SD 57 superintendent reaches out to parents, students

There will be no school next week but Prince George district teachers will be reaching out to their students by phone and by email before the end of that week.

School District 57 superintendent Anita Richardson said Friday afternoon in a YouTube media address the safety of students and staff is the district’s highest priority during the COVID-19 pandemic and the district will do its best to keep the lines of communication open for students and their parents

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“We must work closely with parents and guardians as educational partners to guide their child’s learning journey,” said Richardson. “We recognize that our communication must be clear and timely. Our staff are eager to reconnect and you can expect that teachers will be making initial contact with each of their students by the end of next week and they will continue to make regular contact thereafter.”

Richardson said it’s up to parents who have recently moved or changed contact information to make sure they phone the schools to provide an update. Each household will be emailed a letter from the school district on Friday which contains a survey for parents/guardians to fill out. If that email is not received, call the school on Monday.

While there will no longer be face-to-face interactions between teachers and students until the COVID-19 threat subsides, Richardson said it’s important for parents to remind their kids that schools and teachers remain connected to them and those personal bonds will not be broken despite the necessary switch to online learning.

“Students need to feel valued and cared for and part of their school community, this does not change in our current reality” said Richardson. “Although our connections will look different, our schools remain hubs of our communities, where students feel supported and welcome, where the human connections they feel with their teachers and support staff have deep meaning.”

Richardson avoided specifics on what the new online approach to teaching will look like but said students should be prepared to find new ways to learn course material than what they were used to in a classroom setting.

“Instruction, when it arrives, will look different, and it will be meaningful,” she said. “Our goal, to provide learning opportunities that each child needs to feel  a sense of dignity, purpose and hope for the future, has not wavered.”

Richardson encouraged parents and students to submit questions to the school district through its email portal, COVID-19Questions@sd57.bc.ca or call the district office at 250-561-6800 or 1-800-256-7857.

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