Letter to Parents/Guardians and Students from Director of Education Deb Crawford

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

Now that Minister Lecce has given notice that schools will be closed until at least May 31st, I thought that it would be a good time to provide an update on our “Continuation of Learning” plans and seek your input about how we can work together to provide the best possible education for our students during this COVID-19 pandemic. This is definitely not “business as usual” for any of us! 

I hope that you and your family are staying healthy. We recognize the many challenges that families face as we all collaborate to ensure the health and safety of our communities. This is a tough time for so many of us and the demands of social distancing make it even harder to endure. As a community of faith, we continue to reach out in support of each other and know that this too shall pass. We have hope for the future because we know that God will not abandon us. We will be together again and in the meantime, we will work together to support our students as they continue along their learning journeys.

Teacher-led learning began three weeks ago with a major transition from our familiar classroom environments to a new virtual reality. Our educators have responded with great enthusiasm and care for their students. They have reached out to all students to connect and to instruct and many of our educators have been engaging in ongoing professional development to expand their own instructional strategies to enhance the distance learning experience for our students. Our Board staff has worked very hard to ensure that every student at SCCDSB has access to technology and the internet. We want to thank the many folks across all departments who have been instrumental in providing connectivity to our students by distributing more than 1,800 Chromebooks and Special Education devices.

During this time of social distancing, the relationship between teachers, educational assistants, early childhood educators and their students provides a link that is supportive and encouraging. Thanks to our Principals and Vice Principals who have been learning to manage “virtual schools” while ensuring that our students are connected. We have made amazing progress since those first weeks and will continue to learn with our students as we provide engaging learning opportunities.  Sincere thanks go to our parents and guardians who have been patient and supportive throughout this initial stage. This is new territory for all of us as we strive to educate our students from a distance.  For the latest information about Distance Learning, please see the update that is posted to Newsdesk today along with this letter. 

To ensure that everyone has the latest and most reliable information during the COVID-19 pandemic, I would ask that you please refer to our Newsdesk and sign up for notifications of the most important posts and the weekly newsletter that will be delivered directly into your inbox. To assist parents and guardians with the many aspects of learning at home, please go to our Parent Learning Hub where we continue to provide regular updates and resources.

Until we are able to gather again, my prayer is that your family will stay healthy and keep safe, as we all continue to follow the advice of our government leaders and public health professionals in the fight against COVID-19.

God’s blessings to you and your family,

Deb Crawford

Director of Education