Welcome back to the start of another year in Delta schools —
I hope that our teachers, staff, students and parents were able to enjoy the summer, and had a chance to relax and recharge.
We are excited to see students and staff return to our schools, and are pleased that the majority of Delta students have chosen to return to school for in-class instruction as this will help to minimize learning gaps and provide the academic, social and emotional supports which are essential for every learner.
I want to assure you that our schools have a comprehensive set of safety measures in place, including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing requirements. Also, we will be strictly enforcing our policy that requires students and staff to stay home if they are ill.
We know there is still some confusion over learning groups and physical distancing measures. Within Delta’s schools, a student’s class will be their primary learning group. Learning groups will help reduce the number of interactions students have and therefore their potential exposure to COVID-19, and where possible we are trying to keep learning group sizes in our schools below the maximum numbers allowed. While you can expect staff and students to remain two metres apart wherever possible, public health guidance recognizes that social distancing is not always feasible and is not expected within learning groups (under Stage 2 of the B.C. Education Restart Plan). We will be encouraging children to avoid direct physical contact, as well as focusing on how children and staff can move around safely in a school environment. In addition, classroom layouts will be organized to maximize physical distancing and consistent seating arrangements will be encouraged within learning groups.
We recognize that this unique and challenging time for everyone has been going on for many months now. In addition to taking measures to protect the physical health of our students and staff, we will also be looking out for their social and emotional well-being, and ensuring that supports are in place for those that need them. As families, teachers and staff prepare for a school year that looks very different, help is available if worries begin to feel unmanageable. Free and low-cost counselling services are available online, by video and phone for anyone who needs someone to talk to. Click here for more information.
Once again, I welcome back all those who are returning – and a special welcome to those who are joining us as new students, parents, and staff.
Superintendent of Schools
Welcome back everyone!
On behalf of the Delta School Board, I hope everyone has an enjoyable and exciting first day of school.
This is an extremely unique back-to-school for all of us, and whether you’re a student, teacher, parent or administrator, it’s understandable if you’re feeling some level of anxiety. I would like to reassure you that the school district has been working hard to provide the best possible learning and working conditions for students and staff based on the provincial guidelines. Over the coming days and weeks, further adjustments will likely be made as staff and students adapt to their new schedules, safety protocols and learning environments.
I continue to be so proud of the way our administrators, educators, staff and students have responded to the pandemic and risen to the many challenges it has presented. Over the summer and, in particular, since the release of the district’s Back to School Plan, I have witnessed our administration team working extremely long hours talking with our partner groups (DPAC, DTA, CUPE 1091), listening to staff, and having conversations with concerned parents to help personalize return to school transition plans for their children. Moving forward, our district will continue to rely on the guidance of Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Ministry of Education to inform its decisions.
In spite of the challenges of navigating a global pandemic, we’re very much looking forward to the upcoming school year. A continued focus for the district will be our Framework for Enhancing Student Learning. The four overarching goals of CONNECTEDNESS, READING, ASSESSMENT, and GRADUATION continue to be the foundation on which our administrators, teachers and staff will drive our educational leadership. Our aim is to continue to improve the learning success for all students, including expanding on Aboriginal cultural awareness and anti-racism awareness in the year ahead. I know development of teacher-resource kits is well underway and will enable educators to strengthen their approaches to talking with students about these very important issues.
I’d like to recognize once again that these are trying times. People are feeling frustrated, confused, scared and at times, angry. Over the coming months, we will undoubtedly face many more challenges. However, I hope you can find some comfort in knowing that we can handle anything when we all pull together.
Delta School District Board Chair