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Reflecting on the first week of the 2020-2021 school year

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The first week of a new and unique school year has come to an end. In her latest video update, superintendent of schools, Suzanne Hoffman, talks about the return to schools of students and staff for health and safety orientations ahead of the first day of in-class instruction on Monday, September 14.  

District and school-based staff are reflecting on the week, and Hoffman says a number of themes emerged from elementary schools. One of these themes is planning that includes a sense of compassion, excitement and collaboration. There is also mindfulness in schools with detailed attention to health and safety protocols. 

Highlights in elementary schools this week include creating a culture of calm, connectedness and excitement in schools and kind words of gratitude from families expressed to school staff. 

Secondary students were welcomed back to their schools in a safe and orderly way. They learned about how their new schedules in learning groups will work, and grade 8 students were welcomed to the secondary level. Hoffman says staff observed happiness, nervousness and positivity in students. 

Hoffman thanks staff for the work they continue to do to welcome students to the 2020-2021 school year and discusses the number of elementary families who chose face-to-face instruction.

Next week, a focus on health and safety will remain, as well as looking after students’ well-being and further planning of the Elementary Learn from Home Transition option.

Hoffman expresses the importance of respecting individuals’ choices, and appreciation for the work to make the 2020-2021 year the best it can be.

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