Mr. Heah’s Update, May 15, 2020

Dear St. Patrick’s Parents/Guardians,

This morning Premier Horgan and Minister Fleming announced they are giving parents the choice to send their children back to school on a gradual and part-time basis, beginning on June 1st 2020.

The June 1st 2020 optional return to school is part of BC’s Education Restart Plan (PDF). This prepares students and teachers for a return to full-time classes planned for September, provided it is safe to return. This will be a gradual approach to optional return to school.

A five-staged approach has been developed to operate schools. 

Depending on risk of transmission, for the remainder of the 2019/20 school year:

  • Kindergarten to Gr. 5 students will go to school half-time (alternating days)
  • Gr.’s 6-12 will go to school about one day a week
  • Children of Essential Service Workers and students needing additional supports will have the option to attend school full time
  • Families that decide not to send their children to class may continue learning from home

Along with other School Districts and Independent Schools, St. Patrick’s School will reopen on June 1st  to those families that choose to send their child(ren) back to school. Students in Gr.’s K-5 will attend school up to twice a week on alternating days, while students in Gr.s 6 & 7 will attend one day a week. Numbers will be limited to no more than 10 students per classroom (8 students in Kindergarten) at any given time. Please note that some of our staff will not be returning to school due to health reasons, therefore your child may be supervised by a different staff member. Detailed schedules will be sent out to families once we know how many students will be returning. 

What will a day at school look like for my child(ren)?
Please understand that we are operating under very strict health guidelines, and a day at school will look very different from what students are used to. Students will be supervised in a classroom or the gymnasium, TBD, and will spend a large part of the day at their desks. Where possible, students will be taken outside for breaks (maintaining physical distance).

  •  8:40am – Start of staggered arrival times. Students and parents must maintain a social distance of 6 feet while waiting. All parents must accompany their child(ren) to the blacktop for a brief, daily, health questionnaire, by school administration. Parents/Guardians will not be permitted to enter the school building.
  •  After health questionnaire – students will complete the same learning tasks that students at home are doing. Teachers will not be providing instruction at school, rather students will be supervised while they complete their tasks.
  •  10:00am – Staggered recesses start (playground will remain closed, as directed by P.H.O.).
  •  Resume with remote learning activities.
  •  11:45am – Staggered lunches start (playground will remain closed, as directed by the P.H.O.).
  •  Resume with remote learning activities and opportunities for physical activity. Students will likely be finishing off their remote learning activities. Parents are asked to ensure that students have books to read, drawing books, and other activities they can do independently at their desks. Students will not be permitted to play with games and toys from school, nor will they be permitted to share toys from home with other students. 
  •  2:20pm – Staggered pick up starts. Parents MUST be at school in time to pick up their children at the assigned pick up time. There will be no extended pick up time given. 
  •  3:00pm – Last of the students will be picked up and staff will be leaving the school building immediately.

The message from Dr. Henry remains the same, that it is safer to stay home.  Even though we are prepared and ready for an eventual return, be it June or September, please be aware that no school can be 100% safe and there are still many questions that remain about the virus and its impact on the population. I am in process of putting together a document that outlines our Health and Safety Procedures based on the B.C.C.D.C. COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools released yesterday.  I hope to have this completed and sent out to all families by Monday, May 18th. Following the release of this document, there will be a survey sent out to assess how many parents wish to have their child(ren) return to school. 

These are challenging times for everyone, and I am sure that your child(ren) misses being at school and seeing their friends and teachers. However it is important that parents and students understand that a return to school will not be school as we knew it prior to this pandemic. We must ensure the health and safety of all people in the school buildings, and this requires the implementation of strict protocols. Please consider very carefully if a return to school is in the best interest of your child(ren). We understand that in some cases parents who have to return to work have no choice, and we are here to support you. As a school staff, we want you to do what you feel is best for the health and safety of your child(ren). Please contact me with any questions you may have regarding the optional and partial return to school (cheah@cisva.bc.ca). Thank you in advance for your support and understanding during this uncertain and challenging time. 

God bless,
            Clive Heah| Principal
St. Patrick’s School, Maple Ridge
www.stpatsschool.org
604-467-1571 (t)

Author

Jen Juhasz

Mom of Ty & Joey.

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