Dear RIE Agents,
This update is to provide our international community with the latest information regarding school closures and the recent recommendations regarding COVID-19 in our province. This notification will also be sent to parents, students and our homestay families.
Continuity of Learning Planning
Since the beginning of Spring Break the school district has been preparing for “continuity of learning” options for all Richmond School District students, including international students, based on the guiding principles set forth by the Ministry of Education. Next week, March 30th to April 3rd, teachers will be contacting students to see how they are doing and how best to support their learning commencing the following week. We will follow-up this newsletter with more details and considerations specific to international students early next week.
Update from the Superintendent
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,
As spring break comes to an end, I want to reach out to families to share what is on the horizon in the coming days and weeks. I would also like to acknowledge that this is an extremely challenging time for all members of our school community – our students, their families, and our staff.
We understand that many of you are experiencing uncertainty about your job and income, have concerns about childcare, and worry about keeping your children and family safe. We also recognize that you likely have many questions about what school and learning are going to look like moving forward.
Our staff are also juggling many of the same concerns. Our challenge now is to figure out how to move forward effectively in the difficult place we find ourselves. We have an incredibly dedicated team of teachers, support staff and school leaders who are ready to return to work after spring break with the full intent of supporting your children. I ask for your patience as we continue to figure out the details and work through this together.
As you know, the provincial government has suspended all in-class instruction until further notice. This means that students will not be returning to school after spring break. School district staff have been working over the past ten days to develop plans that will allow our students to continue to learn from home and for the school district to support students and families who need it most. We have been working hard to develop plans to support children and families who may be more vulnerable than others and will be reaching out to those families. Details will be provided on these specific supports in future communication.
What to expect over the next two weeks:
Next week, as our staff return to work after spring break, teachers will turn their minds to developing learning plans to support their students. Teachers will spend the week gathering resources, collaborating where appropriate, and designing learning opportunities. It is our hope that by the end of the first week of school, all teachers will reach out to their parents or students to re-establish this important connection. This may be by phone or other electronic means.
During the week of April 7th, most teachers will begin to offer learning opportunities to students. These opportunities will vary from class to class - some may be online and some may be offered through other means. Teachers will make these decisions based on available resources, access to technology and what they believe to be in the best interests of their students. It is the expectation of the Ministry of Education that learning opportunities will be put in place for all students by mid-April at the latest.
How to stay informed:
The Ministry of Education has developed a Frequently Asked Questions document that can be found online. In addition, the school district will continue to update its website and will be providing regular updates to parents and staff. We also encourage parents to reach out to their school principal if they have other questions.
In this time of great difficulty, I ask that we all continue to demonstrate support for each other through patience, kindness and tolerance. I am confident that we will make it through these challenging days if we take the perspective that we are all in this together and we believe in the best of ourselves and each other.
Scott Robinson, Superintendent of Schools
Additional information for our students:
Continuity of Learning for International Students
Although face to face instruction has been suspended, the District is committed to continuity of learning for the remainder of the school year. However, classes and education will look different moving forward. International students who remain in Canada will be provided with the same educational options as all other students.
Students Who Have Left the District
Students who have left the district to return to their home country may have difficulty accessing learning opportunities. However, all students in Kindergarten to grade 11 will receive final marks. Students returning for the 2020-2021 academic year will advanced to the next grade if they were on track to pass the year before March break.
The district will also ensure that students in Grade 12, who were on-track to graduate in June, will be able to do so. Moreover, the Ministry of Education will be working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with post-secondary institutions on admissions for graduating students.
Students who have returned home with the intention of returning to Richmond to continue their studies may be able to do so provided they meet the criteria to enter the country, including self-isolating for 14 days, to participate in classes as determined by their teachers and schools.
Government of Canada Update for Air Travel
Canada is currently restricting entry to most foreign nationals. However, exemptions have been made for certain groups.
Students may return to Canada if:
- They hold a valid study permit, or have been approved for a study permit when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020
- They can arrange to isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.
Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) full press release regarding travel to Canada:
We continue to recommend that international students should not travel outside of the country at this time. However, if families do wish for their children to return to their home country, it is vitally important that students, parents/legal guardians review all travel advisories issued by the appropriate government bodies, in the home country as well as any countries in which they my transit through, and ensure their children can get home safely. Many countries currently require mandatory quarantine for 14 days, but some require approval before students can board the plane. Please consult the appropriate embassy or consulate to get the most up to date information.
Students must also notify the district in writing prior to departure.
Updates from the Richmond School District: https://www.sd38.bc.ca/Pages/default.aspx#/=
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority: Health Link BC (multilingual): https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-feature/coronavirus-disease-covid-19
Self-assessment tool: https://covid19.thrive.health
Government of British Columbia: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support
BC Centre for Disease Control: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/about-covid-19/translated-content
Global Affairs Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
Richmond School District is here to support both you and your student.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Richmond International Education