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Back to school

Back to school

As back to school draws nearer, I am hearing from parents, friends, those involved in SD46, and so many others in the community about their fears and anxieties around the back to school plan. One of the main symptoms of this crisis is, in fact, fear. Fear is not something the school district can take away from you, your children and your families – but what we can do is let you know that we are with you. The fear of the unknown is amongst all of us. What we know now is that instead of concentrating on that fear, we are focused on ways to make a return to school safe and successful for everyone to step through the doors.
We are going back to school, and we will follow the protocols put out by the Ministry of Education, BC Center for Disease Control and the Provincial Health Officer – just like we do in our community – to ensure that our students will be safe and be able to get back to their caring and compassionate environment that is created in SD46. A later start this year will ensure that all staff and students will receive health and safety training to ensure a successful restart.
On Aug. 31 at 12pm, there is a free online webinar presented by BC Children’s Hospital and the Kelty Mental Health Resource Center on setting children and youth up for a successful return to school. You can register for free at the following link:
There are also many mindfulness-based webinars on their site for both children and their caregivers.
One of the goals in our strategic plan that will be focused upon greatly this year is, “Our students will develop and apply social and emotional skills to successfully live, work, and play together. They will have the resilience and attitude to deal with life’s challenges and to manage their mental health.”
We know that schools provide more than just the learning in the curriculum. Our schools are part of our community for food security, mental health supports, socialization and emotional connection and support.
Two-thirds of Sunshine Coast children have been out of school for over half a school year. It is not possible for a school district to meet the individual needs of all families – as always, we aim for a balance while keeping a clear lens on safety, equity and inclusion.
We’re in this long term, the virus is with us now, and in the future, we have to learn to live with it and come up with strategies to move forward, together successfully. Let’s continue to be kind, calm and safe. In the words of Christopher Robin, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”

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