June 25 End of Year Letter from Superintendent
June 25, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
As the 2019-2020 school year comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your support and patience during a very unusual year. When the school year began, none of us could have anticipated the extraordinary circumstances that we would all encounter. I know that the pandemic has resulted in some very difficult times for families. In addition to the health, economic and childcare concerns that you may have been managing, we have also asked you to assist your children with their studies along the way. On behalf of the Richmond School District, I want to thank you for working alongside us to support your child’s learning. We know it hasn’t been easy, but we are very grateful for our partnership with you.
We also know that this has been a difficult year for our students. They have not been able to see their teachers and friends on a regular basis, and have missed out on some of the wonderful opportunities that schools provide in normal times. Most importantly, they have had to learn to adjust to new and different ways of learning in a very short period of time. Despite all this, we have heard many stories of how resilient students have been throughout the pandemic. I know that this is due, in large part, to the support that they have received from their parents, family members and school personnel. It is our sincere hope that things will return to ‘normal’ as soon as possible and we can continue our work together to ensure each student’s success moving forward.
As we complete this school year, it is natural that our thoughts turn to what September will look like. As you may be aware, the Ministry of Education developed a five-stage re-start plan earlier this spring that outlines the stages that schools in BC will potentially move between during the pandemic. We are currently in stage three. At this time, it is not yet clear which stage schools will be in when school re-opens in September. If the current public health conditions do not deteriorate, it is likely that we will be in something similar to stage one or stage two. However, until a Ministry of Education decision is made, that is subject to change.
We understand that parents would like to know these details as soon as possible. We anticipate the Ministry will provide direction to school districts in mid-August about what we can expect in September. As soon as we have that information we will communicate directly with parents in the district. In the meantime, the Richmond School District is developing plans for a number of scenarios.
Regardless of what the schedule looks like, we will continue to focus on the health and safety of our students and staff members. We have had the opportunity to ‘test-drive’ our health and safety protocols this month as students and staff members have returned to in-person instruction. These protocols may be adjusted depending on the health guidance and direction from the Provincial Health Officer, but our focus will remain on keeping everyone safe as we welcome our school communities back to school.
Again, on behalf of the Richmond School District, I thank you for your support and wish you a relaxing and joy-filled summer.
Superintendent of Schools