February 11, 2021
Dear Students, Parents/Guardians, Families and Staff:
This afternoon, the provincial government announced that the March Break will be delayed to the week of April 12, 2021. This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.
For students and staff at HPEDSB, this means that school will proceed, as usual, for the week of March 15-21, 2021. There will be no school for the week of April 12-16, 2021.
I realize this decision by the Ministry of Education is not going to please everyone. I continue to hear from students, families and staff about the emotional rollercoaster they feel they are on—and have been for the past 11 months. For many families, taking another week off work in the middle of March was not an option. As Director of Education, I look at what is reasonable and, at this time, suggest that we try to put ourselves in another person’s shoes to understand their perspectives.
Another topic I want to address is about learning loss over the past 11 months. Again, I am taking a reasonable approach and ask you to do the same. Whatever learning loss has occurred, the five days of a spring break are not going to change the lifetime trajectory of a child becoming an adult. I believe we need to keep things in perspective and again ask that we respect one another’s positions.
The Hastings and Prince Edward region has performed remarkably well during the pandemic, so well, that we are in one of only three regions where restrictions were recently relaxed. We all have a lot to be proud of for our ongoing efforts to be safe and follow public health advice.
As I have said before, and want to assure you again, we continue to focus on supporting students and families during these unusual times. Even though the spread of COVID-19 may still present challenges ahead, our school and central office teams are doing all they can to ensure students are engaged in learning.
Thank you for your patience and ongoing support.
Director of Education