SD59 Superintendent Letter - May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020
Dear Families, Students, Staff and Community:
As BC moves toward easing the restrictions that have impacted all of our lives, schools are a key part of the provincial government’s Restart Plan.  The people of our province have been successful in flattening the curve of this pandemic and decreasing the risk to us all.  We are certainly in a different place than we were in March.  Thank you for being with us on this journey and the work you have put into the education of your children.
An announcement on a phased approach will be made in the next week by the Ministers of Education and Health. This will not be a return to normal in schools. When students are invited back to school this year, the decision will be optional for families to have their children attend.  Schools will be contacting parents/guardians in the next couple of weeks to find out if you will choose to send your children as we offer some limited face to face instruction in schools.  Remote learning will continue to occur.  In SD 59, principals, teachers and support staff have been exploring many ideas and modifications to in-class instruction.
It is important that staff, students and families feel safe about returning to schools and part-time in-class instruction. While COVID-19 is not gone, we want to reassure all of you that we continue to be diligent in ensuring appropriate health and safety standards are in place. We take direction from Public Health and will ensure our policies and safety practices align with their guidance and protocols to keep all of us safe.
I know you will have many questions about the timing and what this will look like in SD 59. While we do not have the answers for you at this point, I want to reassure you that as we receive additional information and develop further plans, we will keep you informed. In the interim, remote and online learning continues for students and if you have particular needs, please contact your school principal or teacher.
The Provincial Health Officer also announced the restriction for gatherings over 50 will not be eased.  Sadly, this has confirmed for us that Grad Ceremonies and Proms, as we have known them, will not occur this year.  Principals of DCSS, CSS and TRSS are working with their graduating students and parents to find different ways of helping the grads to celebrate and honour this significant milestone in their lives.  The principals are committed to finding a meaningful way to help grads create a lasting memory.

Thank you once again for your patience and understanding as we work through the everchanging landscape of providing education in these times.

Regards,

Candace Clouthier
Superintendent SD 59 (Peace River South)

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