Superintendent Gord Stewart (Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley schools transition students to at-home learning

During the next two weeks a new model will be rolled out to parents, pupils of kids in public school

Spring break is all but over for teachers and other Langley school staff, but not for local students – who have a bit of a reprieve.

The new reality of back to school will be rolled out during the next two weeks, explained district superintendent Gord Stewart.

He thanked parents and students alike for their patience, as he unveiled what he calls a Continuity of Learning Plan on Friday afternoon.

All school-based staff, including teachers, have been told to expected to work on Monday, March 30, but that does not mean they’re all physically going into their usual work sites. It will mean, however, that all the staff are expected to be in connect with their administrator by phone, Stewart explained.

Meanwhile, students will get as much as a two-week extended hiatus from district mandated education, as the local school district prepares everyone for learning from the confines of their home.

READ MORE: Langley mother approaches school closures with distance learning and beach time

This plan became necessary after the provincial government announced on March 17 that it was suspending all in-class instruction throughout B.C. schools until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak and necessary provincial efforts to curtail the spread of the potentially deadly virus.

DETAILS: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools indefinitely due to COVID-19

“We know this has been a difficult time for all of us, coping with and adjusting to changes to daily life, due to the evolving public health crisis,” Stewart said.

“We want to reassure you that our district will be here to support families in the coming weeks and months, with health and safety being our priority,” he elaborating, noting the district has spent the past two weeks developing a plan to achieve that goal. It’s a new plan, he said, that is intended to guide teachers, parents, and student alike into the foreseeable future – which some predict might extend through the rest of the school year.

“We kindly ask for your patience and to be mindful that administrators, teachers, and staff may not have all the answers in the first week. As we all know, this is an unprecedented time, and we will strive to do our best to support our students and families,” he said.

“Our first goal is to meet the basic needs of students and families, with a focus on providing health and safety supports,” Stewart added in a note sent out Friday.

To help families prepare for the delivery of at-home learning, teachers will begin connecting with families by phone and email next week. The purpose will be to gather information needed for planning.

He’s asking parent to be ready to answer basic questions around needs and supports for their child and family (ie. childcare for essential service workers, diverse learning needs, technology needs). And, for families with parents/guardians identified as an essential service worker, the school district will work with childcare providers to continue to meet their needs.

RELATED: Many Langley students could go hungry without school food programs during COVID-19 pandemic

“As educators, we realize if these basic needs are not met, learning cannot take place. Next, our education goal for students is to do more than maintain learning. We will do our best to transform learning, find new educational opportunities, and inspire innovation when and where possible.”

WATCH: VIDEO – Langley teacher aims to cheer up students with ‘Let it Go’ COVID-19 song parody

Before the at-home learning can even begin, teachers need to reach out – during the week of April 6 – and share online educational resources and information around the continuation of learning.

“By the week of April 14, we are planning to provide consistent learning opportunities for our students based on the information we have collected during the previous two weeks,” Stewart said, noting weekly district-wide updates will continue to be sent out, as they have been so far. And, as well, they will share new information, as it becomes available, from the education ministry and Fraser Health Authority.

Plus, parents can expect updates from the schools and teachers, as needed, Stewart encouragin parents with concerns or questions to reach out to the teachers and school administrator. Further, comments can also be sent via email to feedback@sd35.bc.ca.

“We’ve all seen how supportive and caring our community can be,” Stewart said. “We encourage you to continue to build on these qualities. We know our students, staff, and families are resilient and I am confident we will work together to get through this.”

RELATED: With B.C. schools closed to most, teachers reach tentative three-year deal

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Langley school district rolls out continuity of learning plan at end of spring break. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)

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