Message to Parents

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Continuity, of, Learning, Continuous, COVID, Online, Educational, Resources

Continuity, of, Learning, Continuous, COVID, Online, Educational, Resources

Messages to Parents and Guardians 

July 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope you are enjoying these early days of summer. Although a school year like no other just ended three weeks ago, we wish to keep you apprised of our work to plan for back-to-school in September 2020.

The Minister of Education and the Provincial Health Officer will give us all an update in two weeks about which stage of their five-stage education plan we can expect to be in come September. In the meantime, our team here at the Vancouver School District started planning based on the Ministry’s five stages.

As you are aware, during the month of June, schools were open with stage three requirements. This stage saw the voluntary in-school attendance of students. At the elementary level that meant students in kindergarten to Grade 5 attended two days a week and students in Grade 6 and 7 one day a week. At the secondary level, voluntary attendance typically saw students at their school for an hour or two a day spread throughout the week. At the end of June, we asked for your feedback about the resumption of school and remote learning hybrid to help us plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Our plans will incorporate that feedback as well as input from teachers, students, administrators and school-based support staff.

Ongoing practices such as staggered arrivals and lunch/recess, restricted access to schools, maximizing physically distancing (reducing physical contact) as well as hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette reminders will remain in place as important health and safety precautions. We are also looking to ensure continuity of learning regardless of the stage so, should it be necessary, students’ transitions between stages are as smooth as possible.

For families with elementary-aged children more specific information will be shared about school schedules once details are provided by the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Officer about what stage is expected in September. At that time, we intend to detail student schedules, as well as health and safety procedures in schools as determined by provincial authorities.

For students in our secondary schools, the District plans to have an adaptive and flexible structure in place to accommodate a hybrid learning environment. The Ministry of Education’s plan requires that the District be able to move between each of the five stages in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on feedback about the June session, the District will move to a one-year semester model that maintains the Day 1 and Day 2 schedule. This will increase the frequency of teacher/student face-to-face time and allow students to focus more time on the courses they take in a semester schedule. Our goal is to keep students connected to their peers and teachers while providing quality educational experiences in their schools. As more information becomes available from the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Officer more specific details about students’ schedules at each possible stage will be provided to families.

With their health, safety, well-being and learning needs as our highest priorities, we look forward to welcoming students back to school in September. Please continue to visit our website for updates, including FAQs, throughout the coming weeks.


Rob Schindel                                Pedro da Silva
Associate Superintendent        Associate Superintendent

Latest video: Preparing for the voluntary, part-time return to in-class instruction - May 19

Letter to Parents and Guardians - May 19

Video: Where we are and where we will go: the stages of a gradual return to full in-class instruction - May 8

Video: Looking ahead and continuing to adapt - May 1

Video: Listening to families, expanding child care, and looking to possibilities ahead - April 24

Video: Feeding vulnerable youth, distributing technology and connecting with families continues - April 17

Video: A message to students: we're here for you! - April 9

Video: Continued learning from home - April 3

Letter to Parents and Guardians - April 3

Video: Meals for vulnerable students resume - April 1

Video: Partnering to navigate challenging times - March 30

Video: What parents, students and staff can expect after spring break - March 27

Letter to Parents and Guardians - March 27

Video: Focusing on health and safety - March 26

Video: Health and safety, communications, connections and commitment to learning - March 25

Letter to Parents and Guardians - March 17

Letter to Parents and Guardians - March 11

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