Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I want to start by expressing deep appreciation for the many encouraging words that you have sent to our staff and leadership team again this week! Our conversations with you have energized us for the task of creating Continuity of Learning Plans for all of our families. It has been good to meet with staff and see one another’s faces – even virtually! Each morning, we have gathered to worship, pray, and tackle various aspects of our Monday startup with students.

Through conversations and surveys this week, you provided good, timely information to our staff and leadership team around your family’s needs. There are a number of things that I would like to communicate to you today, and some that will be communicated on Friday, in words and in a short video.

First of all, it is clear that several of our families have been affected by layoffs and work stoppages as a result of COVID-19. If you are one of these families, please email our Business Office (businessoffice@cedars.bc.ca) and we will send you a link to a short application for tuition assistance. We have set up a number of options, including tuition relief and deferral. We want to continue serving your family through this difficult season. If it is in your heart to give toward tuition assistance for other families at this time, please reach out to our Director of Community Engagement, Dave Rowland (dave.rowland@cedars.bc.ca) and he can share more about our community needs.

Second, although most of our families have good internet service and access to technology, there are some families that we will be contacting this week to organize loan of school assets through this season. It is our desire to see school resources, such as laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads, in the hands of our students for at-home learning purposes. A simple loan agreement will be signed upon retrieval and/or delivery of technology. It is not expected that parents head out to stores to purchase technology for their children.

Third, there are several families in our community that have at least one Essential Service Worker (ESW) in their home, and who need some care for their pre- and school-aged children onsite at the school. We are in contact with these families and are creating a plan and allocating staffing and spaces within our building that respect physical distancing and cleaning guidelines. It is our desire to start and be a blessing to our community through this service as soon as possible. If you know of other ESW families in our Cedars or Prince George community who would benefit from onsite care, please contact Dave Rowland.

Lastly, many of you have been asking for more details regarding our Continuity of Learning Plan and “what this will look like”. We appreciate your patience as we fine-tune plans for our launch on Monday, April 6th. I will share details in a Friday communication to all families – in writing and in a short video. This will be followed up with direct sharing of Week 1 Continuity of Learning Plans for all of our students. For now, please know that we will start slow, connect, and adapt to make sure that our learning plans work for your child(ren) and your family. Early feedback from other schools has encouraged us to not overwhelm families with assignments and communiques. Most of our families have little to no experience with facilitating at-home learning. We want to be thoughtful and reflective, and make it a great experience for all.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers. We continue to keep you all in our prayers, and look forward to partnering with you in this new learning adventure!

Shalom.

Shane Nelson
Principal