The provincial government has declared a State of Emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These are unprecedented and challenging times for education in Manitoba. With schools winding down across the province today (classes suspended March 23-27, April 6-10), we begin the transition to distance-based education for all students in our care. The following information will provide details on school operations for the next several weeks.

School buildings will be open during the two weeks of suspended classes but will operate with a reduced amount of staff at each location. Essential services will be maintained, and buildings cleaned. Clerical staff will be in schools during regular office hours and respond to any incoming email or telephone inquiries. For reasons of social distancing, we encourage you to use email or phone as the primary means of contact with your child’s school. If a school visit is necessary, we suggest that you call ahead to confirm the availability of staff or services.

Teachers and school administration will be “on the job” preparing and providing distance-based education to their students during the two weeks of suspended classes. Teachers may choose to work remotely or from within the school and will be accessible to students via email or other means of technology (during regular school hours). Questions regarding home assignments, pick-up of materials, or coursework should be directed to your child’s teacher.

In our continued effort to support families during these difficult times, the HSD Student Services Department has launched a HELP Line for parents/guardians. The Student Services HELP Line provides support for stress management, coping skills, and advice on how to talk with your kids about COVID-19. Our clinicians can also provide parents/guardians with guidance on how to support their children during the suspension of classes. Contact the Student Services HELP line at 204-320-2314 or email help.studentservices@hsd.ca. Clinicians will be available Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm for HELP Line support requests.

For families that have HSD Chromebooks at home, we are launching a technology support website. During this period of suspended classes, parents/guardians are welcome to contact our ICT Service Desk for technical help. Please visit https://bit.ly/HSD-ChromebookSupport for more details.

Spring Break will take place March 30 – April 3. As per standard operating procedures, schools will be closed. There will be no public access to schools during this time. Teachers and school administration will not be working during Spring Break.

Your patience and cooperation are appreciated as we navigate the fast-changing and shifting reality of an evolving public health crisis. We will do our best to keep you informed and updated as we become aware.

in: Superintendent's Message