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Message from the Director of Education
Message from the Director of Education
​​​​​
September 10, 2020

Welcome Back


A Video version of the message below is available.


This is a school year start unlike any other we have experienced.


Families, I want you to know that we understand the trust that you put in us. Each day, you send what is most important to you in the world into our care, and it is not a trust that we take lightly. 


Your children are at the centre of your world, and they are at the centre of every decision that we make. I hear consistently from our staff how much they have missed our students, and that they are looking forward to connecting with them again - whether online or in the classroom. 


We have spent the past few months working with public health experts, developing, revising and reviewing our plans to ensure that we are putting the right measures in place for the health, well-being and safety of your children. This includes distributing PPE to our schools, putting hand sanitizer in every classroom and introducing measures to encourage physical distancing as students and staff members move around the school - and more.


We know that this pandemic and school closures have affected families and our students differently. Your children have missed their friends, their teachers, the routine of school. Some students are transitioning to a new school after months away, or for various reasons were not able to fully participate in online learning. 


We have been working with our mental health teams, and our school staff are well prepared to support your child as they transition back to school.


This is why we are staggering the entry for students this year, particularly for our younger students and those who are transitioning into kindergarten or secondary school. They will have some time in a smaller group to adjust to new routines and for our educators to support them with the transition back to school. 


I also want to recognize that in addition to the pandemic, many of our families also experienced the pain and trauma of anti-Black racism. We remain steadfast in our commitment to addressing incidents of hate, including anti-Black racism, and to creating environments where all of our students, families and staff members know and feel that they belong, are valued and that we are committed to supporting them to be successful. There is more work to do and we will be working with community, staff, students and families to do that work. 


We know that as schools reopen, you have many questions. We will continue to share information with you as it becomes available, and to update our website with information, resources and Q&A. 


While many things will feel different as students return to school, we hope that you also see a few things that feel familiar - 


  • The smiles and excitement on that first day as we welcome students back.

  • The pride your children show as they grasp a new concept. 

  • And the care and commitment that we have for our students and their learning, achievement and well-being.


I wish you all the very best for a healthy and positive start to the new school year.


Sincerely,

Louise Sirisko, Director of Education


 
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