Surrey School District building. (File photo)

Surrey School District building. (File photo)

COVID-19

COVID-19: Surrey Schools says ‘lots of work and planning’ to do for March 30 despite no students

Superintendent says expectation from ministry is that ‘schools are operating and providing services’

Surrey School superintendent Jordan Tinney says the district is “strongly considering” to what extent it can provide services remotely, including from home, by March 30.

In a letter to staff Thursday (March 19), Tinney said that while the Ministry of Education has suspended in-class instruction in B.C., that “news is a sign of the times.”

He said the district wanted to wait to send the letter until he had has a chance to “conference directly” with the minister and deputy minister of education “to get more clarity on what government expectations are over the coming weeks, and how our district can respond effectively.”

READ ALSO: Surrey school reopens after one-day closure due to positive COVID-19 case, March 11, 2020

“The most clarity we can provide right now is that while students may not physically be in classrooms, schools are not closed,” Tinney writes. “The expectation from the Ministry of Education is that ‘schools are operating and providing services.’”

Tinney said the district has until March 30 “to do our planning” and staff is “actively working” on the plan.

He said the top priority is the “health and well-being” of staff and the school communities. Tinney highlighted the recommended health precautions, such as remaining one to two metres from other people and banning gatherings of 50 or more people.

“We are trying to determine exactly how that will unfold in our sites, as we have buildings which we have well over 50 people,” he writes.

“We are schools and at our very core we are social enterprises. These measures and this announcement will hit at the heart of what we do. In our plans, we are strongly considering to what extent we can provide services remotely, including from home. It may not be that all staff are attending a school site as your normal workplace.”

These concerns, Tinney said, are “also top of mind for the district and that is why were are exploring all options for work.” He added that he knows “many of you are nervous about coming back to work” on March 30.

It’s also a time for the district to “harness the power of online technologies and video conferencing,” Tinney said, adding that the district has the ability “for every school to host their first meetings on March 30 online.”

Tinney writes that he will share more details in the “coming days,” but know that it “will not be ‘business as usual’” by the end of the month. He added staff still needs to “prioritize our work” and there will be an “adjustment period.”

In a tweet from Tinney, he said there is still “lots of work and planning to do,” but most importantly at this time is to “rest up, take care. We need you well.”

READ ALSO: Coronavirus causes Surrey Schools to cancel trips to Italy, Japan, France, March 3, 2020

READ ALSO: All international student trips have been cancelled amid COVID-19 pandemic: Surrey Schools, March 13, 2020



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

CoronavirusSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo: MOSAIC/Facebook)
Organization receives $10K from B.C. government to tackle racism in Surrey, White Rock

Funding to go toward forum for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Reports of student attendance ‘dwindling’ at Surrey schools: teachers’ association

STA president said he’s heard from staff that students might not attend in-person for 4th quarter

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via farhanlalji.com)
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks student athletes could lose out under new proposal

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read