March 12, 2021
Dear Students, Parents, Guardians and Staff,
As we approach the end of the day, I imagine that for many of us, we are experiencing a mix of emotions, including relief, excitement, hope, optimism and gratitude.
Relief that we've made it to Spring Break. Thanks to the trust our families have placed in us and a highly dedicated team of educators and staff who are determined to provide for our students an excellent learning experience, 96% of our students are back in schools, inquisitive, engaged and learning together. We also know that some students are engaged virtually in their learning. For those students who are learning remotely, with tremendous support from their teachers, support staff and families, know that we cannot wait to welcome you back to school, whether that be at some point before June or in September 2021.
Excitement that we have a two-week break. As one student in kindergarten exclaimed to her principal this week, “Spring Break means no homework for two weeks!" We know how much everyone looks forward to this break, and this year, more than others, I feel there is a focus on spending quality time with our closest loved ones, being responsible and staying safe. Reflecting back on communications from one year ago when the global pandemic was declared and Spring Break travel plans were disrupted, I acknowledge the challenging year so far and the need for some well-deserved downtime.
Hope for what lies ahead. After four months of restrictions on social gatherings, yesterday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry amended the provincial order on gatherings and events. This means:
- Up to the same group of 10 people may now gather outdoors in a physically-distanced way.
- Up to the same group of 10 people may gather at a park, beach or backyard space.
- Outdoor playdates for children in the same school cohort are okay.
- All restrictions for indoor gathers remain in place (no indoor playdates, sleepovers, etc.).
For up-to-date information on the province-wide restrictions, please click HERE.
Optimism as B.C.'s COVID-19 immunization plan pushes forward, meaning every eligible adult in the province should be able to receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by early to late July. There is optimism that we may return to some sense of “normal" during the summer months.
And finally, gratitude. Earlier this week, you would have received a copy of our 2021 Community Report and a link to the North Vancouver Board of Education's Virtual Trustee Reception. I hope you have had a chance to review the report and view the video and recognize how you have all played an important and vital part in what we have achieved this past year. We could not have kept our schools open and our students and staff learning together without the tremendous support from members of our community who continue to rally together to do their part to keep one another healthy and safe.
Over the break, please take the time to recharge with your family. Enjoy the longer, and hopefully warmer, spring days in ways that are important for our physical and mental health, while minimizing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 within our community. While Dr. Henry has modified the Provincial Health Order, I ask that we, as a community, continue to use the layers of protection, including maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks when required and able, regular and frequent handwashing and staying home and getting tested when ill to ensure our community continues to be safe and healthy.
On behalf of the North Vancouver School District, have a wonderful Spring Break. We look forward to welcoming you back in a couple of weeks!
Superintendent, North Vancouver School District