Finding New Ways of Connecting

Teachers, students and families have been finding new ways to build community and support each other in the midst of COVID-19.


Several elementary schools – Parkcrest, Taylor Park, Suncrest, Aubrey, Brentwood Park, Forest Grove, Gilmore, Kitchener, and Montecito – spear-headed their own parade to connect directly with families. School staff, each in their own vehicle, with physical distancing in mind, paraded through the streets past students’ homes. Excited children went to their windows and ran out to their doorsteps, with some greeting drivers with homemade signs.

Parkcrest’s head teacher, Holly Lloyd:

It was so wonderful and filled me with joy to see so many students and families out, waving. It wasn’t until I saw a lady crying and waving on her front lawn, though, that I started crying, too.”

Taylor Park Principal, Hal Wall:

There were many signs and many excited students, former students and parents. The support we received indicates the appreciation of families for the work staff are doing. It was a great way for us to maintain a connection with our community.”

You can also see the delight of Suncrest Elementary’s school community in photos in the Burnaby Now.

Creative Use of Video

School staff are reaching out with engaging use of video. Here are some examples.

  • Staff at École Cariboo Hill Secondary made a series of TikTok dance videos – each adding a piece filmed in their own home – and shared it with students on social media to brighten their days. Watch it on Twitter.
  • Southslope staff made a video with heart-warming signs, including wisdom, such as: “together we will tackle this unique adventure in learning.” Watch it on Twitter.
  • Kitchener Elementary is keeping its school morning messages rolling with YouTube videos and creativity, such as a walk through their virtual school in Minecraft. Watch this example on YouTube.
  • School staff at Burnaby Central Secondary showcased their dance moves and handmade signs in a “miss you” video. Watch it on YouTube.
  • Second Street staff made a video for students and families with some memories, advice and sharing their love and misses. Watch it on YouTube.

Assignments with Heart

Connections are also forming through remote learning projects, such as rainbows about “we’re all in this together” at Chaffey-Burke Elementary, and the “hearts in the window” project at Maywood Community School where students are spreading hope and positivity.

In other instances local children have left messages on sidewalks or through painted rocks left in the park, lifting the day of people passing by.

As we work through this together, it is these acts of kindness, thoughtfulness and our strength as a community that will help us navigate these challenging times.

Superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen:

Know that what binds and connects us all is the heart that has always held us strong. That is what will carry us through this, one day at a time and one step at a time.”