Does your child ride the bus?

As planning continues for school re-start on Monday, June 1, School District No. 83 (North-Okanagan-Shuswap) transportation department has important information for the parents of any child who will be riding the bus.

Student pick up and drop off times will remain the same for their return to school on June 1st. However, due to lower ridership, parents are requested to please have their children at the bus stop a minimum of five minutes early in the morning.  In addition, some high school students may return home a little earlier in the afternoon because fewer people are riding the bus.

Parents who have indicted their child will be riding the bus to school will be receiving an email directly from the SD83 Transportation Dept. with finalized information, later today or early Saturday. Please keep an eye out for it.

Drivers please be aware school zones are in effect. For the safety of all, we ask that everyone remember the importance of stopping for a school bus with red lights activated (We Stop – You Stop), please don’t rush the bus, and ensure you not driving distracted around our students or the bus.

Thank you!

Survey closing, finalizing plans for voluntary classes

The survey to determine who is planning on their child(ren) returning to school on a part-time basis, and whether bus transportation is needed, will be closing at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 28.

This will give the schools a bit of time to finalize plans before students return to school on Monday, June 1. If you have not yet filled in the survey please do so here:

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR K-5 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR GRADES 6-12 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

It would be appreciated if you respond to the survey even if you are not planning on your child returning to class at this time.

After May 28, SD83 asks parents and caregivers to contact their child’s school directly if they change the status of whether their child is attending, or not attending, school. Each week school teams will create weekly class organization structures within the 50% normal classroom limits so this information is critical to planning. Also, after May 28, if your child is a bus student please ensure you also register with transportation (250 832-9415) so that they know who to expect on the bus.

Just a friendly reminder that as of Monday, June 1 our school buses are back on the road, school zones are in effect, and school playgrounds are in use during the school day.

Our staff and students will be following many safety protocols around health checks, handwashing, spacing, equipment use and cleaning. We ask for your support in ensuring your child is not sick if attending school, and in driving safely around our buses and schools. We are also asking the public to not use our schools and playgrounds during school hours as we will be working hard to keep student and staff density low and ensuring safety protocols are followed. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated as we do our best to keep everyone safe. Thank you!

Much organization and thought has gone into preparing our schools including:

  • Surveying all families to see if they intend to send their children to school, and how often.
  • Follow up communication to families that have not completed the survey to ensure all families are contacted regarding their intentions for June.
  • Inform parents which days their children will attend
  • Reduce kindergarten to grade 5 Home Learning support and interactions for May 25-29 to allow teachers and staff to set-up classrooms and prepare to receive students
  • Have Health and Safety Teams at each school review the site-based safety plans
  • Put in place health and safety procedures at each school
  • Have every school staff ‘practice’ the week before return to in-class instruction. This will allow us to identify any improvements we need to make before the return of students.
  • Follow Ministry Guidelines around maximum class sizes (50%) and school densities (50% for K to 5) and (20% for Grade 6 to 12) and strategies to minimize physical contact
  • Organize custodial staff for daytime cleaning supports in each school to accommodate occupancy

School re-start plan

As SD83 prepares for Stage 3 (voluntary return to in-class learning), we would like to share our ongoing planning, and explain the preparations that are already under way. We will continue to update you as needed as we move towards the part-time return to classrooms on June 1 and beyond.

We would like to acknowledge that these changes may place additional stress on all our students and their families as well as our staff and their families. While there are many positives to returning to some semblance of normal, there is understandable anxiety around safety, and uncertainties around ‘how it will work’.
Much organization and thought is going into preparing our schools including:

  • Survey all families to see if they intend to send their children to school, and how often.
  • Follow up communication to families that have not completed the survey to ensure all families are contacted regarding their intentions for June.
  • Inform parents which days their children will attend
  • Reduce kindergarten to grade 5 Home Learning support and interactions for May 25-29 to allow teachers and staff to set-up classrooms and prepare to receive students
  • Have Health and Safety Teams at each school review the site-based safety plans
  • Put in place health and safety procedures at each school
  • Have every school staff ‘practice’ the week before return to in-class instruction. This will allow us to identify any improvements we need to make before the return of students.
  • Follow Ministry Guidelines around maximum class sizes (50%) and school densities (50% for K to 5) and (20% for Grade 6 to 12) and strategies to minimize physical contact
  • Organize custodial staff for daytime cleaning supports in each school to accommodate occupancy

Please click here for further information on the SD83 School Restart Plan including family and school responsibilities, and a look at the increased safety measures.

What will schools look like?
SD83 will follow the expectations of the Ministry which includes voluntary in-class instruction across the district while continuing to support vulnerable learners and students with designated special needs.
Each class and school in SD83 may look different as each situation is being tailored to the number of students who choose to return to school and the number that continue with home learning opportunities.
Children attending school in K-5 will be learning and playing outside more frequently (playgrounds are open) and washing their hands more frequently. Schools will have daytime custodial staff cleaning as students are in the school. Each class will also have sanitizer and disinfectant to use as needed.

Busing
SD83 will follow the Provincial Guidelines of one student per seat, or two students per seat if from the same household. It will take some time to finalize this plan. Transportation is reviewing survey information from parents on who needs busing and is adapting/customizing routes to fit student/school needs. Parents will be contacted by email or phone about pick up times if they have requested busing.

If you are interested in further information please follow these Ministry links to additional resources:
Supporting the K-12 Education Response to COVID-19 in B.C.
MOE K-12 Provincial COVID Health & Safety Guidelines
Centre for Disease Control – Health Guidelines for the Education Sector
WorkSafe BC Education Protocols
B.C. K – 12 Education Restart Plan

Did you see our survey?

SD83 recently sent an email and survey to all our parents (with an email listed with their children’s school). By any chance did we miss you?

With the positive news about the decline in COVID-19 comes recent direction from the Ministry of Education to re-open our schools effective June 1, 2020, to provide additional in-class instruction. Parents will still have the option of keeping their children at home, and some home learning opportunities will continue on-line until the end of the school year.

Stage 3 of the Ministry plan allows for students in kindergarten to grade five to attend up to two to three days per week, with students in grades six through twelve attending up to one day per week. Schools will be open five days a week for children of Tier 1 Essential Services Workers and students requiring additional supports. Busing will be available with capacity limits in place.

We are following all Health and Safety Guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC and the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that our schools are safe places to learn and to work. These guidelines include having no more than 50% of students in attendance in grades K-5 and no more than 20% of students in grades 6-12 at any given time.

In order to meet all of the Health and Safety Guidelines, including the limits described above, we will need to know which students will be returning to schools in the coming weeks. Additional surveys for students in grades 6-12 will follow shortly, as will other surveys to gather more specific information as June 1st draws closer.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR K-5 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR GRADES 6-12 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

Thank you!

Update About Learning

Dear Parents and Guardians,  

As you may know, the Premier of B.C. announced on Wednesday the gradual easing of the restrictions that have been in place in our province in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of these changes discussed could lead to an increase in direct learning opportunities prior to the end of this school year. Districts will be in regular consultation with the Ministry of Education to determine what this may look like in each context.   Minister of Education Rob Fleming has shared the need for school districts to be responsive to the evolving pandemic threat over the next two months and into the coming school year. He has asked us to be ready to “dial up or dial down” levels of direct service in our schools in order to give the highest level of direct support possible, while still maintaining student and staff safety as the top priority. He has described these stages in the following terms:

• Stage 5 – Suspend all in-class instruction for all grades and students. Remote and online learning for all students. This is the level we experienced immediately after Spring Break;  
• Stage 4 – In-class learning available for children of essential service workers and some vulnerable students. Remote and online learning continue for most students. This is the level we are currently experiencing;  
• Stage 3 – In-class learning for students in kindergarten to grade 5 on a part-time basis. Some access to in-class learning for grades 6 to 12 on a part-time basis, with grade 12 students being a priority. Remote and online learning will continue to be available for remaining students;  
• Stage 2 – In-class learning for all students in elementary school (K to 7) on a part-time or full-time basis. In-class learning for secondary students (grades 8 to 12) on a part-time basis. Remote and online learning continues to be available for secondary students, and;  
• Stage 1 – Return to full in-class instruction as we would see in normal circumstances, with additional safety measures in place as necessary.  

While Minister Fleming has asked us to prepare for the possibility of moving to Stage 3 within a few weeks, he has also stated that parents will have the choice to keep students at home if they do not feel safe. Over the next two weeks we will be asking parents and guardians to indicate their interest in accessing more direct support and instruction. 

Parent and guardian responses will help staff create plans for potential next steps and to organize our teachers and CEAs for the possibility of Level 3 learning commencing as early as May 25th.  

Once again, we will be working closely with the Ministry of Education to work out specific details around safety, transportation, and other matters, which we will be communicating with you when we are able. Note that we are anticipating no change to the types of learning students experience in our current Home Learning Opportunities Program, should we be able to increase the level of direct support prior to the end of this school year.   Please look for further communications, including an upcoming survey regarding the potential return to direct instruction. Meanwhile, please continue to be safe as we transition as a province to these decreased levels of restrictions.  

Sincerely, Peter Jory,
Superintendent, CEO School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap)