Like many of you, I tuned in to the live news conference today as Rob Fleming, the BC Minister of Education, announced that all schools in the province would be closed “until further notice” and like many of you I wondered about what this all would mean.
Some things that were clear:
All students will move on at the end of the school year. If a student would have normally moved from grade 6 to 7 at the end of the year, they will still do so. If a student is currently on track to graduate, they will still do so. Teachers and schools will continue to support students to accomplish the remaining learning targets while regular K-12 classes are suspended.
Much of what was announced was not a surprise and mirrors some of what had already been announced in other jurisdictions. We’ve already begun work on setting up classroom/education supports in Google Sites and Classroom. The government has mandated that schools commence rolling out these supports starting by March 30. We’re currently scheduling training for staff and anticipate many of these resources will become active that week.
The announcement also included a note that schools will need to think through additional supports for the children of those involved in crucial roles such as health care and for others particularly in need at this time. At PCS, this would include those with special needs and our international students who are struggling with difficult decisions around potential return home in the midst of the Covid outbreak. We will provide additional updates for these students as quickly as possible, but as the situation is evolving daily, please understand that we must take our cues from the best and most up-to-date information.
Our leadership team continues to meet, plan and prepare. Undoubtedly, there will be challenges; but we are committed to doing everything we can to support our families in what we know are difficult and uncertain circumstances. I encourage you to connect with any one of the leadership team should you have questions. I anticipate providing a further update by the end of the week.
I would encourage your continued prayers for everyone impacted, and especially for our leadership and staff as we seek to model God’s love in the midst of difficult times.