VICTORIA -- The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) says students will not be returning to classrooms on Monday, March 30, when spring break has ended.

The school district says that it is working on developing plans for remote student learning as the provincial government continues to suspend all in-class instruction indefinitely.

SD61 says that it has been looking into online instruction, however, it notes there are challenges with remote learning, including for students with complex needs who may need additional support. There are also concerns about the time required for staff to resdesign lessons and learn remote teaching programs, and the varying levels of students’ access to computers and other devices at home.

“We also realize that many families are already balancing working from home and taking care of their families so ensuring that their child or children complete online courses can cause additional stress,” said SD61 in an announcement Thursday.

The school district says that it expects it will take another two weeks for teachers and schools to develop plans to continue teaching.

“We will be providing regular updates for parents and guardians and ask for your continued support as we take this week by week.”

The school district says that on Monday, March 30, only principals, vice-principals, administrative assistant staff and custodians will be inside of schools.

Anyone looking to pick up personal belongings or learning materials from schools during this time is asked to contact their school to arrange a pickup.

In the meantime, access to school buildings will be monitored by staff, while playgrounds, sports fields and indoor courts will remain closed so long as the suspension on in-class instruction is in place.

The school district adds that within the next two days, families will receive a survey asking about essential service workers’ childcare needs.

“We know there will be additional questions and concerns in the coming weeks,” said SD61. The latest updates available can be found on the school district’s website online here. [link]

“As you know, we are all in this together,” said Shelley Green, superintendent of schools.

“It will take all of us to navigate this new landscape and we need to be flexible and fully support each other. We plan to take this one week at a time with the knowledge that anything can and may change as we move forward.”

The Greater Victoria School District's full letter to parents can be found below: