June 27, 2021
Dear Richmond Families,
I’m writing to provide an update on the current temperature conditions in Metro Vancouver
and their impact on the district’s ability to keep our schools open. The heat that we are
experiencing is unprecedented and with this in mind, the district must put plans in place to
ensure that the health and safety of our students remains our top priority.
The Heat Warning for Vancouver has been escalated to an Extreme Heat Alert with forecasted
temperatures between 34 °C to 40 °C with high humidity - making the temperature we
experience a few degrees warmer than this. This is an extraordinary, record-setting heat event
for Vancouver. Please see the Vancouver Coastal Health Extreme Heat Alert at this
website: Extreme Heat Alert - Vancouver Coastal Health (vch.ca)
As you may be aware, the great majority of our schools have no air conditioning systems and
many do not have mechanical ventilation systems to move air inside the building. This means
that temperatures inside the schools will very likely be as hot inside as they are outside. In the
interests of the health and safety of our students and staff, the district therefore asks that
parents/caregivers keep their children home tomorrow (Monday, June 28). We will reassess
for Tuesday, June 29 and will communicate with all families tomorrow (Monday) evening.
School staff will be onsite in the morning in order to ensure the safety of any students who do
arrive. However, efforts will then be made by the schools to connect with families to pick up
If there are pre-planned activities previously scheduled at your child’s school, information
regarding those activities will be forthcoming from either your principal or your child’s teacher.
I realize that this decision will cause some families inconvenience and I apologize for that. The
health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance to the district, and
unfortunately, we do not believe that we can provide a safe working and learning environment
given the current, and predicted conditions at our schools.
Superintendent of Schools