SD91’s back-to-school plan is approved: Here’s what to expect

Hand hygiene, learning groups and screening, among the many new protocols to be implemented

SD91’s back-to-school plan was approved last week by the Ministry of Education and the school district has now updated their website with the plan along with health and safety guidelines.

On Aug. 26, Education Minister Rob Flemming announced the ministry’s approval for the back-to-school plans submitted by all 60 school districts in the province.

“We’ve had a chance to review each of these plans, and I’m impressed by the thoughtful, considerate and innovative local solutions that we see within those plans,” said Flemming during the announcement adding that each school district’s plan would differ based on the size, space, parental feedback and staff agreements.

Elementary schools under SD91 will be running full time with all students getting in-person instruction.

Although learning groups can be up to 60 students and staff at the maximum, students’ individual class will be their main learning group.

This will ensure consistent learning groups if the pandemic requires schools to move between other stages, as stated in their plan.

READ MORE: From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

The cohorts at the secondary schools would be limited to a maximum of 120 students and staff as per guidelines issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Secondary schools will also vary in the way they deliver the coursework.

Fort St. James Secondary School, Nechako Valley Secondary School and Fraser Lake Elementary Secondary School are moving to a quarterly system with two courses every 10-weeks.

Whereas Lakes District Secondary School is following the usual semester system with four courses per day.

Students with special needs and those who won’t be able to attend school due to disability or COVID, would be given alternative options through their own schools.

Students will also be provided bus service with cleaning and hygiene protocols in place.

SD91 outlined their health and safety guidelines in the back-to-school plan which includes — having several hand washing stations, wearing non-medical masks for staff and students whenever possible within their cohorts or at places where social distancing is not possible, leaving windows open as often as possible for fresh air circulation and screening for symptoms upon arrival.

As previously announced, all SD 91 teachers will be returning to schools on Sept. 8 for two days of orientation on health and safety and planning, before students return on Sept. 10 for a similar two-day orientation.

Assistant Superintendent Mike Skinner said, “staff have been working for the past several weeks to meet all the new safety regulations and protocols and we are excited to welcome students back in less than two weeks.”

READ MORE: Most secondary students in person at B.C. schools

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