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South island school districts preparing for return to school

Schools are to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students, families, teachers and staff | Support for children of essential workers

Saturday August 22, 2020 | South Vancouver Island, BC [Updated August 23, 2020]

by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends

School districts are planning their Return to School strategies, which the Ministry of Education says are to be made public on their websites by August 26, 2020.

The strategies, plans and processes in place for each school district are to be in accordance with guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer. That will include strategies and methodology for physical distancing, hand hygiene and wear face masks.

Safety measures for K-12 [BC Ministry of Education K-12 Restart Plan]

The Ministry’s Return to School Stage 2 Plan was announced on July 29. The K-12 Education Restart Plan (PDF) is available online. It requires mandatory attendance but with students, teachers and staff assigned to learning groups (cohorts). In elementary and middle schools those learning groups are to a maximum of 60 people; in high schools the maximum is 120.

On August 21 the BC Back to School Plan was updated online on August 21, 2020. “Students in B.C. will return to in-class learning September 2020. B.C.’s plan includes new health and safety measures, increased funding for protective equipment like masks and new learning groups to help keep everyone safe.”

Four foundational principles:

▪ Maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students, families, teachers and staff
▪ Provide the services needed to support the children of our essential workers (ESWs)
▪ Support vulnerable students who may need special assistance
▪ Provide continuity of educational opportunity for all students

Details by School District:

In the south Vancouver Island area, four school districts will be posting their notices to parents, students and the broader school community here, by August 26, 2020:

  • SD61Greater Victoria (50 schools: 27 elementary, 12 middle, 7 secondary, 4 alternative) | Superintendent Shelley Green
  • SD62Sooke / west shore (26 schools: 18 elementary, 4 middle, 3 secondary, 1 alternative) | Superintendent Scott Stinson
  • SD63Saanich (22 schools: 9 elementary, 4 middle, 6 secondary, 3 alternative & community programs) | Superintendent Dave Eberwein
  • SD79Cowichan Valley (22 schools: 17 elementary, 5 secondary) | Superintendent Robyn Gray
Alistair MacGregor, MP, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford
Alistair MacGregor, MP (Cowichan-Malahat-Langford) is available by phone and email during COVID-19.
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