Category Archives: news and events

COVID-19 Update to PSB Parents/Guardians and Students

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 supportforfamilies@edu.pe.ca for further information and assistance.

School Trips

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.

Parker Grimmer

Director, Public Schools Branch

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PSB Schools and Offices Closed for the Next Two Weeks

We recognize that this March Break has presented significant challenges for families, and as it draws to a close, we understand that parents, students and staff are thinking about school in the days ahead.

Public School Branch schools and offices across the Island will be closed for the next two weeks, until April 3. The purpose for closing schools is to try to prevent further transmission of COVID-19. The PSB is doing our part to follow Public Health experts who are urging everyone to be aggressive in their efforts to “flatten the curve”. The health and safety of our students and staff as well as all islanders is our priority.

In addition to closing PSB schools and offices for the next two weeks, please note the following:

  • All out-of-province PSB sanctioned school-based student travel is cancelled for March, April and May
  • Non-essential school-based events and activities are canceled for the remainder of March, April and May (i.e. outside groups presenting to a school’s student community)
  • Community Use of School Facilities are suspended until further notice (i.e. community school and adult recreation sporting clubs)
  • PEI School Athletic Association (PEISAA) has suspending all school sports until further notice

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 902-368-6990 and leave a message. While our offices are closed to the public, we are interested in assisting you and responding to your requests. We greatly appreciate your support and patience at this time.

For additional COVID-19 resources and FAQs click here

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COVID-19 Update on Learning Supports

We recognize that this March Break has presented significant and unprecedented challenges for families, and as it draws to a close, we understand that there will be questions about teaching and learning.

PSB, CSLF and the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning are working together to determine what home learning options might be available to students after the break. As of yesterday, the Chief Public Health Officer has limited access to buildings, so we will be working with administrators to coordinate brief periods of access for teachers as needed. Next week, our education system will be working with teachers to develop plans to support students in the event that they return to school on April 6, or if they are to remain out of school for a longer period of time.

Education authorities recognize the pressing needs of our graduating class, and students can be assured that graduation opportunities will not be compromised due to school closures. The Department of Education and Lifelong Learning, CSLF, PSB and regional post-secondary institutions are committed to working together in the best interests of students and their transitions from high school to post-secondary. Locally, Holland College, UPEI and Collège de l’Île are willing to be accommodating and flexible to facilitate the admissions process for new students.

Well-being is an equally important consideration in these challenging times, and some children will be feeling anxious. Signs to look for are irritability, excessive questions and worry, poor sleep and/or eating habits, and other unexplained behaviors.

It is important to remember that our children will look to us for our reactions to the situation and will model what they see. Please remind your children that education and health authorities are working hard to make sure our schools remain safe, clean and healthy.

Tips for parents:

  • Take the time to practice safe hygiene strategies and model these for your children
  • Try to maintain a normal schedule
  • Try to remain calm, and remember your children may need extra reassurances and more of your attention than normal.
  • Use caution with the Covid-19 information that you let into your home. Children require facts but do not need to listen to the news all day.
  • Remember that your teens could be receiving a lot of false information via social media.
  • Try to incorporate daily exercise and get out in the fresh air if possible
    • Limit screen time

Most importantly, take care of each other; and try to answer questions in an honest and age appropriate manner.

  • For more information visit princeedwardisland.ca/covid19
  • For general questions about COVID-19, call 1-800-958-6400
  • If you have just returned from outside of Canada and have symptoms, including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing, call 811.

 

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COVID-19 PSB Update

Every effort will be made to ensure our public schools are safe and that learning will resume after the March Break. As per the Chief Public Health Officer’s comments, circumstances are changing quickly. Please watch for further updates and review the latest online information about COVID-19, including recommendations from the Chief Public Health Office: www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19.

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Public Schools Branch Career-Job Fairs

The Public Schools Branch (PSB), which serves almost 20,000 students in 56 schools in Prince Edward Island, is experiencing island-wide shortages in a number of our employment categories.  We are eagerly reaching out to people interested in exploring how their skills, talents, and training can be used to pursue a career or employment opportunity in the education sector.

Every position in the education sector plays a role in contributing to the success of our students and the strength of our system.  A career with the Public Schools Branch can be rewarding in so many ways!

We will be hosting two Career Fairs in November. This will be an opportunity to network with a group of industry professionals and to learn where your skills, talents, and training might fit into our team of over 3500 employees across the province.

Did you know:

  • With a class 1 or class 3 driving license (valid at least 5 years), a career as a bus driver might be an option.
  • With the Human Services Qualification, we have ongoing needs for qualified personnel to work as Educational assistants (EAs).
  • With 2 years of post-secondary education in a teachable subject, a person is eligible to be considered for substitute teaching (experience working with youth and French language capacity is an asset).
  • With Grade 12 (or a GED), you could apply to join a school team as a cleaner.
  • With Professional training as a specialist, (HEAR, EAL, Autism, OT, SLP, Psychologist, etc…), we need you!

We welcome you to come and learn about positions and careers currently available with the Public Schools Branch and the benefits of a career with us!  As well, the PSB has many immediate casual employment openings that could lead to permanent career paths, or provide an opportunity to experience and explore potential employment paths. Areas of shortage include substitute teachers, educational assistants, school bus drivers, administrative assistants, and cleaners.

Drop in and join us!  We look forward to talking with you!

Wednesday, November 6th, 1:00 – 7:00 pm

Stratford Townhall, 234 Shakespeare Drive, Stratford

Or

Thursday, November 21st, 1:00 – 7:00 pm

Holman Building, 250 Water Street, Summerside

(South Tower, rear entrance)

For further information, contact Alva Coade in our Human Resources Department at (902) 620-3452 or arcoade@edu.pe.ca.

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