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 34oC to 40oC 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 school will very likely be as hot inside as they are outside. In the interest of the health and safety of our students and staff, the district therefore asks that parents/caregivers keep their children at 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 their children.
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