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May 28
Letter from Fraser Health Medical Health Officer: A Safe Return to School

Parents, students, staff and school administration are urged to read this May 27 letter from Fraser Health's Medical Health Officer Ingrid Tyler: 

Safe Return to School in the Fraser Health Region.pdf

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May 28
Public and Surrey Schools playgrounds re-opening June 1

School playground.jpgEffective June 1, 125 playgrounds throughout the City’s park system and all playgrounds within the Surrey School district’s 101 elementary schools will be re-opened.

The decision to re-open has been made with direction from the Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines which states that “playgrounds are a safe environment” and that everyone should be mindful of “appropriate personal hygiene practices before, during and after outdoor play.”

“The collective work we have done to flatten the curve is working and that is why we are now reopening our City playgrounds,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “I fully welcome children, students and families to make full use of the playgrounds, but I want to remind everyone it is very important that we all continue to practice good health and hygiene measures. So, wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer and if you are sick, stay home.”

“We can't underestimate the importance of play to a child's development, particularly during the pandemic," said Laurie Larsen, Chair of the Surrey Board of Education. "Playgrounds promote physical activity, which in turn improves attention and decreases stress and anxiety. But we need to ensure that children are playing safely – encouraging physical distancing as much as possible, minimizing contact with other children, and washing hands before and after play.”

The City of Surrey is also re-opening its skate parks. The following eight skate parks will be reopened for May 30 with physical distancing requirements and size limits for the number of users: Bear Creek Park; Royal Kwantlen Park; Fraser Heights Park; Cloverdale Fairgrounds; South Surrey Athletic Park, Tom Binnie Park; Surrey Sport & Leisure Complex; and Guildford Recreation Centre.

Surrey’s COVID-19 Compliance and Enforcement Team will be monitoring the sites to educate the public and assist, should any concerns be observed.

Media enquiries:
Oliver Lum
Communications Manager
Office of the Mayor
City of Surrey
604.591.4519

Ritinder Matthew
Communications Manager
Surrey Schools
778.772.4744

May 26
Embracing learning in the great outdoors!

Summer is just around the corner, and while the weather hasn't entirely made up its mind about bringing the sun out, students and educators are still finding tremendous opportunities for outdoor learning.

Alison Leslie, vice-principal at East Kensington Elementary, which hosts the district's EKOLogy program, said it's great how learning from home has prompted more students to take their education outside and learn in a different setting.

"There are tons of things parents can do with their kids outside, and they're huge learning opportunities," she said. "The experience of getting them outside shows the parents they're really engaged."

One of the biggest benefits of outdoor learning is an increased attention span, said Leslie, as being outside can take students out of a noisy, crowded classroom and put them in a more peaceful, open environment.

"They're actually more focused once they're outside," said Leslie. "Their natural endorphins relax, they feel more calm, their engagement is higher."

Recently, Colebrook Elementary students gathered stones outside and assembled families out of them. Families that rock! And Royal Heights Elementary students assembled bird feeders and outlined lessons on worms as part of work with the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation.

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Ray Shepherd Elementary students had more traditional art excursions, using nature as their muse. Here, students drew sparrows in their sketchbooks for a recent art class.

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But there's nothing wrong with staying outside either! Maple Green Elementary has been making the most of the good weather with many activities that use nature in artsy, creative ways.

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Leslie said art, P.E. and science aren't the only subjects students can learn outside – anything can be taught in nature, it just takes some adapting.

"The most difficult part is changing the mindset of the teacher on their approach," she said. "It's being very patient with yourself and following the student's lead – like, what are they interested in, and adapting in?

"For instance, I did a worm inquiry because they found 50 worms under a stump, and they were fascinated for a week. I just took their interest and narrowed it into the curriculum. The curriculum is geared to this exploratory type of learning."

And while students will have an opportunity to return to their classrooms in early June, Leslie said outdoor learning can take place virtually any time and any place (including in your own backyard) through activities such as scavenger hunts, nature walks and searching for indigenous species.

May 25
May 25 message to parents, students & staff from Superintendent Jordan Tinney

Please see this video message for parents, students and staff regarding ongoing preparations leading up to next week's return to optional in-class instruction.

What can you expect in the coming days? Likely two things, says Supt. Jordan Tinney:

  • First - A timetable for your school, likely with alternating days Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday for elementary and, for secondary, a schedule where your child can receive direct support from their teacher on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Second – a survey asking you if you are certain that your child will not be attending school. We need to know this information because we are planning for all children and if students don't arrive at school, we will be phoning home as part of our safe arrival programs and we don't want to make unnecessary calls. We also need to know how many students will be attending so we can plan for bussing.

"All along we've been talking about slowly and steadily, we'll get there," says Tinney. "This week, teachers are preparing and doing their orientations to a whole new look and feel to school for them. Next week, when parents arrive, you'll also encounter new routines and we will need your patience and support.

"We have never done this before, and so we're all learning together."

The video, as well as full written transcripts of the superintendent's message in English, Punjabi and Chinese are available HERE, where you can also find other helpful information and resources.

May 22
June 1st optional return to in-class instruction

On May 15, Premier Horgan and Minister Fleming announced that parents will have the choice to send their children back to school on a part-time basis, beginning on June 1.

Starting Monday, June 1 our district will begin a gradual return to face-to-face instruction using a staged approach. Please note that we will be continuing online learning, and in-class instruction is optional. There will be no penalty if parents choose not to send their children to school.

While families will receive details from individual schools next week (May 25-29), the general goal (as per provincial guidelines) is to allow opportunities for kindergarten to Grade 5 students to attend school two days per week and Grades 6-12 one day per week. Still, plans may vary based on individual school circumstances.

As always, the health and safety of staff and students is our first priority. All schools in our district will closely follow the Surrey Schools COVID-19 Safety Plan which outlines the six-step process our district will implement prior to resuming operations.

The district's safety plan is based on the Ministry of Education's COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 setting, as well as the updated health and safety guidelines laid out by the BC Ministry of Health and BC Center for Disease Control. Both provincial documents identify key infection prevention and control practices to implement in school environments.

We will continue to work closely with public health experts to ensure all of our sites are safe and we can continue to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Resources:

May 15
May 15 message to parents, students & staff from Superintendent Jordan Tinney

Please see this important video message for parents, students and staff regarding optional in-class instruction for students beginning June 1.

"Today the premier and the Minister of Education took to the stage to bring clarity on the path forward for our students," says Surrey Schools Supt. Jordan Tinney. "We now have direction for the rest of this school year and the details to look ahead to the fall in September. Today's message is just to reiterate the key messages from today and to tell you how Surrey is responding in our preparations.

"Most importantly from today's announcement are two key things. First - On June 1st, our schools will be open and your children will have the opportunity to receive additional support for their education by once again being at school. Second – this is your choice to come or not to come. There is no penalty and no pressure."

You can also view the video HERE, as well as full written transcripts in English, Punjabi & Chinese.

May 14
Surrey whiz kids print protective devices for frontline workers during COVID-19

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Fraser Heights Secondary senior Fawzan Hussain has been 3D printing personal protective equipment for essential service workers, producing more than 700 devices for hospitals and care facilities.


Surrey students are proving you're never too young to help out in a global pandemic.

Grade 12 Fraser Heights Secondary student Fawzan Hussain has 3D printed more than 770 devices for hospitals and care facilities, including face shields, mask holders, glove removers, door openers and "Coronavirus Rings."

He started manufacturing supplies when he noticed Tinkerine, a local 3D printing company, using their machines to produce personal protective equipment. He downloaded models from Thingiverse, a resource for 3D printing designs, to make his own supplies for others.

"They started 3D printing these face shield parts and distributing them to the community, and I actually had a 3D printer at home, so I thought 'why not help out our frontline healthcare workers and start 3D printing?'," he said. "My mom also works in the healthcare industry, and some of the stories she tells us, it's really inspiring to see the work she does."

His interest in 3D printing began when he attended a maker fair in Grade 9, where he saw an exhibit by the Neil Squire Society, an organization that uses technology to empower people with disabilities to overcome physical barriers. It inspired him to print devices for the organization, as well as other groups such as the Tetra Society, the Surrey Memorial Hospital Rehab Clinic and Sophie's Place.

For his efforts, Hussain has received a $250 grant from the federal government in partnership with TakingITGlobal, a charitable organization that raises awareness and engagement among youth on global issues. The grant has afforded him six filaments for his 3D printer.

Hussain said his motivation to help others comes from a desire to give back locally.

"Being born in Surrey, I've been to so many city summer camps and recreation programs," he said. "I've been so grateful for the community helping me out, so when I got older, I figured out there were ways I could give back to the community."

Hussain, who is also student council president at Fraser Heights Secondary, said he wants to study computer science in post-secondary, and more 3D printing may be in his future.

"I really like computer science because there's so many possibilities with it, and you can combine it with things like 3D printing and electronics," he said. "You can create something like an electronic prosthetic, which is my science project this year."


District puts its 3D printers to good use

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In addition to Hussain's work, Surrey Schools has partnered with Tinkerine to produce face shields for essential service workers. The 3D printing company reached out to the district, asking for help to increase production of personal protective equipment.

Since May 8, children of essential service workers have been learning how to operate 10 printers at Adams Road Elementary, including levelling the bed, changing filament, applying substrate, running the programs and sanitizing 3D prints for elastic clips sets and lower brackets for face shields.

To date, the students have printed 384 masks and accompanying parts, and are expecting to deliver enough components to service 1,248 face shields by the end of the week. The parts will go to Tinkerine, and be distributed to Fraser Health and other medical services across Canada.

The district is using 3D printers lent from Adams Road, Sullivan, Crescent Park, Creekside and Henry Bose elementary schools, as well as Fleetwood Park and Princess Margaret secondary schools.

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May 11
Students show how they learn through home activities

It turns out any room can be a classroom!

By now, students of all ages across the district are becoming accustomed to remote learning, and teachers are finding creative ways to tackle every subject at home.

Elementary students have been sizing up household objects for their math classes, comparing and contrasting sizes to illustrate measurement – from food to toy trucks to rocks and everything in between!

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But they aren't just organizing things from smallest to biggest. They're also learning colour coding, making rainbows out of whatever vibrant items they can find.

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And being stuck at home doesn't mean being stuck inside! There is plenty of learning to be found outdoors. Students, both in and out of the EKOLogy program, are getting out in nature to try their hand at science and art in their own backyards.

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Music practice isn't off limits, and combining subjects is commonplace. How about P.E. and math?

All this extra time at home has gotten some secondary students getting extra creative in the kitchen too, cooking up some delicious assignments for home economics!

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It's great to see the Surrey Schools curriculum applied anywhere, and to see students make homework work at home!

May 08
2020 Summer Learning registration now open

Registration for Surrey Schools' Summer Learning full credit academic courses for Grade 10-12 students is now open, as well as remedial courses for Grades 8, 9 and 10.

These summer courses will be delivered remotely, and offerings or delivery models may change dependent upon the COVID-19 situation within our province and/or direction from the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health.

When registering, students will also have the opportunity to associate their course with one of the following Summer School Sites:

  • Guildford Park
  • North Surrey
  • Clayton Heights
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Panorama Ridge
  • Princess Margaret
  • Earl Marriott

For more information, and to register click here. Registration closes June 29.

Please direct any inquiries to cedu-office@surreyschools.ca

May 08
May 8 message to parents, students & staff from Superintendent Jordan Tinney

Please see this important video message for parents, students and staff as we begin to chart a path to slowly re-introduce face-to-face instruction in our schools as the province lifts COVID-19 restrictions.

 The model that the province is announcing includes:

• A part-time return to face to face instruction for children in Grades K-5;

• Part-time face to face instruction for students in Grades 6-12; and

• The continuation of remote and online learning.

"The guidelines we are hearing suggest that balance will be the equivalent of alternating days for students in K-5 and one day a week for students in grades 6-12," says Surrey Schools Supt. Jordan Tinney. "School districts are busy now trying to design models that meet the goalposts of these guidelines. The provincial guidelines include the principle that parents will have the choice to have their children remain learning at home or to have some access for face to face balanced with their current online/remote learning. No matter what, our hybrid models include face to face and online or remote learning for all children."

You can also view the video HERE, as well as full written transcripts of the video in English, Punjabi & Chinese, and see other helpful links and resources.

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