Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley held a virtual graduation ceremony this week. Bulletin file.

SD6 schools close for the summer

Still many unknowns about what the return to school in September will look like

Superintendent of Schools in No. 6, Paul Carriere, sent a final letter to district parents, as schools prepare to close for the summer, and Carriere himself prepares to retire in a few weeks.

In his letter, Carriere thanked parents and students for helping them navigate a new way of learning in the past few months.

Carriers says that returning to the classroom on June 1 was big, but there are many unanswered questions about the return to school in September.

“The expansion of in-class learning we experienced in the month of June was a huge milestone for our District. I visited every school, and it was an incredibly positive experience. Students and Teachers were so happy to be together again, and the scenes were uplifting. One staff member said – “just listen!” – she was speaking about the sound of the children echoing outside as they were playing. It’s amazing that we were remarking on that joyful sound, something that under normal circumstances we might have heard as background noise or just tuned out. It underscores what a privilege it is for us to have your children in our lives. June helped us renew ourselves as a system; it allowed us a dress rehearsal for September and built back our confidence that we can do this, and we can do it safely.

“A word about this year’s graduates. No one would blame them for feeling cheated. But in the virtual, alternative ceremonies that took place this week, that is not what comes through. This group of young people has responded to these circumstances in the most positive way, and they are a source of pride for all of us. Thanks to Grad parents for your support, and thanks to our secondary schools and the planning committees for the innovative ways they found to celebrate the accomplishments of these students. Best wishes to the Class of 2020!

“It’s not typical as we commence our summer break, but this year, September is on everyone’s minds. A few things to be aware of:

• The Ministry of Education continues to work closely with the Provincial Health Officer

• SD6 will follow the directives of the Ministry, advised by the PHO

• We will be prepared for several scenarios based on the evolving situation over the summer

• The goal remains a full return, as soon as possible, as long as it is safe to do so

• We will have clarity on what September will look like, on or around August 20

In a separate letter, Minister of Education Rob Fleming and President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, Andrea Sinclair, said that they know parents are curious about what the return to school in September will look like.

“Our goal is to have even more students in class in September, as long as it is safe to do so baed the advice of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.”

However, they add, much depends on how the situation evolves over the summer.

Much more information on how things will look in the fall will be released as the return to school date gets closer.

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