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Mission Public Schools
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COVID-19 News & Announcements

Last updated: September 10, 2020

The health and safety of all students, staff and school communities is our top priority. Under the guidance of public health officials and the provincial government, Mission Public Schools continues to monitor the ongoing situation with regard to COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). This page is updated as the school district receives new information regarding COVID-19, announcements from the Health Minister, and the Minister of Education.

Back to school resources for Parents & Teachers

Education Options for Mission Students

Mission Public Schools - Restart Plan for September 2020

We are looking to welcoming your child back to school. To help you prepare for a safe return to school, we are providing you with our Restart Plan which we have developed in alignment with the direction set by the Ministry of Education and Provincial Health Officer. Your child's school will share with you additional school-specific details. As part of the approved plan, please see the School District's health and safety guidelines below. Questions, concerns, or feedback can be provided by completing our feedback form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=zLAcoeUnh0GoyYI4TIcvUgUKDaqp1plPhMkX_K2W3CZUMjVFNldUOVgzNFdBVkZTUkMxWEdNRzFKTi4u 

Memo from the Superintendent

Stage 2 - BC's Restart Plan

The Ministry of Education announced that our province will be moving to modified Stage 2 of B.C.'s Education Restart Plan, and safely bringing K-12 students back to class full time for September 2020. A link to the ministry news release on this plan is here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020EDUC0040-001415. You can also watch July 29th's press conference with Minister of Education Rob Fleming and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoqjWBNMBSE.

Modified Stage 2 involves the full return to in-class instruction for all students for the maximum time possible within learning group limits. Therefore, following the advice of the provincial health officer, in Stage 2, students in all school districts will be organized into consistent learning groups of staff and students. Learning group size limits have been set at a maximum of 60 people for elementary schools and a maximum of 120 people for secondary schools. These learning groups will help reduce the risk of transmission, enable quick contact tracing, and allow for more in-class learning time as well as increased peer interaction and support.

A learning group will consist of a group of students and staff who primarily interact with each other and who will remain together throughout the school quarter, semester, or year. The group can be made up of a single class of students, multiple classes that sometimes join together for additional learning activities, or a group of secondary school students with the same courses. Additional information about learning groups is available on the Ministry of Education website.

School districts will continue to follow enhanced health and safety measures following the guidelines developed by the BC Centre for Disease Control and the BC Ministry of Health, and outlined in the updated COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings manual. These measures include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures, more individual and smaller group activities, and limitations on assemblies and other large gatherings.

Student transportation will be available in Stage 2; details will follow in the coming weeks.  Doubtlessly the Ministry of Education will be developing additional operational guidelines over the coming weeks to further assist school districts with their planning for September. I will provide you with all updates as soon as they become available.

We will be reviewing the revised health and safety guidelines and making detailed plans for their implementation. I will provide you with an update on how our school district is implementing these guidelines, organizing learning groups, and establishing bell schedules as soon as our plans have been finalized. The provincial government is adding additional funding to help support continued extensive cleaning and other safety measures.

The organization of our schools is a complex task, and it will involve some significant changes to how we usually organize our schools, most especially the development of middle and secondary timetables. We will need to work in concert with our school principals, unions, district staff, multiple ministries, and health authorities on these plans. 

You are welcome to contact me at [email] should you have questions. Thank you for your continuing support and understanding as we work to ensure your children are both safe and receiving a strong educational program.  You can expect further communication from our district and your school in the weeks ahead.  In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful rest of your summer.

Sincerely,

Angus Wilson, Superintendent of Schools

Stage 3 - BC's Restart Plan

On May 15, 2020, Minister of Education Rob Fleming announced that all schools in BC will be moving to Stage 3 of BC's Restart Plan. As a result, effective June 1, 2020, families will have the choice of bringing their children back to class on a part-time basis. The goal is to return to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so. For your information, Stage 3 includes the following:

  • Kindergarten to Grade 5: in-class learning 2 to 3 days per week, supplemented with remote instruction.
  • Grades 6 to 12: in-class learning 1 day a week, supplemented with remote instruction.
  • Children of essential service workers (aged 5-12), students with disabilities/diverse abilities, and students needing additional supports: option to attend school 5 days per week.
  • Families who decide not to send their children to class: continued remote instruction until the end of the 2019/20 school year 
  • *In Mission, we had looked at including grade 6 in this group, however we will not at this time. It is our hope that should there be future Stage 3 incidents, we can include grade 6 with elementary based on our K-6 organisational structure. 

To learn more, please read:

STAGE 3: Re-Entry of Students - Plan Background

Engagement with First Nations

Mission Public Schools is located within the traditional, ancestral, unceded, and shared territories of the Leq'á:mel, Matheqwí, Qwó:ltl'el, and Sq'éwlets peoples. Our Principal of Indigenous Education has been in ongoing contact with local First Nations during the pandemic. FNSWs have been working closely with families on issues ranging from access to technology to food packages during this time. In addition, we have continued our ongoing work on items like our Equity Scan during this time so broader communication has also been available.  At this time, local First Nations will continue their lockdown and education will continue remotely. They have set up innovative supports for students in their community to assist them during the pandemic as well.

Health and Safety

School Re-entry Plan has been reviewed by District H&S.  Risk Assessments done at all sites following WorkSafeBC guidelines. 

Schools developed their plans in concert with the District.  Classes at the elementary level will not exceed 15, and 10 at the secondary level. Capacity will be capped at 50% daily at elementary and 20% elsewhere.  Non-staff adults are not permitted entry unless through special arrangement.  Middle and Secondary students come in on an appointment basis.

Desks, etc have been rearranged to allow for distancing.  Staff rooms have been closed; most schools are using gymnasiums or other similar spaces as staff rooms with tables and tape to create social distancing. Classrooms without ready access to washrooms will have hand sanitizer present.  Daytime custodians have been added to all schools. 

Continuity of Supports

Childcare will continue for ESWs and others in need of it. There is some expansion due to teachers returning to work. Vulnerable students, and those with diverse needs will be able to attend school up to five days a week. Food programs like the Starfish Program will continue; however direct support at the secondary school level has been moved to municipal programs as of the end of March.

Until late June, we will be allowing students to continue to use school district property (eg laptops, tablets, etc)

Counsellors, LATs, and other non-enrolling specialists will continue to work both in person and online with children as they adjust to the new reality.  It has been noted that even the return to school, while welcome, will be traumatic, as things will not be as they were before. We have also worked hard to check in on the mental health of our staff, in everything from memos to phone calls to on going group chats to stay connected. Our open dialogue is an important part of our cohesion as a team.

Continuity of Learning

SD#75 will expand its roll-out across the district in the following way:

 ScheduleBussingInstruction
K-5M/T & Th/F in school (2 cohorts)Partial2 days in class, 1 day online
6M & Th (2 cohorts)Partial1 day in class, 1-3 days online
7-12Support Available in School as needed 1 day/weekNoneOnline; Face to Face as needed

 

Full Start is set for June 1st. Principals have surveyed their families to get a picture of the number of students coming to school initially, the demand for bussing, and related considerations.  Currently, approximately 20%-65% of elementary students will be returning for in class instruction, varying by school. Some students will have access to school up to five days a week.  Please note, with the return to some direct instruction, the remote learning provision will still exist, but it will not be as robust as in the Stage Four delivery model.

Wednesday was selected as the online instruction day to allow further cleaning and other safety measures to be enacted at the school site.

Bussing is currently being planned on the new 'one student per bench model' to determine capacity to transport students.  Bussing may not commence on June 1st; barrier upgrades and retraining may delay their start to the following week. Transportation is reviewing the list of students requiring bussing to determine if we have the capacity to move them all. Potentially excepting secondary special education bus students, the focus is entirely on transporting elementary aged students.

Middle and Secondary students will attend as needed by appointment. Teachers will be in the school at least one day a week to provide face to face support.  Online work will continue approximately four days a week.  As noted previously, some students will be in school up to five days.

Childcare will continue to function and will expand due to demand from teachers.  New cohorts and one of the Windebank groups will move to Heritage Park Middle School as the classrooms are demanded for regular instruction.  We are unable to accommodate childcare for under 5 year olds, and are hopeful other agencies will re-open to provide this in the Mission area.

During the week of May 18-22, Schools surveyed parents for their receptiveness to returning their children to school, to determine the load required at each site.  Schools have also surveyed staff to assess childcare needs and various health concerns for staff members.

Contact Overview

Mission Public Schools (SD 75) | Angus Wilson, Superintendent of Schools email the Superintendent.

Information for school district community regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

If symptoms arise, limit your contact with others and call 811. BC COVID Self-Assessment Tool:  https://covid19.thrive.health/?fbclid=IwAR35AUzGbT2mT5iIl-zd4dCVgrt5r83Xz7eghVVAT-Uo6Y11A3JdEiWteAI

Childcare for Essential Service Workers

If you are a tier one or tier two essential service worker requiring chidlcare but you did not complete our Essential Service Worker survey, please contact us by clicking here.

Please see the document below for a summary of these recommendations, information on how the recommendations are being implemented in our school district, and guidance on the steps you can take at home.