Messages to Parents and Guardians Sep 1, 2021
Dear Families and Students,
On behalf of the Board and District staff, we wish to share some thoughts as we usher in the 2021-2022 school year. First, we acknowledge that there are a range of feelings about this school year. Many will be excited with the promise of a new school year. For others, it may cause feelings of uncertainty. Please be assured, whatever feelings or thoughts you, your family and your children may have, our team is here to offer support in every way possible.
We all hoped this year would be a return to our true normal. Unfortunately, we are not there quite yet. However, we now know more about this virus and have additional layers of protection. Indeed, we are well practiced in taking the necessary steps to keep students, staff and broader communities safe and healthy. If this pandemic has shown us anything, it is that children and communities throughout Vancouver, and beyond, are resilient.
With that as inspiration, we are looking forward and moving forward with excitement and confidence for the new school year ahead. You and your children will experience some now familiar precautions. And, just as we did last year, we will keep you apprised of all direction from the provincial government about steps to protect the safety, health and well-being of everyone in our schools. Please visit our District website for information about health and safety precautions as well as other school-based details.
We are looking forward to the return of in-person learning. We want to remind you of details about school schedules and attendance. Elementary, secondary and adult education learners will attend classes full time, in-person. At the secondary level, we would like to remind you that we will implement a new semester schedule starting in September 2021. The new schedule is designed to better meet the needs of learners and is based on feedback we received last year from students, families, teachers and other educators. Families seeking an alternative to in-person instruction may wish to enrol their children in the Vancouver Learning Network (VLN). This is a distributed online learning program for grades K-12. Families with elementary-aged children enrolled in VLN in the 2021-2022 school year can request their children be enrolled in their usual catchment school for the 2022-2023 school year. Please contact your child’s catchment school administrator with that re-enrolment request.
As we move forward, we also want to share some details about our ongoing work to build a stronger public education system. We are about to embark on a new Education Plan, setting our direction for the next five years as a school district. We will share more details, including our engagement plans, soon. In addition, we continue to advance our anti-racism and non-discrimination strategic plan to ensure all students, staff and school community members feel safe, included and celebrated in our schools and work sites. Additionally, our District will commemorate the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. All schools will be closed this day which is a time to reflect on the tragic history and lasting impacts of the residential schools system in Canada. More details about how we will acknowledge the day will also be shared in the coming weeks.
For now, we hope the summer provided you with time to reconnect with loved ones and create lasting memories for all. Our collective wish for the 2021-2022 school year is that it may be one of growth, discovery and filled with the enthusiasm that comes with learning.
Carmen Cho Suzanne Hoffman
Board Chair Superintendent