Dear St. Joe’s School Families,
Despite the summer months away from the school, conversations around what a September Restart might look like has remained in the forefront. Many of you have either watched or heard the announcement from our BC Minister of Education yesterday at 12:30pm.
There is not much more to share with our community beyond what was contained in yesterday’s announcement. There remain many details to be worked out between now and when school re-opens on September 8. As these pertinent details are confirmed and put in place, I will share them with our school community.
Here are some highlights from Rob Fleming’s news update regarding Stage 2 Restart:
- We will be returning to school on a full-time basis, in tandem with a variety of safety protocols put in place.
- The decision to target Stage 2 for the September restart reflects a balance between the undeniable value of greater student engagement within a school setting, along with strong public health policy.
- There has been a shift in the density target focus from social distancing within a school, to prescribed cohorts. The consistent, regulated population of students (low risk) within a cohort provides Public Health Authorities with an effective environment to manage, track and respond to any potential pandemic exposure.
- BC parents have the right to pursue public or independent school options at brick and mortar or online schools, as well as the option to homeschool their children. A valuable lesson learned during the June 2020 Stage 3 engagement was that schools do not have the capacity to effectively offer multiple program delivery modes to their students. Therefore, families will choose the mode of learning they prefer for their children and enroll in a school that best meets their needs (K-12 students enrolled in brick and mortar schools will engage in face to face, in-school learning in stages 1 and 2).
- Mask use is not mandatory at this time, but students and staff may choose to wear a mask. We are told that access to a supply of resuseable masks procured by the Ministry of Education will be made available soon.
- The Ministry of Education has committed to an investment of $45.6M as part of the COVID-19 specific funding to the K-12 sector. More information is to follow.
- The Ministry of Education has established a webpage with public information available here https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school.