SD 71 Reopening Schools for In-class Instruction

“Ready to Go Back to School?” 

It’s that time of year again! However COVID-19 brings up some new issues this year than just buying back-to-school stationary.

Wondering about current plans to go back to school this September in the Comox Valley? Check Comox Valley Schools for up to date information. The website frequently updates the community about what schools in the district are doing in the midst of the pandemic, and how they are making the procedures to go back to school safe for you, your children, the teachers, and staff.

Comox Valley Schools’ recent updates for opening up school in September cover a few of the following things…

Being in a Cohort

Remember growing up and wanting to be in a “cohort” of friends? With the “in” crowd? The popular guys? Yeah, this isn’t the same thing. Think of it more as being with the “staying safe because we really should” group of friends. The province has decided to implement Stage 2 of their K-12 Education Restart Plan. This procedure explains the use of cohorts, also known as learning groups. For elementary schools these groups can consist of up to 60 people, and 120 people in secondary school.

Cohort Sizes:

  • Elementary – up to 60 students
  • Secondary  – up to 120 students

These cohorts will receive instruction specifically within their groups, and the students and staff will remain together throughout the school year, while still minimizing physical contact with others.

Not Sharing is Caring

In the case of the world’s current state. Sharing is something we should not do. Physically anyways. The school district explains that more individual activities will be implemented to create more space between students, reducing physical contact, and that shared items will be reduced in the classroom. 

Is It Even Safe?

Everyone is going to have this question. Everyone. With all the safety precautions the schools are taking to make sure students and staff are safe going to school, it seems quite structured to do exactly that. The schools also note that if any adults or students show even mild symptoms, they are not to attend school. We hope that doesn’t happen!

What Can I Do to Help?

It’s scary to know you have to send your children to school in the midst of a pandemic, and not be able to know about their safety when you return home or head to work after dropping them off. Make sure to let your children know to wash their hands whenever they can or after touching a surface used by others, and to avoid touching their face and eyes. Wearing masks or face coverings at all times is not recommended during class time, and generally not recommended for young children as it can be irritating and can lead to increased touching of the face and eyes, but in the end is a personal choice. Advise your children to be careful with physical contact, and ask if they feel safe going to school.

Can I Choose Not to Send My Child to School?

ABSOLUTELY! However keep in mind that children, especially at a younger age benefit from learning in a physical and social environment. It’s always good to consider the education and growth your child needs, but that doesn’t mean to ignore their safety if it becomes an issue. The school district recommends some E-learning resources like Navigate Nides if you plan on homeschooling your children in September.

Where Can I Find More Info?

If you live in the Comox Valley area Comox Valley Schools is a great source of information for students returning to school. They cover info about:

  • safety guidelines,
  • government fundings,
  • personal protective equipment,
  • support for students with disabilities and diverse abilities,
  • school busses,
  • international students,
  • technology support,
  • and meal programs.

It’s important to educate yourself more on the procedures the province is taking for students returning to school for in-class instruction, how your children can keep themselves safe, and how you can help them stay safe.

If you also have family members going to North Island College, or are curious about their procedures, take a look at North Island College and COVID-19.

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