Head of School’s Weekly Message
September 18, 2020
Hello UA Parents,
Well, Week 2 did not disappoint… In Week 1 the UA Community proved that we could successfully reopen the school in the midst of a global pandemic, Week 2 saw the UA community rally and manage to live with the smoke that enveloped the neighbourhood not only from the forest fires to the south of us but also from the devastating fire at Pier Park. The resilience of our community is being tested in ways that we have not experienced before, but students, parents and staff are rising to the occasion and Urban Academy continues to move forward as always. Well done everyone!!
This week we were required to close the play decks to our students and keep them inside for breaks and during PE. A big thank you to the teachers and staff who showed great flexibility in allowing us to change the schedule to allow students the opportunity to at least get some playtime in the gym on breaks. I am very hopeful looking at the forecast that the weather over the weekend will help to alleviate the smoke and allow us to get back to our regular routines to be outside at times during the day.
We have updated some of our information in the Restart Plan this week. The Fraser Health Authority has provided us with new information regarding what to expect should an exposure event occur at UA. This information will provide the UA community with an outline of the communication process that the school will undertake should we be informed by Fraser Health that a member of our UA community has been exposed to COVID-19. This website provides some very helpful information. The updated information on our UA Restart Plan can be found here (please see Preparation & Communication on page 15, and Appendix A – Preparing for COVID-19 Communications on page 16).
I hope most parents were able to participate in our virtual Meet The Teacher evening on Tuesday. While not exactly the way we would have liked to have this evening, the feedback that I received from parents and teachers was that it was an effective option given that we could not meet face to face. As always if you have questions regarding the class routines, workflows, or anything else to do with your child’s class at UA, please do reach out to your child’s teacher for assistance.
Managing traffic flow and parking around the school continues to be a high priority at this point in the school year as we all learn the routines and expectations. This week I did observe a few situations that I would like to ask parents or guardians to ensure do not continue to happen.
• Please use the crosswalks around the school, there were a few incidents this week where I observed students and families crossing Rousseau Street in front of the school, necessitating traffic flow to stop. Not only is this dangerous for our students and families, it can create unexpected backups in front of the school putting those turning left or right from Braid Street at risk.
• Please do not let your students out of the vehicle on Rousseau Street. You should use the roundabout or park in an appropriate spot and let your child out in a safer location.
• Please ensure that we are using only parking spots in the neighbourhood that we are allowed to use. This week I did get reports from the neighbours and from our staff that a few UA parents parked partially blocking alleys and driveways, or on corners where parking is not permitted. There are plenty of available parking spots throughout the neighbourhood. Please take the extra time to find one of these spots so we are able to continue to demonstrate our care and respect for the neighbours of UA.
It has been a really smooth start to the school year given the circumstances. It is a testament to the commitment and energy our wonderful staff put into Urban Academy. Parents, thank you for the support, encouragement and participation in following the school’s protocols and helping your students to understand the importance of working together as a community to keep everyone safe. Students, thank you for your smiles and hellos, it is the best part of my day.
Yours in education,
Head of School