2020 - Information Bulletin
"Northern Health has launched a COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line to help answer questions and concerns from Northern BC residents. The NH COVID-19 Online Clinic and Information Line can be reached at 1-844-645-7811.
We are launching this service to ensure Northern Health residents have access to information, health advice, and an online clinic to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, while reducing demand on emergency rooms and other health services.
This service is staffed by nurses, physicians, and nurse practitioners, offering virtual screening and assessment for individuals who feel they may have COVID-19 or feel they have been exposed. By calling the Online Clinic, Northern BC residents can receive information, may undergo virtual screening, be assessed by a nurse, and may see a physician or nurse practitioner if it is required.
Other options for health information and advice continue to be available, including calling your primary care provider, or contacting HealthLink BC (8-1-1) at any time.
For general COVID-19 health advice and answers to common questions, please continue to visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/…/diseases-co…/covid-19/common-questions"
No data is available at this time. This may mean that school buses are not running today, or current information is not yet available.