Message to Parents, Guardians & Staff
Dear Parents, Guardians & Staff,
I want to begin by thanking everyone, students, staff and families for their efforts and understanding during this extraordinary time. The health and safety of all students, staff, families and our school communities is our top priority. Coast Mountains School District (CMSD82) in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, is monitoring the current novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation on a daily basis.
I write to you today in follow up to the joint announcement from B.C.’s Premier and Ministers of Education and Finance of yesterday afternoon, March 17 regarding the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis. In an unprecedented move, the provincial government announced the suspension of in-class instruction at all B.C. schools as part of a province-wide effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. A letter from the Minister of Education that followed yesterday’s joint announcement is available to you by accessing the following link:
The province-wide measure, applies to all public and private Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools until further notice. The Premier noted that daycare facilities should continue to operate as normal.
This decision by the Minister of Education was made under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer and supported by all the educational partners and stakeholders in the system.
CMSD82 along with other school districts and the Ministry of Education are planning for continued studies as this situation unfolds. At present, there are more questions than answers and the situation is developing rapidly. The school district is working diligently to get these answers as soon as we can. We will gain more information and clarification during additional conference calls scheduled today and tomorrow with the Ministry of Education.
The District Leadership Team is finalizing the school district’s plans around health, safety and instruction. Our team has been planning since last week in anticipation of this announcement. We want to let you know that our team is working towards finalizing and putting plans into place.
We will be seeking more information and clarification from the Ministry of Education regarding our educational expectations. We will be rolling out specific education plans for students once finalized, and we will be communicating these plans with staff, parents and guardians. We ask everyone to be patient as we better understand the provincial context and what it means for our school district.
It is important to note that the continuity of learning plan will not be ready to roll out on March 30. The District Leadership Team will require time with our staff, after their Spring Break vacations, to plan and provide in-service around technology required to offer engaging education for our students.
Please do not publicly speculate with students, parents and families about plans for March 30 onwards recognizing that this would be done with the best intentions. We want to ensure consistent communication from the school district.
I am also encouraging people to trust only reliable sources of information and to refrain from passing on information which may not be accurate.
Our staff across the school district, who are on a well-deserved Spring Break, will also be apprised of the plans for the continuity of instruction upon their return on March 30. We wish to respect their time away allowing them an opportunity to rest and spend time with their families.
An information letter regarding school district-related procedures for employees regarding COVID-19 will be issued today by our Acting Human Resources Director. We do not have all the answers today pending guidelines and direction from the provincial/federal governments. We are in a fast moving situation.
Please continue to monitor our school district website and our Twitter feed for updates. We will share all relevant information as soon as appropriate to do so.
For now, I strongly encourage you and your family to practice social distancing while enjoying probably one of the most interesting Spring Breaks in history. With every challenge, comes many things positive. Find the positive in this ever-evolving, unprecedented and challenging situation. It’s there. We just have to look for it. We are all in this together!
Please stay safe and healthy, and check in with us regularly on our website at www.cmsd.bc.ca or Twitter @CoastMtnSD.
Acting Superintendent of Schools