Saanich Schools: Change During a Pandemic

I was recently asked to write an article for a local magazine on how we’ve managed our schools throughout the pandemic. There is, without question, a lot of anxiety from this health crisis, but what a great opportunity to share some of the positives we can take from our current situation.

There are always lessons we can learn, changes that are beneficial and momentum that we can use to instill growth. And while uncertainty can breed worry it can also be a springboard for necessary change.

You can find the article from Seaside Magazine on their website, but I’ve also reproduced it for you below.

SAANICH SCHOOLS – CHANGE DURING A PANDEMIC

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has caused some significant upheaval in the public education system – for students, parents, teachers, administrators and support staff.  Schools were closed in March, then partially re-opened with an emergency remote learning option in April, a partial opening in May and then fully re-opened in September with an optional transitional remote learning program.  All of them complex on their own with each phase requiring different approaches, different resources and different thinking — all in an accelerated timeline.

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Looking Through the Opening of “The Pandemic Effect”

Take a deep breath.

No … sorry, not you … I’m actually talking to me. It’s been quite the year. But, if you also need to take one … please, be my guest.

Deep Breathing

I have to admit that I’m feeling pretty worn out right about now — there’s not a whole lot left in the gas tank. All of the change that’s happened this year — it’s been really tiring. As much as I believe in change — and I do — this has been one heckuva year!

We’re Going to be OK

I have never experienced anything remotely similar to this pandemic in my lifetime. When I look back in time I can find The Spanish Flu epidemic from 1918-1920. It was devasting in Canada and around the world. In our country an estimated 55,000 people died — most of them between the ages of 20-40. Interestingly, coming out of WW1 Canada lost a little more than 60,000 soldiers (1914-1918).

But, there isn’t anything more recent that resembles the world-wide pandemic we are currently living within.

Military hospital at Naden (Esquimalt, BC), c. 1919. Courtesy City of Victoria Archives

Why was the Spanish Flu so devastating? Several reasons have been mentioned (such as a lack of suitable drugs and communication), but the most significant cause was a lack of adequate quarantine measures. We also didn’t have very good coordination between the various health authorities across the country.