May 6, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff,
Earlier today, Premier John Horgan held a news conference to share details of B.C.’s Restart Plan, a four-phase plan to ease restrictions currently in place due to COVID-19.
You may have had an opportunity to watch the news conference. For those who did not, here is a summary of what we now know:
-The plan, which will move us toward a “new normal,” is informed by the ongoing advice of the Provincial Health Officer, practical decision-making and common sense. While it is not prescriptive, the plan will rely on all of us doing our part to make choices that will continue to flatten and bend the curve.
-We are currently in Phase 1, a phase in which we have essential services operating, including childcare for essential service workers, K-12 remote learning, and in-class learning for the children of frontline essential service workers, vulnerable students, and students with more complex needs.
-We will move to Phase 2 in the weeks ahead. Phase 2, under enhanced protocols, will allow for things such as: small gatherings, provincial parks to re-open for day-use, more retail businesses to re-open, elective surgeries to resume, and most applicable to all of us, expanded and voluntary in-person schooling for K-12.
-Phase 3 will also occur under enhanced protocols and will eventually allow for more parks to re-open, film and TV production to resume, and movie theatres, hotels and resorts to re-open.
-Phase 4 will only be reached when we have developed treatment, a vaccine, or community immunity to COVID-19.
For your reference, I have included links to both the Office of the Premier’s news release and additional background information on the phased-in approach to resuming in-class instruction (see page 3).
I acknowledge that since the Minister of Education, under direction of the Provincial Health Officer, first announced the suspension of in-class instruction on March 17, 2020, we have all had to quickly adjust to a continuity of learning with new routines in our personal, school, and professional lives. Now, as we are asked to start to return to a “new normal”, we undoubtedly will experience change once again, but it will be done in a measured and coordinated way.
I know that with today’s announcement you will have questions about the timing of Phase 2, and how the expanded and voluntary in-person schooling may take place. Over the coming days, as we receive additional information and direction from the Ministry of Education and Provincial Health Officer, we will communicate our plan for making in- class instruction available for more students. This plan will first and foremost prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and our school community. We will also continue to post updates on our District website.
As I have shared in previous communications with you, the North Vancouver School District is here for you and is committed to safely providing education and care for our students. We look forward to sharing with you more information as B.C.’s Restart Plan begins to unfold and we can welcome more students back to the classroom once again.
Superintendent of Schools