March 24, 2022
Dear North Vancouver School District Community,
While the latter half of this message contains important information regarding the return from Spring Break in light of updates to the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, I wanted to begin this message by warmly welcoming you back to school and to the North Vancouver School District. Happy spring!
As Acting Superintendent, and during the time the Board of Education undertakes the important work of selecting a new superintendent of schools, I am honoured to have the opportunity to support the teaching and learning taking place across the school district.
I have worked in public education for almost 40 years and care deeply about the experience of children, youth and adults within the public education system. I look forward to visiting schools and meeting students and staff while they are involved in the rich programming options available in the school district. I also look forward to supporting the work of the Board of Education and senior leadership, and working with the leadership of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation, along with Métis and urban Indigenous families in North Vancouver.
The abundance of talented, reflective leaders within the school district is already obvious to me. Partner group leaders from the District Student Leadership Council, North Vancouver Teachers' Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 389, North Vancouver Administrators, and North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council share pride in the work of the school district and all that is offered. The collaborative tone of their work is impressive, and the commitment to work together is what makes great things possible.
Equally impressive is the future of this school district as described in the 10-year strategic plan. The six goals (student-centred education; innovative instruction; welcoming and inclusive culture; mental health and well-being; truth, healing and reconciliation; and environmental stewardship) are a product of a school district that has the capacity to achieve at a very high level and involve a deep commitment to students, staff and community. Realizing these goals will be transformative, and I have no doubt great work will be done as the planning and programming behind these goal areas take shape and lead to action. These are truly goals of this era and imply deliberate action and a thoughtful approach to bold and progressive change in the North Vancouver School District.
I look forward to experiencing the positive culture of this school district and meeting students, staff and families. To prepare for a safe and healthy return to school next week, I would like to remind everyone of the following key updates to the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, which were first shared by the Provincial Health Officer on March 10 (page numbers included below refer to where in the guidelines more information can be found).
When K-12 schools return from Spring Break:
- Masks (page 18).The wearing of masks or face coverings will no longer be required for students, staff and visitors. The decision to wear a mask or face covering will be a personal choice that should be supported and treated with respect.
- Space arrangement (page 9). While strategies to create space between people should still be considered, classroom and learning environment configurations and activities can return to those that best meet the needs of students and preferred educational approaches.
- School gatherings and events (page 10). Events that include visitors (e.g. parents/guardians as spectators):
- Indoor capacity should not exceed 50 people or 50% operating capacity (whichever is greater) and proof of vaccination requirements should not be implemented while the PHO Gatherings and Events Order is in place.
- Can return to 100% capacity when the PHO Gatherings and Events Order is lifted (expected end of day April 7, 2022).
- Field trips (page 22). When planning field trips, schools should make every effort to select venues/locations that do not place additional requirements that could prevent a person from participating.
- Visitor Access/Community Use (pages 14-15). Schools can return to routine sign in/sign out practices. For the NVSD, this means visitors (including staff who are not regularly scheduled at a school site) will continue to sign in at the front office and complete a daily health check* prior to entering the school. Furthermore, schools are no longer required to collect contact information from spectators at school events.
*Students, staff and visitors should still complete a daily health check prior to attending a school or school district site and must not enter the school/district site if sick (page 15).
Please take some time to review full details of the updates in the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings. A link to this document can be found on the school district's COVID-19 web page.
As students and staff return from Spring Break, and we all prepare to move forward together to the end of the school year, I do want to impress upon you how very pleased I am to have the opportunity to be a part of this school district and work with all of you. Please do not hesitate to reach out, as I welcome your input.
Acting Superintendent of Schools