I am writing to provide a quick update on the status of school re-opening. Mission Public Schools is entering Stage Three on June 1st, and we are working hard to prepare our schools for the re-entry of students. As noted over the last few weeks, you make the decision as to whether or not to send your child to school.
Two important developments for parents of elementary students. First, we are working to have school buses available to transport elementary students for the second week of June. Second, unfortunately we have been directed by the Ministry to reduce our in-school instruction for grade six students at this time to align with other districts. This means they will only attend one day a week rather than two. If you are a parent of a grade six child, your school principal will be in contact with you in this regard. A reminder that Essential Service Workers and parents of students with designations can have access to more instruction and/or childcare. Please contact your school principal if you have questions.
Health and safety is first in our minds at this time, of course. Under the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, rules around children in schools have been established that emphasize hand washing, avoiding physical touching of others, and not touching their own face. Hand washing and avoiding face contact is the most important method to avoid infections. Remind children not to share food and drink at school at this time. Further, please ensure that if your child – or someone else in your household- appears to be ill, please keep them home. Our local Health and Safety Manager, principals, and employees have been working to ensure compliance as well as local problem solving for the unique geography and layout of our schools and classrooms. Playground equipment is currently closed, but after a review this coming week, we will make a further announcement.
I've had the good fortune to be on a conference call with Dr Henry yesterday where she discussed the need to be kind to one another as we return to school. In this case, I think some parents are suffering guilt – guilt about sending their child to school, or guilt about not sending their child to school. Parents need to make the decision that is best for their children and their households. It is not the place of the school or community to judge the decision that parents make. So as we head full steam into June, I hope we can all practise kindness with our neighbours, colleagues, and friends.
We will continue to update you as new information is available. You can email me anytime with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stay healthy and stay safe.