The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Alberni school district takes a week off to plan for online education

All buildings and playgrounds in School District 70 closed to the public

Students in Port Alberni will not be returning to school quite yet.

Since students departed for spring break on March 13, the provincial government has indefinitely suspended all in-class instruction, meaning that students will not return to school this week as originally planned.

In a letter addressed to parents on Thursday, March 26, School District 70 superintendent Greg Smyth announced that the week of Monday, March 30 to Friday, April 3 will be a “planning week” across the school district. Students and parents should not expect any learning materials until Monday, April 6 at the earliest.

READ MORE: Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

During this planning week, teachers will be contacting parents and caregivers to gather information and discuss learning options.

All physical buildings and playgrounds within SD70 are currently closed to the public.

“We…appreciate that some students may want to collect personal items or learning materials from school yet ask for your patience while we develop a process to identify urgent, immediate need and to provide safe, controlled access to schools,” said Smyth in his letter.

More information will be posted on the SD70 and school websites over the coming days. In the meantime, the Ministry of Education also has a Frequently Asked Questions page for parents.

“The COVID-19 pandemic represents a troubling, uncertain and unprecedented event in our modern history,” said Smyth. “Like other community members, many SD70 employees are also parents of school-aged children, looking after loved ones or living with essential service workers. We understand the direct impact and challenges associated with COVID-19. We ask for your continued understanding and patience as we adjust our system operations to provide ongoing learning and community support during these extraordinary times.”

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