April 8, 2020
Dear Parents/Guardians and Students;
We appreciate that this continues to be a busy time for families and the learning opportunities happening for students at home may be both rewarding and, at times, frustrating. The Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning (DELL) said at his briefing last evening: ‘Schools are the heart of our communities and they are reaching out to parents and students in ways they have never before.’ By many accounts, so far, this new way of learning is going well. It was clear that there was a high level of engagement happening when listening to a student, parent, and one of our teachers recently on the evening news. We offer our sincere appreciation for the efforts that are taking place in homes across the Island right now.
Everybody is Working Hard
Our staff have been working very hard over the last week, with our partners at the DELL, preparing for this new reality and how we will continue to create learning opportunities for students. Our teachers and staff care very deeply about the success of students and their commitment to ensuring that students have the skills they need to be successful is unchanged, even in these challenging times.
We are also realizing that our education system does not stand by itself. We are linked with everyone’s realities and we are partners dealing with this global health crisis. We are all working hard under these circumstances, including following all the health advice of the Chief Public Health Office, to make this transition to home learning as seamless as possible. What students, parents, and teachers are doing has never been done before in our lifetime. Feeling successful as we learn and work differently is going to take some time. It is appropriate to start slowly while we establish new routines. Our teachers are presently looking at ways to develop and share learning resources that will be helpful to students, parents, and learning.
Learning Materials for Students
We understand that some of our students and parents are interested in collecting learning materials at their schools to support learning at home. We are exploring ways to do this that would follow the necessary health requirements of the Chief Public Health Office. We thank everyone for their patience and we look forward to providing you with more information in the future.
A basic school supply package including paper, pencils, and scribblers is being made available for any student or parent who may not have access to these materials at this time. Families are asked to contact the Support for Families line at 902-368-5155 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and assistance.
Due to COVID-19, the PSB has canceled all in-province and out-of-province student travel for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This includes all end of year field trips. Non-fundraised money that students or parents paid directly toward school trips will be returned. Schools that have been impacted by this decision are currently working with the PSB to return non-fundraised money back to families as soon as possible.
The PSB is committed to ensuring that our students have what they need to be successful. We are looking forward to the date when we can welcome our students back into our face-to-face learning environments to continue the learning and the great experiences everyone expects of public education. What will remain the same until then is that the relationships we have with students and parents matter a great deal. We are in this together and education will continue as we move forward.
We thank everyone for their support and we look forward to connecting and working with students and parents in the days ahead.
Director, Public Schools Branch