Messages to Parents and Guardians
On Tuesday, September 1, a message was sent to families of elementary students by their school
principal. A form was also provided for families to complete and confirm their choice of
educational option for their child’s/children’s return in September. See below for a general version of the
September 1, 2020
Dear Parents & Guardians,
Thank you to those families who completed the elementary return to school options survey last week.
Approximately 70 per cent of families provided valuable feedback about their preference for their child’s
return to school in September. The majority of families indicated they intend to have their child(ren)
return to in-person instruction. A number of families indicated interest in a transition option which
would enable them to delay their child’s return to class without losing their child’s space in their school
or choice program. This letter provides additional detailed information about this transition option.
In order to organize schools and continue planning for September we require all families to confirm
their choice of educational option for each child’s return (Kindergarten to Grade 7) in September. You
do not need to select the same option you indicated on the survey last week.
The survey sent to families last week (August 24) outlined four options:
o Option 1 – Return to in-person instruction in September
o Option 2 – Home Schooling
o Option 3 – Vancouver Learning Network (Elementary Program)
o Option 4 – Temporary Transition Support (Learn from Home Transition option)
A summary of information previously communicated in the August 24-27 survey for options 1-3 is
Option 1 – Return to in-person instruction in September.
The health and safety of all students and staff is the top priority of the District as we prepare to
welcome students back. All schools will implement enhanced health and safety guidelines and protocolsto support the safe return to school under Stage 2 of the BC Return to School Plan. These will include enhanced cleaning, maximizing physical distancing, minimizing physical contact, frequent hand
washing/sanitizing, reduced personal contacts, daily health checks, enhanced ventilation and increased
air flow as well as more time learning outdoors. All students and staff will be provided with two
reusable masks. The Board of Education encourages students and staff to wear a mask at school.
Families who select Option 1 will receive further information regarding start-up plans on September 4.
Option 2 - Home Schooling
Families who select this option are required to register their child as a Home Schooler by September 30
at their child’s catchment school. Home School students are not provided with support or assignments
by teachers and do not participate in any school classes or activities. Home school students are able to
borrow texts from schools to support student learning.
As per usual practice, home school students will be withdrawn from the school or program they are
enrolled in and space will not be held for them should they wish to return.
Option 3 –Vancouver Learning Network - Elementary Program
The Vancouver Learning Network is a distributed learning program operating within the Vancouver
School District. Please visit the website above for more information.
As per usual practice, students enrolled in distance learning will be withdrawn from the home school or
program they are enrolled in and space will not be held for them should they wish to return.
Based on feedback received in the August 24-27 survey the District is now able to provide more details on
Option 4 – Learn from Home Transition Option.
Option 4 – Learn from Home Transition Option (listed as Temporary Transition Support in the August 24
This option is being provided as a temporary transition for families who are able to support their child’s
learning at home, until they are ready to return to in-person instruction.
Students in the transition option will be assigned to an in-person classroom in the school where they are
currently enrolled to facilitate their eventual return to school. This space will be held for the duration of
the transition period. In December, the District will reassess options for students who have not
transitioned to in-person learning by January 5, 2021, including a possible extension of transition
Families who choose this option will need to provide regular educational support to their child at home. The success of a child’s learning during the transition period will rely on parents/guardians to ensure their child is engaging with learning and completing assignments. When considering the transition option parents/guardians should consider the learning needs of their child, their level of independence as a learner and their own availability to provide support. Families of students in French or Mandarin immersion programs will be responsible to support their child’s second language development to ensure a successful return to in-person instruction.
The amount of support and timing of support for students in the transition option will vary from school to school depending on the number of families that choose this option. All students in the transition option will be provided with assignments and weekly check-ins by a teacher to support their learning and monitor their progress. In a typical week, families should anticipate about 1.5 to 2 hours of check-in time with a teacher. This teacher may not be the enrolling teacher of the class to which the student is assigned to eventually attend in-person. It is important that families understand this is not an online learning program, but rather a support and transition option. Check-ins by a teacher with students who
begin this school year in the transition option will begin the week of September 21, 2020.
Students with learning designations will continue to have an individualized education plan (IEP) and will receive support from their school. School-based resource staff will connect directly with families to discuss needs and support for these learners. Indigenous learners will also receive direct contact from Indigenous Education program staff.
As part of the Learn from Home Transition period, opportunities will be provided for students to visit their school and to participate in some in-person activities. This is a critical component of this option as the goal is to have all students eventually return to in-person instruction during this school year.
There will be three times for students who start the school year in this transitional option to return to in-person instruction: October 13, November 9, 2020 and January 5, 2021 (the start of winter term). A week in advance of these dates, families will be asked to indicate whether or not their child is returning to in-person instruction.
Summary of Learn from Home Transition support:
- Suited to families who wish to have their child return to in-person instruction, but want more time and a more gradual transition.
- Assignments and check-in support provided by the school. This is not an online learning program.
- Check-ins by teachers begin the week of September 21.
- Families will be primarily responsible to support their child’s learning.
- Students will be placed in an in-person classroom in the school where they are currently enrolled in anticipation of their return. This space will be held for the duration of the transition support option.
- Opportunities to visit the school and participate in some activities will be provided and encouraged to maintain connections for students and support a positive re-entry to in-person learning for them.
To inform the school of the learning option you select for your child, please complete the confirmation
form by September 3, 2020 at 8:00 pm. Please complete one form per child.
For students with diagnosed medical conditions that prevent them from attending in-person instruction,
please contact your school principal directly to discuss the Hospital Home Bound Instruction Program.
For more details, please see information posted on the District's website. Please contact the school if
you have any questions.
Thank you for your patience as we plan to safely welcome students to the new school year.
Video: Suzanne Hoffman, superintendent discusses Learn from Home Transition Option - Sept 18, 2020
Video: Suzanne Hoffman, superintendent reflects on the first week of the 2020-2021 year - Sept 11, 2020
Video: Elementary return to school options - Sept 1, 2020
Fact Sheet - Options for Elementary School Return - Sept 1, 2020
Infographic - Elementary School Return Options - Sept 1, 2020
Video: Return to School Updates - Aug 28, 2020
Letter to Families: Secondary Return to School - Aug 27, 2020
Letter to Elementary Parents and Guardians - Aug 24, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Aug 19, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Jul 20, 2020
Video: Preparing for the voluntary, part-time return to in-class instruction - May 19, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - May 19, 2020
Video: Where we are and where we will go: the stages of a gradual return to full in-class instruction - May 8, 2020
Video: Looking ahead and continuing to adapt - May 1, 2020
Video: Listening to families, expanding child care, and looking to possibilities ahead - Apr 24, 2020
Video: Feeding vulnerable youth, distributing technology and connecting with families continues - Apr 17, 2020
Video: A message to students: we're here for you! - Apr 9, 2020
Video: Continued learning from home - Apr 3, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Apr 3, 2020
Video: Meals for vulnerable students resume - Apr 1, 2020
Video: Partnering to navigate challenging times - Mar 30, 2020
Video: What parents, students and staff can expect after spring break - Mar 27, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Mar 27, 2020
Video: Focusing on health and safety - Mar 26, 2020
Video: Health and safety, communications, connections and commitment to learning - Mar 25, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Mar 17, 2020
Letter to Parents and Guardians - Mar 11, 2020