The following open letter was sent to parents and guardians on May 28, 2020 regarding the transition to optional, part-time, in-class instruction as we move to Stage 3 of B.C.’s K-12 Education Restart Plan.
This letter includes information on the health and safety measures that are being implemented in schools, as well as information for parents/guardians who choose to keep their children learning at home.
We will continue to share further updates with you as we receive them.
Letter to CMSD82 Parents-Guardians from Acting Superintendent of Schools – May 22, 2020 (letter in PDF format)
Dear CMSD82 Parents and Guardians,
I would like to thank those of you who took the time last weekend to respond to one or both of our surveys and your feedback received regarding your thoughts on returning to school part-time. Your input is greatly valued and appreciated.
The Ministry of Education, in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced last week that we would be resuming face-to-face instruction on a part-time voluntary basis starting June 1, 2020. I feel it is appropriate to outline the reasons why BC’s Restart Plan includes kindergarten to grade 12 in-class instruction, in a gradual and controlled manner, while ensuring health and safety measures are in place. There are four reasons for this transition to Phase 3 of the Ministry’s plan:
- It is safe to do so.
- The importance of face-to-face instruction with children and youth.
- Education is a critical part of the BC Restart Plan.
- Our work now will set us up for success in September.
While remote learning will continue, we are making plans for a voluntary part-time return to school for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Every possible step is being taken to ensure it is safe to return, we understand that this may not be the right choice for you or your children. If this is the case, rest assured, their remote learning will continue.
You have either been contacted by your child’s school already, or you will be contacted in the very near future, to determine whether you will opt for in-class instruction part-time or whether you will opt to continue with remote learning. We do not have enough information yet to be able to share what part-time in-class instruction will look like. You will receive that information next week from your child’s individual school. In-class instruction will look different in different schools across our school district. Remote learning will also look different than it has up to this point. We will be unable to guarantee that the educator providing instruction either face to face or remotely will be your child’s regular classroom teacher. In-class instruction will be two days a week for students for kindergarten to grade 5 and one day per week for students in grades 6 to 12. Again, each school may structure their Phase 3 differently and you will receive information on that next week.
The health and safety of our students, staff and parents/guardians is our priority. District-wide guidelines will be made public very soon and these guidelines will be consistent with those outlined by WorkSafeBC. A component of the guidelines focuses on individuals not attending school when they have symptoms of an illness. It is the school district’s expectation that all parents and guardians will monitor their children for symptoms and not send them to school if they are sick. Persons who are sick will not be allowed in school. Additionally, parents and guardians will be expected to confirm emergency contact numbers for their children prior to sending their children back to school. Should a student become ill or show symptoms of an illness while at school, the school must have accurate and reliable contact information in order that the child be taken home for the remainder of the day.
We understand that you may have other questions about what things will look like if your child returns to school. After your school staff works through all the details, additional information will be provided to parents and guardians during the week of May 25. Each school within Coast Mountains School District will be sending home a safety plan specifically addressing issues related to the pick-up, drop-off, hand washing, entry doors, etc.
We appreciate your patience as we work through the process to ensure a safe learning and work environment is provided as students and staff return to schools around the school district.
Acting Superintendent of Schools
Dear Kindergarten to Grade 5 Parents & Guardians,
An announcement on the phased-in approach to resuming in-class instruction for students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 (K-5) will be made by Coast Mountains School District 82 in the very near future. This will not be a return to normal. It will be voluntary and part-time. With only a few weeks left in the school year, we anticipate many K-5 students will not return to the classroom until September. We are, however, exploring ways to safely return K-5 students back to school before the summer, to allow more parents/guardians to return to work. How these changes unfold is the focus of intensive discussions among teachers, students, parents, support staff and communities.
In anticipation of the eventual return to on-site learning services, Coast Mountains School District has created a two-minute survey that would provide an initial indication of how many of our K-5 students will return to school when invited. I would ask for a few minutes of your time to please consider the four-question survey found by clicking the link below:
This survey will remain open until 9:00 a.m., Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020. Once the survey closes, school personnel will contact families using a different means to gather the information necessary for us to plan our work moving forward.
With many thanks in advance,
Acting Superintendent of Schools
On May 6, 2020, the Government of British Columbia released the BC Restart Plan, which includes a plan to re-open schools.
As COVID-19 spread, governments everywhere took action to slow the rate of transmission, including reducing in-classroom learning. For most British Columbians with young children, this meant having to stay at home to look after their kids. While many workplaces have made work-from-home accommodations, that hasn’t been an option for everyone. Our schools and educators rose to the challenge with on-line instruction and resources to keep our kids learning, but this placed a heavy burden on parents/guardians to support their kids as they learned at home. We know there is no substitute for in-class instruction — and an important step toward our recovery is getting kids back into the classroom, so parents/guardians can get back into the workplace. Initial health data indicates children are less affected than adults by the COVID-19 virus. Public health staff and officials will continue to review the health data. The Ministry of Education and school districts all around BC are reviewing options to allow for a safe return to school.
An announcement on a phased approach to resuming in-class instruction will be made by the school district in the very near future. This will not be a return to normal. How these changes unfold is the focus of intensive discussions among Ministry of Education officials, school trustees, BC Teachers’ Federation, Canadian Union of Public Employees, and other education sector partners.
In anticipation of the eventual return to on-site learning services, Coast Mountains School District 82 has created a Thoughtexchange to discover your ideas and thoughts about what our school district should consider as it plans for the expansion of on-site learning services. We are seeking feedback from our parents/guardians, students, school district staff and school communities. Your voice is important and valued towards the continued success of our school district.
To share your thoughts, please access the following link to participate in the Thoughtexchange prior to 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 20:
We thank you in advance for your input which is greatly appreciated. Kindly note this information will be posted to the school district and school websites, to school Facebook pages and shared with the school district’s partner groups and school communities.
Should you have questions or you require further information, please do not hesitate to contact Carole Gagnon, Executive Assistant at the Board of Education Office at (250) 638-4401 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.