School District #46 Superintendent Patrick Bocking has a message for parents awaiting decisions on the remainder of the school year. His statements followed the Province’s March 17 announcement of the suspension of classroom instruction in efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
In an email to The Local on March 19 Bocking wrote “Until plans are in place, we encourage parents to read with their children, take walks in nature and talk about everything they see. Draw pictures, write stories, count and add things, cook with your children for fun and for learning, and play games. We also encourage parents and caregivers to talk to their children about the current crisis in an age appropriate way. They see and hear what is going on, and may be deeply concerned, but not know how to ask questions. Children need to understand that their classes are suspended because they live in a special community where we take care of each other.”
District schools and administrative offices have been on scheduled Spring Break since March 16. This break was scheduled to end on March 30. When making his comments, Bocking was unsure if District staff employed at schools would be returning to their workplaces on March 30. In the Province’s statement the potential for some classrooms and school staff to be involved as child minding spaces for health care and essential service workers was mentioned.
Bocking wrote “It is a part of our mandate in this situation to provide support to essential service workers and their children. The Ministry is working with all districts to determine what that support will look like. Decision timelines and details will depend on the direction from the Ministry and the needs of our local community. We will ensure that we provide the best support to our students that we can in these circumstances. I am proud to work with fabulous teachers, principals and other staff who will do their utmost to support the learning needs of Sunshine Coast students during this time.”