Blog Posts

November 25, 2021

An Open Letter to Ethan (and his Classmates)

On the heels of our decision to open some of our schools last week, several high school students wrote a version of this letter below to me:

Dear Dr. Godden,

On behalf of several students in the Abby school district, we would like to request that you close the school district completely for the remainder of the week as well as thank you for your prompt decision making in this unfortunate situation. 

October 26, 2021

Distinguishing the Weather from the Work

As a way of keeping our focus on the teaching and learning in our schools, I have drawn a distinction between the “work”, our primary focus on providing for the educational needs of our students, and the “weather”, the conditions under which we do this work. In uncertain times if we are not careful, we sometimes confuse the two. While it is clearly important to ensure that we are following all the public health protocols, caution must be extended to ensure that this does not become the primary focus of our discourse and practice.

October 15, 2021

Outside & Online

As we navigate the fourth wave of the pandemic, with an eye to post-pandemic teaching and learning, it has dawned on me that two of the lessons learned from the pandemic might be at odds with each other. With physical distancing being one of the best ways to keep ourselves and kids safe from COVID-19, we saw many classrooms migrate outdoors, at least for part of their instructional experience. This was sage advice given to us by public health, and many classroom teachers were all over it.

September 7, 2021

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year!

This will be a year to remember. I think all of us are happy to put 2020-21 in the rearview mirror. While we did a truly heroic job of navigating the pandemic last year, I think it’s fair to say that none of us wants to do it again. But let’s take a minute to reflect on our efforts. Not only did we live through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, but we were also able to keep our schools open, take care of each other and – most importantly – fulfill our mission to provide the best possible education to our students.

June 30, 2021

A Profound Gratitude

With the recent Ministry announcement that our schools will be returning to Stage 1 (“near normal”) operations for the coming year, I cannot help but reflect on the enormity of what we have accomplished this year in our province, and particularly here in Abbotsford. Put simply, our staff – all of them – have done a phenomenal job of keeping our schools open and functioning during a global pandemic, the likes of which none of us have ever experienced. This is worthy of celebration and profound gratitude.

March 11, 2021

This Time Last Year

A member of our District's Pandemic Response Team recently congratulated us on our "one year anniversary" of the weekly meetings we have been hosting since COVID-19 took its place in our collective consciences. It took a while for it to sink in, but it dawned on me that we have been working at this for what seems like several years. This time last year, the World Health Organization declared that we were amidst a "global pandemic." We hosted a meeting with all school district leaders at the Abby Arts Centre to map out how we would tackle this emerging threat after Spring Break. 

February 1, 2021

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to honour and celebrate the contributions of people of African heritage. Black History Month was first celebrated in the United States, and it is now formally observed in Canada (for over forty years), the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands.