May 4-8 Update

With the tulips in full bloom in the inner courtyard at NISS, we are reminded of growth and renewal. We have all had to adjust, grow and renew in our new circumstances. We appreciate all the work you are doing. It has been trying, but there are glimpses of hope and positives all around us. Impressive and innovative work samples are coming in from students daily. If you have stories or pictures that you would like to showcase in a future newsletter, please email them to niss.

Again, we would like to thank all of you for the work you continue to do. The results are paying off. In check-ins this week with a variety of students, they are on track. Yes, there are some who are finding this new learning reality difficult and we are all working to support them.  If students are still needing any extra academic supports, social and emotional supports or food security, please let us know, so that we can offer supports to the best of our ability.  We will be offering part-time onsite supports for grads who need extra help in their courses in three locations: NISS, ABE and AJ Elliott. Staff are connecting with graduating students to book appointments for these sessions. We will be opening up NISS part-time in the coming weeks to offer supports to at-risk, the most vulnerable and to others with specific needs. No specific date for this has been set yet, as we will be working on what this will look like in the next couple of weeks.

According to the Minister of Education, BC is looking at bringing back onsite education in 5 steps. These steps will roll out in consultation with the Public Health Ministry. The 5 steps are outlined here:

Step 5: Students are not in schools. Students have continuity of learning from online and/or packages that are sent home.

Step 4:  Some onsite and some in-class learning. This is meant for students who are from essential health worker families, who are most vulnerable and at-risk, and who are struggling to be on track for graduation.

Step 3: Return of K-5 part-time. Return of Grades 6-12 as needed part-time.

Step 2: K-7 full-time. Grades 8-12 part-time

Step 1: All students in school in a “new normal”

Step 1 (and maybe 2) will not occur before September. These steps of course will be implemented with health and safety measures put in place. Step 4 may begin after the May long weekend. We are waiting for details on specific dates. Parents will have a choice to send students to onsite learning part-time or to keep students at home. Therefore, we will be having to survey students in the coming weeks to see who wants/needs to come in and who wants to stay home until the end of June.

There are lots of questions still for which the district is awaiting answers and talks are happening with WorkSafeBC before anything is set in stone for SD 85.

Do know that the district is moving forward with caution, advice from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, and is taking time to monitor situations and trends worldwide.

In a final note, here is a helpful link that Ms. Mackenzie created for students who are wanting to know if they are missing any work in Google Classroom.

Enjoy the sun this weekend.