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Superintendent Update - June 2, 2020

As part of our commitment to engage with our parents, I am providing an update on your child’s education and the next steps for student learning in Foothills School Division.

On March 15 schools were closed to students and classes moved online to support learning at home.  In the weeks that followed, I have witnessed incredible creativity, resourcefulness, ingenuity, and dedication.  Thank you to our students, families, staff, and school communities.  We miss you and hope to see each of you again soon.

As June arrives, I would like to remind families of some important dates.  

  • Final Learning Plans will be sent home (2 week period) on Monday, June 8
  • Final Day of Learning and Assessments will be Friday, June 19
  • Learner Profiles will be sent home on Wednesday, June 24 & Thursday, June 25

Please reach out to your schools prior to the end of this school year if you have questions on learning, require additional support, or to pick up missing items and return borrowed devices.

Although there are still many unknowns about what the 2020/21 school year may look like, I would like to share with families what information we do have.

We know that during a health emergency, the decision on whether schools can reopen, and what restrictions may be in place, will be made by Dr Deena Hinshaw, the Chief Medical Officer for Health and Alberta Health Services.

We have heard from Alberta Education that we should prepare for three possible scenarios: that schools reopen as usual, that schools remain closed to students and online learning continues, or a scenario that blends both in person and online instruction to support physical distancing and other health restrictions.

We expect that these provincial decisions will be made in early August.  I recognize that this makes planning difficult for families and I promise to share information with you as soon as we receive it.

Within the Foothills School Division, we are continuing to prepare for a safe, caring, and welcoming return to school.  We believe that families should have a voice in the planning process and we want to hear from you.  We have opened up a Thought Exchange for your participation.  Both myself and our Relaunch Committee will review each comment.  Your feedback will help design our plans.

Although we would like nothing more than to have our students safely back in our schools, we have heard from many families that they would like an online learning program regardless of which scenario the province chooses.  I’m pleased to share that beginning in September 2020, the FSD Hub Program will be expanding to offer an online program from Grades 1 to 12.  Hub@Home is designed for students who are interested in learning from home, need greater flexibility in pacing, flexibility of when they access their learning, and flexibility where they learn.  Students remain connected to their school and will access resources and teacher support through the Hub@Home program. For more information, please contact your school principal or visit our website.

The year 2020 will be one we will all remember for many years to come.  Although it has introduced new challenges, it has also sparked great innovation.  Thank you to the many families and the entire Foothills Team for their exemplary dedication to our students, from kindergarten to graduation.  

As a father of two children who attend FSD schools, I know that my children are anxious about what the next school year may bring.  I hope you join me in reassuring our children that one thing has not changed, we will always be there for them.

If I do not have the opportunity to see or speak to you prior to summer, I wish you a safe, restful, and enjoyable summer break with much opportunity to spend time with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Thank you.

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools