Yes, New West families, school is in session for the final day of the year tomorrow – but only for half a day.
School District 40 has announced that Tuesday, June 29 will operate as a half-day only in the face of the heat wave that has been scorching New Westminster (and the rest of B.C.) since Friday. Today's high is projected to reach as high as 42C.
Although temperatures are expected to recede somewhat overnight, with tomorrow's high forecast at 33C, the school district notes it would have been difficult to operate for an entire day.
"As we carefully reviewed the options, our goal was to provide students, teachers, staff and families the opportunity to hold and honour year-end activities and celebrations, while ensuring the health and safety of students and staff remains our top priority," superintendent Karim Hachlaf said in a letter to families. "Even with temperatures expected to recede a bit tomorrow, when we layered in the consideration of COVID health and safety requirements this year, and the need to avoid the mid-afternoon heat, it was just too challenging to navigate across all our sites for a full day."
Parents will receive information directly from their schools regarding start and dismissal times for each individual school.
"Again we recognize this might prove challenging for some families, and will be very welcomed by others," Hachlaf wrote. "But, as we have throughout this unprecedented year, we thank all of you for the understanding and adaptability you’ve shown and shared."
Anyone who had ordered a hot lunch through the district-wide Fuel Up program for the final day of class should also note that school lunches have been cancelled for tomorrow. Families can save their credits for next year, transfer them to the summer meal kit program, donate towards a summer meal kit program for a family who may need support over the summer, or request a refund.