Monday August 31, 2020 ~ LANGFORD | COLWOOD | SOOKE
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
The Sooke School District (SD62) launched an important parent-preference family-specific survey today, with a very short window of opportunity for responding: from 8 am this morning Monday August 31 to 9 pm tomorrow evening Tuesday September 1.
More than a survey, it’s also a personal request application for whether a child will attend in-class or continue with their current grade level education remotely (including distance learning options for Grades 9 to 12) or by home-schooling.
Parents to indicate preferences:
SD62 announced to parents today that in order to assist them with planning for the restart of school, they are asking families to indicate which return-to-school option they will be choosing for their child(ren).
Teachers go back to class September 8 after the Labour Day long weekend, and students return for orientation over September 10 and 11. Full time learning (whether in-class or remote) starts Monday September 14.
Four options to support families:
As described in an email (and posted online), there are four options to support families based on their needs:
- In-Class Instruction: Student will return to in-class learning at school (Elementary and Middle 100% attendance model; Secondary 1/8 model – i.e. one course every five weeks with attendance in-classs for half days)
- Distributed Learning (DL), Grades 9-12: Student will enrol in Distributed Learning (all classes taken online).
- Gradual Transition Through Remote Learning (Kindergarten – Grade 8): Student will learn remotely through the district and maintain a place in their school for when they are ready to return. Please note: Remote Learning will look different for Kindergarten students than it will for students in Grades 1-8.
- Homeschool: Student will register at their catchment school as a homeschooling student. Parent/Guardian provides and supervises entire educational program.
Filling out the online form:
The parent or caregiver must fill out information for each child. If you have more than four children, continue by submitting another form.
The child can be identified by any one of Pupil#, PEN, or Student Number.
Adapting to COVID-19:
Compared to even July 29 when the Ministry of Education’s plan was pretty much full-time mandatory in-class learning, fast forward over just a few weeks and now remote learning is will be made available as a full learning options.
Education Minister Rob Fleming gave full rein to BC’s 60 school districts to develop plans that work locally for their schools, as announced in a news conference August 26.
As well, homeschooling is being discussed right up front as an option now (something not promoted pre-COVID, given the social-emotional learning component of the BC curriculum).
The BC Back to School Plan is posted online.
Second wave coming:
All of this adaptation clearly implies the expectation of a second wave of the COVID-19 virus, as blatantly discussed by Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry today August 31 in her joint COVID-19 press briefing with BC Health Minister Adrian Dix.
“After many months of restrictions, we all felt the need to reconnect with our family and friends this summer, but now we must slow down on our social interactions and prepare for the respiratory season ahead,” said Dr Henry.
“We need everyone to pay attention and step back from the social interactions we have had this summer, so when the cooler weather and respiratory season arrives, we are ready for the challenge.”
“As we go back to our offices, workplaces and schools, we need to get back to the basics with our layers of protection and personal COVID-19 safety measures. This will allow us to protect our most vulnerable during the colder months,” said Dr Henry.
===== About the writer:
Island Social Trends editor Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR, has been following the news of SD62 up close since 2014. Over the years her four now-grown children attended school in SD61, SD62 and SD72.