Dear Okanagan Landing Families
We hope that you are all well and finding ways to focus on the positives during this difficult time. Although the world is going through a very trying time, we still have much to be grateful for and it is important to remember those things which give our lives comfort and joy, including our children. Usually at this time of year we would be starting cross country practices and getting ready for the track and field season. Although these activities are not going on at school, we encourage you to take time each day to go out for a walk or run, play in the yard, and get some sun on your face. It is of-course, so important that you maintain social distancing as you do this. The spring term will definitely look different for the time being and our teachers are currently working hard to ensure that educational opportunities will be provided for all of their students. Our district administration team has also been busy over the past weeks helping us to prepare for the weeks to come.
*This letter is to provide families with information about what to expect I the next couple of weeks.
Safe and healthy schools
Our work in the schools this week has focussed on establishing safe and healthy protocols for our school sites. This includes guidelines for social distancing and safety and cleaning protocols for access to school sites for staff. A big thank you to the custodial staff for all of their work cleaning our school over the break. They will continue to be a big part of keeping our schools safe and clean.
*The school is closed to all public access this week.
Connecting with Families
Teachers will be connecting with families this week. Our primary focus for this initial contact is to check in with each other. If you have more than one child at the school, you will receive calls from each of your children's teachers since we feel it is important for each teacher to reach out to each of their students. As we begin planning for continued educational opportunities for students, teachers will be asking you and your children questions to better understand how we can support our students and families. Things like access to technology, possible support for learning, best timing for contact, and other needs which impact learning will be asked. More importantly, it's a time for teachers to connect with their students to let them know we miss them and are thinking about them.
Where to find information
Our school district website will be kept updated with all the latest information. All of our actions are guided by public health and ministry directives.
If you have questions, you can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Continuity of educational opportunities
After initial contact with families this week, teachers will begin planning for providing learning opportunities for students. This is new territory for almost all educators and it will take some time to decide and design how to make this happen. We also know that it is a brand new experience for students and their families. We want to be considerate of families and students by not setting unrealistic expectations or pressures on anyone. We can all get through this if we work together and stay calm and kind. Please make sure you are connected to Freshgrade (that you have accepted the invitation sent out by your child's teacher earlier this year). Teachers will continue to communicate this way in addition to by phone, emails, or other communication tools they have already been using such as Class Dojo. Also, if you have a new phone number, please call the school (250-542-1181) to let us know. Thank-you.
Picking up student belongings
We will be making plans for families who want to pick up their student's belongings from the school. We will contact parents with our plans once they are set. Thank-you for your patience.
It has been strange to return to our school and not hear the laughter of students or see the smiles on young faces. The positive side of this is that everyone is being vigilant about social distancing and hopefully, with continued vigilance, we will make our way through this health crisis sooner. We all look forward to the time when things get back to "normal". With that in mind, I encourage families to find a new sense of normal as we rely more than ever on families to support their children's education. Our staff will be working very hard to support all families through this and we appreciate your patience as we gradually connect with each of our students and send home learning opportunities for them to continue to engage in their education. I will continue to update our webpage so please make sure you check this (http://www.sd22.bc.ca/school/oklanding/Pages/default.aspx).
In the meantime, please know that our school is still up and running, albeit in a very different way and we are here to assist you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns. We will do our best to find the answers. Take care of each other and be kind to yourselves. We will get through this and we will be stronger for it….and remember OKL is a school with HEART!
J. van der Meer