Greetings parents/guardians of students in the Louis Riel School Division,
The Manitoba Government released the Response Planning for Kindergarten to Grade 12 Learning During COVID-19 Suspension of Classes
document, in both English and French
, on Friday, April 17. This document was developed in response to the suspension of classes being extended until the end of the current school year and outlines the government's expectations for continued learning.
This marks a change from providing educational continuance to supporting a remote learning framework. Students, teachers and parents/guardians are being asked to adapt to the new expectations and strategies contained in the document.
The document also continues to emphasize the importance of continued learning while students are at home and the roles teachers and parents/guardians are being asked to play in these unprecedented times.
I'd like to take a moment to reiterate those two words—unprecedented times.
All of us have been dealing with extraordinary changes to many facets of our lives, from workplace closures and empty supermarket shelves to physical distancing and the shift to home-based learning.
For that, I'd like to applaud each person for doing their very best to make this current reality work, however they can.
And that includes the monumental task being asked of parents/guardians. On top of all of your current responsibilities, we are asking you to look for opportunities to promote learning inside the home, stay in touch with teachers, and encourage your children/young person to stay engaged with their personal learning goals.
It's a lot—I know—so thank you for your patience and understanding as all of us continue to work towards ensuring our kids are caring, confident, capable, and resilient life-long learners.
I've shared a letter, similar to this one, with all our Louis Riel School Division staff about the importance of compassion, understanding and flexibility, not just in regard to schoolwork, but in everything we do as a community. My belief is that our parents/guardians also hold to these values as we collectively support each other through this pandemic.
While it's difficult to make guarantees during these turbulent times, I feel confident that I can make these promises:
- Our teachers will stay in regular contact with students and families between now and the end of June, providing the best possible opportunities for learning.
- As always, teachers will check in with each returning student in September and support them where they are at in their learning. Where learning gaps exist, teachers will work with students and families to address them.
- All staff members look forward to the day when students are welcomed back to classrooms where they will return to learning in a more familiar community setting.
In short, parents, just do the best you can for your children and yourself. We'll get through this unprecedented experience because of the care and collaboration I've witnessed since the start of the pandemic and we will come out of it stronger and more resilient.
I touch on some of the key points from the government document that is guiding our thinking and practice in our division in our LRSD Response Planning for K-12 Learning During COVID-19 Suspension of Classes
Our planning extends beyond simply implementing remote learning guidelines. We are thinking of the many ways this crisis is impacting the lives of our families. With physical distancing measures continuing for an extended period, we continue to consider the social and psychological dimensions of this crisis. We want to be careful to not overburden parents/guardians with our learning continuation efforts. These efforts also need to incorporate well-being and mental health supports for families and staff. Guided by our Multi-Year Strategic Plan and its principles of equity and inclusion, we will continue to work in close collaboration with government, our neighbouring school divisions and each other to support all our learners and families through this pandemic.
LRSD continues to deploy a full compliment of teaching, student services and clinical services staff. Please reach out to your classroom or subject-area teacher(s) and school administration if you need any supports related to learning or wellness.
If you have any questions about the remote learning plan for your child/young person, please contact your homeroom teacher or subject-area teacher(s) for more information.
Stay safe and be well.