We are reaching out to offer you our continued best wishes and support. We hope this finds you well and safe during these unsettling times. We continue to abide by the directive and advice of the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education, meaning that schools remain closed with access only for cleaning purposes, retrieval of essential items and soon services for children of front-line essential service workers.
With the provincial government’s decision to suspend all in-class instruction, our teachers are in the process this week of reaching out directly to parents and students. Our first goal is to make that human and supportive connection. As part of that, teachers will be looking to find the best means for stable and ongoing connection in support of continuity of learning. Teachers, principals/vice-principals and support staff are exploring new and innovative ways to support children learning from home. They are learning new online platforms, working with each other and with district leaders to find new resources that can be shared at a distance, and creating ways to provide meaningful learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate and are connected to curriculum.
What form that takes in each home will depend on a number of factors including which family members will be supporting learning, what technology is available in the home, and what routines for learning can be created in each home. Teachers will determine what will work for each family as part of their outreach in the coming days. Please be assured that overall our goal is to provide the same care and attention that we have provided throughout the school year to date.
This week both the classroom teacher and our ISP advisors are making contact with students who have remained with us and with those that have returned home. It is important that for those that have returned home, they are either emailing or texting their ISP advisor to let them know that they are receiving these communications and have updated their email addresses if this has changed now that they are home.
Next week we will continue in our outreach to families to create these new routines. We will do what we can to engage in ways that make the most sense to families given their home circumstances. We will be making particular efforts to provide supports to families whose life circumstances create challenges for establishing routines for learning and connection, as well as working with parents of children with unique needs to see how to best support those children.
We expect that by early next week (April 6th or 7th) teachers will be making contact with their classes outlining the expectations moving forward. Please know that instruction and assessment will look different from what has occurred before Spring Break, but that if the student wishes to receive their final scores they will need to complete the work/assignments/tasks as outlined by their teachers. Our ISP advisors will continue to support our students on weekly basis.
We appreciate your support and thank you for your patience. Our goal is to be fully up and running in the new reality by the middle of April.
Ross Pepper and Ronda Bell
Qualicum International Student Program
School District #69 (Qualicum)