November 4 - School Closure Update for Families

November 4 - School Closure Update for Families
Posted on 11/04/2022

Dear Parents and Guardians:

We are carefully monitoring the labour situation between CUPE and the provincial government. As of today, we are not aware of plans for the two sides to resume negotiations. Given the critical daily functions completed by our custodial staff, we cannot safely open our schools for students. This means that schools will be closed on Monday, unless an agreement is reached over the weekend. 

Before and After School programs, school transportation services and Community Use of Schools will be cancelled. Full-day in school childcare centres will be open at the discretion of the operator. 

Technology Distribution
We will begin the process of distributing technology to students who require it on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Schools will reach out to families directly with instructions on how to request technology, if needed. Please remember that we have a limited number of devices. We want to remind families that students are able to access their remote learning program in a number of ways, including: mobile devices such as cell phones and tablets; laptop or desktop computers; smart TVs; and gaming consoles such as Playstation or Xbox.

Synchronous Remote Learning
On Monday and Tuesday, students will continue to work independently on work that has been provided to them by educators. We will move to remote synchronous, i.e., live real-time instruction beginning on Wednesday, November 9th, should the labour unrest continue. 

On Wednesday, November 9th teachers will begin taking daily student attendance. If your child will be absent from remote learning for any reason, please follow the normal process at your child’s school. This is a reminder that our parent portal - Home2School Connect is an easy way to submit student absences. 

Students with Special Education Needs
All students will be working remotely from home during the closure-period. Most students with special education needs will be able to engage in remote learning directly with their classroom teacher and receive support as per their Individual Education Plan (IEP). For those students with complex learning needs, who require an educational assistant's support, the school will reach out to those families next week to discuss the programming needs of their child. Specifically, subject content and high priority goals will be discussed, and the required virtual support will be implemented.    

Mental Health and Wellbeing
We understand that this situation may be stressful for students, families, and staff. Please check out the information and resources listed on the Mental Health & Well-being section of the Board website. You will find links to the student website and Instagram page, our parent podcast, community resources, and resources to help you manage through stressful times. 

Please know that making the decision to close schools was not easy. We know that returning to a learning from home scenario comes with many challenges for both caregivers and children. We will continue to pray for a resolution to this labour unrest. If any new information becomes available over the weekend related to our ability to reopen schools, we will send an update on Sunday. 

We also encourage you to review our Labour Question and Answer Document, which has more information about labour negotiations at our board. As always, we thank you for your support as we work through this difficult situation.

Yours in Faith,

Frances Bagley

Director Education