Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I hope you have been enjoying the Christmas holidays and have enjoyed some important time with family and friends. The snow and frigid cold weather have allowed for some fun and exciting outdoor activities such as sledding, skating, and pond hockey. There is still plenty of time remaining and I hope you are able to enjoy New Year celebrations. I am currently in Victoria with my family. It snowed 2 cm last night, so the entire Island is at a standstill!
The first four months of this school year have had so many positives. Our staff has been awesome. I am deeply thankful that we were able to return to a greater sense of normal: the parking lot connections, in-person parent-teacher conferences, the return to school sport, the Grade 12 Winter Formal, and in-person student chapels, just to name a few.
Of course, there have been challenges, the most recent being the devastating flooding on the coast, which has restricted travel for much of the past two months. And, most certainly, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to present obstacles and challenges across Canada and the world. While I am prayerful that the evolution of this virus will lead to less severe illness, there is much that we don’t know yet.
Yesterday Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Public Health Officer, made an announcement that the return to school would be delayed for the majority of students until Monday, January 10th. Since that announcement, we have received additional health and safety guidelines that will need to be implemented starting on the 10th. These guidelines are in-line with most of the health and safety measures we have previously implemented. Our health and safety protocols were inspected on December 13th, and we were once again commended for our robust protocols and adherence to all guidelines.
Some things will be tightened up as we come back to school on January 10th. For example, single basketball games (i.e. league games) will continue (no spectators) but tournaments will be paused. Chapels will move back to virtual and seating will become more intentional. We will continue to stagger breaks, drop-off, and pickup times. More information on all adjustments will come as we process more.
We are expecting to receive additional guidance in the coming days. Our leadership team and I have a meeting with all other SCSBC Christian Schools tomorrow morning. We will meet as a team after this. I will also be in contact with the Central Okanagan Independent Schools and will continue to partner with them moving forward. Our leadership team will meet and we will process all health and safety measures and create a comprehensive implementation plan. We will continue to do well all that is asked of us, not adding or subtracting, but turning limitations to further the mission and vision of KCS.
Most K-12 students will return to school on Monday, January 10th. Our staff will return next week, and we are processing how to utilize these four days to prepare for a safe return for all students. I know there are questions regarding some of the details that were shared by Dr. Henry yesterday. I ask for your patience as the leadership team reviews all of the information and makes a clear plan moving forward. As most of our meetings occur tomorrow, I will communicate in more detail by Monday. It is also possible that campus-specific messages (i.e. Silverstar, sports, timetables) will come in our Principal Newsletters.
We do not have clear guidance yet about providing schooling next week for vulnerable learners, and students from families of essential support workers. We hope to learn more about this tomorrow and share more so we can engage those impacted.
At this point, we have confirmed that our preschool is not covered by the new government order and as such it will continue to operate normally next week.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we partner together! I continue to remain steadfast in our ever-faithful Lord, and know that our amazing God has an amazing plan. I am prayerful and hopeful that this is the final season of Covid creating so many pivots. For now, enjoy the time with family and friends and . . . Happy New Year!