Back to school is just around the corner here in the Okanagan Valley, and things are going to be looking a little bit different as students of all ages head back to their respective schools. As of this past week, the BC Ministry of Education approved the local district’s back to school plan with classes set to resume on September 10th for most students.
What will this look like and how will it be different from a usual school year? We’ve gathered the most pertinent information released by Central Okanagan Public Schools to help parents to understand what to expect:
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
Elementary and middle school students will attend school every day for the entire day and be grouped with their regular class. They will spend their time in learning groups that will be centered around their class (typically 20 to 28 students) and be less than 60 students.
MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Grade 9 students will attend school every day for the entire day They will spend their time in learning groups that will be centered around their class (typically 24 to 30 students) and be grouped in learning groups of 120 or less for some activities.
Most grades 10-12 students will attend school 75% of the time, alternating between full days and half days. Other students may attend 100% of the time due to special education or busing requirements. Students will take two courses every ten weeks and will attend their morning class 100% of the time and the afternoon class 50% of the time to ensure physical distancing in the afternoon. Each term schedules of the classes will be switched between the morning and afternoon to ensure equal instruction between the courses.
Instruction and scheduling will be modified to reduce physical contacts and ensure physical distancing where required.
Noon hour busing will be provided at Kelowna Secondary and Mount Boucherie Secondary due to the large numbers of students that require busing. Students that are assigned on a bus at the other secondary schools and those that ride SPED bussing will be accommodated within their school in the afternoons
Regular bus service will continue under new safety guidelines that include mandatory masks for older students, assigned seating, hygiene requirements and enhanced cleaning and sanitization.
DISTRIBUTED LEARNING AND HOSPITAL HOMEBOUND SUPPORT SERVICE
The District will provide an English Elementary (Kindergarten to Grade 5 or 6) Distributed Learning program option for students who are immunocompromised and for students from families that have extenuating medical conditions. In addition, the district will continue to offer regular Distributed Learning Programs to middle and secondary students through eSchoolBC. Students who need to self-isolate or quarantine will receive remote learning support through the District’s Hospital Homebound Support Service.