This document will be added to and refined as additional information becomes available. It is also highly recommended that parents take the time to read the other documents on the COVID-19 page of the district website as they provide much more detailed information on a variety of topics: https://www.sd38.bc.ca/covid-19-updates
Updated: September 17, 2020
- Will there be transitional learning options for French Immersion students?
The district is committed to providing transitional learning options for all students, including French Immersion students. Families with children registered in French Immersion who have selected Transitional Learning will receive information from their child’s school regarding the program.
- How will course content be delivered in the transitional learning?
Students will meet with their transitional learning teacher daily at set times over videoconference (i.e. Zoom) for whole group and small group instruction. The students will also be required to work on additional learning activities individually, supported by the parent/guardian. The district will provide parent support sessions so that parents can learn how to help their child with home learning.
- Is full-time RVS the only option for online learning?
RVS is the District’s Distributed Learning (DL) School. There are other DL schools throughout the province.
A Remote Transition Option was offered for Grade 8 and 9 students. In this option, students will take two classes per day for ten weeks (quarter 1), and then switch and take two different classes for another ten weeks (quarter 2). These classes will be offered through Richmond Virtual School. Following quarter 2, the expectation is that the great majority of students will return to school for in-person learning for quarter 3 and 4. During this Remote Transition Option, students will be able to retain their place in their neighbourhood school and/or district program of choice. The District will reassess the need to offer a DL program during quarter 3 and 4 however it would no longer be considered a transitional program. If a student opts not to return to school for in-person learning after the end of quarter 2, the family would need to officially withdraw from their neighbourhood school and enroll in a DL program (RVS may be a choice).
Grades 10-12 students may choose to take some courses at their neighbourhood school and may also take other courses with RVS. If students choose to enrol in courses at both schools, RVS cannot guarantee that the courses will align with their neighbourhood school class schedule. As well, students cannot be enrolled in the same course in two schools at the same time.
- Is RVS registration still open?
For Grades 10-12, course registration remains open. If a course is full, students will be added to a waitlist. RVS will monitor waitlists and will endeavor to create additional course sections based on enrolment numbers. If RVS is unable to offer a course due to low enrolment, students who have signed up will be notified.
Registration for the Remote Transition Option for Grade 8 and 9 students was open from September 3 to September 6. Students were able to continue register for this option until September 11, at which time any additional registrations will be dependent upon available space.
- Will the list of available courses be published prior to registration?
Course lists for Grades 10-12 are already on the RVS website (additional Grade 10 courses have been added). Information about the Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition Option is also listed on the RVS website.
- Are courses available on a first come, first served basis?
Registration for Grade 10-12 classes started in February 2020 and remains open. As courses fill up, students are placed on a waitlist. RVS will monitor waitlists and will endeavor to create additional course sections based on enrolment numbers in the order in which they have registered. Any student who signed up for the Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition Option before September 11 will be scheduled into classes with RVS. Following September 11, the ability to sign-up will depend on available space in the RVS classes.
- Is RVS on a semester or linear schedule?
For the Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition Option, RVS will follow the same quarter schedule as in-school learning (2 courses every 10 weeks). In Grades 10 through 12, RVS typically offers both semester and linear courses and will be offering some classes on a quarterly schedule to align with neighbourhood schools (if there is sufficient enrolment for these classes). The RAIL and SKY Programs will continue to follow a linear schedule.
- After course completion, do students have the choice to continue with RVS or do they need to go back to in-person learning?
For students in Grades 10-12, whether they are taking courses in-person or online, students are scheduled in classes for their full year. They will complete the course with the school in which they are enrolled. If their courses are with RVS, they will continue with RVS. If their course is with their neighbourhood school, they will continue with their neighbourhood school.
The Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition program has been created to support students who need additional time before returning to school for in-person learning. This transition option is set to finish after Quarter 2 (Feb. 3) at which time it is anticipated that the great majority of students will transition back to school for in-person learning.
- If a student registers for RVS, will their spot be saved at their neighbourhood school?
In Grades 10-12, if a student continues to take some in-person classes in their neighbourhood school, they can also enrol in some RVS classes to supplement their program. If a Grade 10-12 student enrols in full-time classes with RVS, they would need to withdraw from their neighbourhood school and release their spot. Grade 8 and 9 students who sign up with RVS as part of the Remote Transition Option will be able to retain their space in their neighbourhood school and district program of choice, assuming that they return to school for in-person learning on or before February 4, 2021. Any Grade 8 or 9 student who does not return to school for in-person learning after Quarter 2 will need to withdraw from their neighbourhood school and enroll in a DL program.
- If a student is withdrawn from their neighbourhood school, is there a chance that they cannot get back into that school if it is full?
After a student withdraws from their neighbourhood school, the district cannot guarantee that space will remain available for that student in that same school, although efforts will be made to try and accommodate the request. Space will be held up until February 4, 2021 for students who are in the Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition Option to return to their home school or program of choice.
- Will my children be able to return to French Immersion if I opt to enroll them in DL for this school year?
Space will be held in a student’s French Immersion program if they have signed up for the Grade 8 and 9 Remote Transition Option, assuming that they return to school for in-person learning on or before February 4, 2021. If you chose to enroll your child in a full-year English DL Program, the student will be withdrawn from their current placement and they will no longer have a guaranteed spot in the French Immersion program. Families are always welcome to re-register with the Richmond School District and apply to re-enter French Immersion, but a return cannot be guaranteed.
- When will RVS classes start?
RVS classes will start on Monday, September 21, 2020.
Updated: September 4, 2020
- What hardware and software will children need for the Transitional Learning program?
Students in K-Grade 9 Transitional Programs will need a digital device such as a tablet, computer or phone that can connect to the internet and that has a web browser and camera. A smart phone may be sufficient, however, for students in grade 8 and 9, it may add some additional challenges with composing documents that contain large amounts of texts (paragraphs/essays, etc.) Students will communicate with their teacher via videoconferencing, as well as through an online learning platform or their Scholantis portfolio. Work done at home that is not completed on the computer can be photographed, uploaded and shared with the teacher or posted in their portfolio. Parents of elementary school students will receive support in using these platforms during the weekly parent sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays. If accessing a device is a challenge for your family, please contact your child's school to see what arrangements can be made, depending on availability.
- Will there be a staggered start and end times in secondary schools so not all students are in the hallways at the same time?
Each secondary school will determine when students will arrive at school as well as when students will be dismissed at lunch time and the end of the day. Efforts will be made to stagger entry and exit where possible to avoid large groups of students being in the hallways at the same time. Specific information regarding entry and exit times will be provided to families by each school.
Updated: September 3, 2020
- Why isn’t the district offering a hybrid model for secondary students where some students come to school and some learn from home, similar to what we had in June?
In June, parents had the choice of keeping their child at home or sending them to school. At that time, teachers were required to provide a hybrid model of both in-person and remote learning to their students, but students did not attend full-time. Teachers were therefore available at some points during the school day to teach remotely, thus making a hybrid model possible. This model presented a number of challenges for many families and also for some teachers. The Ministry of Education therefore chose to require parents to choose either full time in-person learning, distributed learning or home-schooling for their children this fall. Teachers in the regular in-school program are expected to teach their students in-person all day and are therefore not available to provide remote instruction as they were asked to do in June.
- Why doesn’t the district require teachers to provide in-person and remote learning at the same time using remote technology?
Teachers will be teaching in classrooms full time to support their students with in-person learning. There is no additional time built into the daily schedule to provide remote learning and there is currently no additional staffing available to add teachers to teach remotely. Teachers in 21st century classrooms do not simply stand at the front of the classroom and lecture, so it is not simply a matter of pointing a camera at the teacher and broadcasting remotely. In-person classroom lessons are collaborative and use a variety of digital tools, materials, and interactive discussions. It would be problematic to expect teachers to be fully present for the students in their classroom if they are also required to monitor online chats, deal with technical challenges (such as ensuring the microphone and camera are picking up the required parts of the lesson), and make certain that students studying remotely are engaged in the lesson. As teachers return to school and with the recent announcement of additional funds, we are considering additional ways to help support students access additional support and learning opportunities. Many of these conversations will take place during orientation week.
- Why doesn’t the district have some teachers teach in-person and hire additional teachers to teach remotely so a hybrid model could be implemented across secondary schools?
The district must operate within its operating budget and currently does not have the funds available to hire additional teachers to teach remotely. Should additional funds become available for staffing, the district will consider how it can best use those resources to support student learning.
- Why can’t parents try out a program in September and then decide which program they’d like their child to be in by early October?
Districts are required to provide enrolment numbers to the Ministry of Education by the end of September so that they can claim funding. This funding provides the budget for teaching and other staff. The district does not have the ability to let parents try different programs in September without running the risk of losing staff in a program, and then losing space for students. For example, if a student registers for in-person instruction at their neighbourhood school, the district will claim that with the Ministry of Education. If the student then withdrew from their neighbourhood school and transferred to Distributed Learning after September 30, the district would not have the staffing available in the Distributed Learning program to provide a space for the student. The same works in reverse. If a student registers for Distributed Learning and then transfers to their neighbourhood school, the district would not have the staffing within the school to accommodate them. In order for secondary schools to organize their staffing resources, it is necessary to know by mid-September how many students will be attending so the appropriate level of teaching staff can be assigned, and classes can begin.
- Is it true that students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 will only receive half the normal hours of instruction? How can students in Grade 10, 11 and 12 access their teacher when they need additional support?
Students in Grade 10, 11 and 12 will be receiving in-person instruction for half of the time that they would normally receive. However, students will still be provided with a comprehensive learning experience, and they will not be expected to teach themselves the course. Our teachers care deeply about student success. Many teachers will collaborate with colleagues to explore how to best meet the needs of their learners despite the many obstacles the global pandemic places before us.
The District arrived at this delivery model after making a number of difficult decisions, one of which was reducing class size to 50 per cent or less for students in Grade 10, 11 and 12. This was largely guided by our responsibility to maintain learning groups or cohorts of less than 120 students and staff, balanced with our commitment to offer students a full array of elective choices to support graduation and post-secondary planning. In addition, in order to achieve these two ends, our students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 are required to maintain physical distance while in-class. The district also re-organized our delivery model, so that students only have two classes to focus on at a time. Students can anticipate receiving increased personalized support as a result of having significantly reduced class sizes and extended in-person sessions of approximately 2.5 hours each day.
Given the adjustments to the schedule, teachers across the district will likely explore a variety of instructional practices, focused on big ideas, and key curricular content knowledge and competencies that best prepare students for the future. Teachers will provide students with materials that they will learn together, while also providing materials to engage with outside of the classroom.
Students in grade 10, 11 and 12 have traditionally been expected to engage in learning outside of classroom, both individually and with peers. It is also very common for teachers to provide their students with course outlines that includes information about expectations, curriculum to be covered, assessment, access to additional support, supplemental resources, as well as contact information. While students are not at school, out of class learning may include independent learning or virtual group learning with peers. There may also be times when teachers choose to connect with students virtually by posting information on a digital platform such as Microsoft Teams or Scholantis.
One of the opportunities that has emerged from implementing a quarter system in our secondary schools is re-envisioning how teachers receive their preparation time. Working with the Richmond Teachers Association, the District is introducing a linear preparation model which allows full-time teachers to receive daily preparation time throughout the year. This innovative design will provide teachers additional time each day to support student learning in-person or remotely.
The ultimate goal of B.C.'s competency focused curriculum is to develop a student’s independence, as well as their ability to apply their learning in a variety of settings. We recognize that this is different than a traditional timetable structure, but we remain committed to preparing all students for their future pathways.
Updated: August 28, 2020
ELEMENTARY IN-PERSON PROGRAM
- What will the structure of the day look like for the in-person program?
A typical school day at the elementary level will be as follows:
- All parents, employees and students will be expected to engage in a mandatory health declaration process each day before coming to school, with a firm requirement to stay home if sick.
- Each morning, teachers will greet their students at assigned entrance doors. The students will enter the school, wash or sanitize their hands and then begin the school day.
- Students will be in a regular classroom with their peers and classroom teacher and will learn grade-appropriate curriculum and be assessed in the normal fashion.
- Students will eat their lunches in the classroom under adult supervision. Play breaks at both recess and lunch will be outside. Students should be appropriately dressed as they will be outside for play breaks regardless of the weather. Recess and lunch play breaks will also be staggered so that no more than half of the student population is outside at one time.
- At the end of the school day teachers will escort their class to a designated meeting spot outdoors where parents and guardians can greet their children and then take them home.
- How many students will be in the classrooms for elementary school?
The Ministry of Education has indicated that elementary students whose parents choose to send them to school for in-person instruction will attend full time. This means that teachers will be teaching full-time all day, and classes can therefore not be divided up into smaller groups in order to provide remote instruction at different points during the day. Class sizes will continue to vary depending on the number of students assigned to a particular division and the number of students whose parents choose to have them attend in-person. It is likely that in most cases, elementary classes will continue to be below or at the class size maximums outlined below:
- Kindergarten: 20 students
- Kindergarten/Grade 1: 20 students
- Grades 1- 3: 22 students
- Grade 3 - 4: 24 students
- Grades 4 - 7: 28 students
- Before Covid-19, a typical elementary class consisted of between 20 and 28 students. Does the new plan including cohorts mean that students will now be in a combined class of 60 students?
Students’ main grouping will continue to be a ‘regular’ size class as outlined in the previous question. Students will continue to spend the great majority of their time at school with that class. Learning cohorts of up to 60 students will allow for students and teachers to work together for learning as needed. In other words, two Intermediate classes may make up a learning cohort so that the two teachers can plan activities for their students to work on together (i.e. “Buddy classes”). This is a common practice at the elementary level and is an important part of a student’s learning.
ELEMENTARY TRANSITIONAL LEARNING
- How does the transitional program work? What can I expect from the teacher and what will be expected of me?
Please refer to the Elementary Transitional Learning Program description for further details: https://bit.ly/2QFSIlD
- Can we choose transitional learning at a later date? If my child returns to school and feels unsafe, can they be taken out and put into transitional learning?
You may reassess your choice to be in the transitional learning program at any point before January 29, 2021, as long as there is space available in a transitional learning class in the school district.
- How long will the transitional learning program be available? What are the re-entry dates if we choose transitional learning if we want to come back to in person learning?
Transitional learning will be available until January 29, 2021, at which point the district anticipates that the majority of students will have returned to in-person learning at their home school. The school district will reassess options for the anticipated small number of students who wish to continue with transitional learning at that time. There are two re-entry dates available for families who may wish to have their children return to in-person learning before February 1, 2021. These dates are:
- October 13, 2020
- November 16, 2020
In order to allow time for planning, parents must give their school and their transitional learning teacher one week’s notice of their intent to withdraw from the program and return to their home school. This means that the schools and teachers must receive this information by:
- October 6, 2020
- November 9, 2020
- For students who have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive and have to stay home, will there be an online platform for them from their school to continue their learning?
Your child’s teacher will remain in contact with you, and your child, should they need to self-isolate. Your child will be able to keep up with class work via electronic communication with the classroom teacher, for example through the digital portfolio tool.
- If a student returns to the classroom later in the year, does their classroom placement stay the same or could they get put in another class?
Class organizations and placements will be set for when the students return to school on September 10. Students enrolled in transitional learning and/or in school learning will keep their class placement throughout the year. To the best extent possible, there will be no changes to classroom placements after September 10.
- What will the structure of the day look like for students who are attending in-school classes?
All schools will be following the province’s health and safety guidelines for a safe return to school. These include:
- Daily self-assessment before entering the school and a requirement to stay home if sick.
- The reinforcement of regular hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
- A requirement that masks be worn by all staff and secondary students on buses, in common areas with high traffic such as hallways, and outside of the classroom or learning group when physical distancing is not possible.
Given the diversity of our secondary schools in terms of the number of students and physical layout, these procedures may look different in each location. Families will hear from their respective secondary schools before the start of the school year as to what their student arrival and departure procedures will be.
Students in Grades 8 and 9 who are returning to in-person classes will attend full-time, five days per week. They will be organized into learning groups, taking two courses at a time for 10-weeks (quarter system). Because Grade 8 and 9 students take a minimal number of electives, they can more easily be arranged into learning groups that maintain the mandated limited of 120 outlined by the Provincial Health Officer. Block A groupings, comprised of 30 students or less, will attend classes in the morning, followed by a lunch break. Block B groupings, also comprised of 30 students or less, will attend classes in the afternoon. Given the diversity of school sizes, etc., each school will be making their own arrangements to ensure that health and safety guidelines are being followed during the lunch breaks.
Students in grade 10, 11 or 12 will attend school half-time (mornings or afternoons) five day per week to receive in-person instruction, which will be combined with independent learning. Secondary schools are developing a remote and/or in-person support option for students who are in need of tutorial support to supplement their in-class and independent learning. As Grade 10-12 students will be attending school for half-days, no lunch break will be required, and students will be expected to leave the building once their half day is over. Students arriving for the second half of the day will be expected to arrive shortly before their afternoon class in order to minimize contact with other students while at school.
- How will resource blocks be handled?
Students requiring additional learning support will be able to access that support in a variety of ways. This will be adapted to meet the individual needs of students and may include a quarter class of support, or both scheduled or drop-in support at various times during the school day. Further details will be provided by the school.
- Will there be any support for students in grades 10-12 while they are working independently?
Schools will work with students and parents directly to establish support mechanisms as necessary for students who require additional support.
- Will students spend approximately five to six hours per day on the same two subjects for ten weeks?
The quarter system is being implement broadly throughout the province at this time and was chosen by many school districts as it allows schools to maintain the learning group limits established by the Provincial Health Officer, while maintaining the integrity and depth of the curriculum. Students will take two courses at a time for ten weeks then will take another two courses.
- What will the class sizes be for Grade 8 and 9 in-person learning?
As junior (Grades 8-9) students will be welcomed back full time, class sizes will vary depending on course, but will range from 20 to a maximum of 30 students.
- What will the lunch arrangement be for Grade 8 and 9 students?
Secondary schools will follow the required provincial health and safety guidelines and will establish the protocols that work best for their own school building. This may include staggered lunch breaks and specific, designated places for Grade 8 and 9 students to eat. Grades 10-12 students will not eat lunch at the school, thereby greatly reducing the total number of students staying for lunch. Schools will communicate specific lunch arrangements.
- What will the class sizes be for Grade 10, 11 and 12 in-person learning?
As graduation program (Grades 10-12) students will be welcomed back half time, class sizes will vary depending on course, but will range from less than 10 to up to 15 students.
- Will the cohorts stay the same after each quarter?
As much as possible, cohorts or learning groups will be maintained at the Grade 8-9 level. In Grades 10-12, cohorts may change each quarter as students take different electives, but class sizes will continue to be reduced.
- What are the dates for each quarter?
The final dates have not yet been established however it is anticipated they will be approximately as follows:
- Quarter One: September 14 - November 18
- Quarter Two: November 19 - February 3
- Quarter Three: February 4 - April 23
- Quarter Four: April 26 - June 28
DISTRIBUTED LEARNING – RICHMOND VIRTUAL SCHOOL (RVS)
- What happens if the courses that my child needs to graduate are full or not available?
If students require specific courses that are not available through RVS, they would need to either enrol in these courses at their neighbourhood school or enrol in another DL program in British Columbia that offers these courses and has space.
- Do RVS courses count towards graduation credit?
All Grade 10, 11 and 12 courses are full credit and earn 4 credits per course, as they do in a neighbourhood school. As has always been the case, Grade 8 and 9 courses are non-credit, both in neighbourhood schools and at RVS.
- RVS doesn't offer many courses, how will my child meet university requirements?
Student enrolment determines the courses that are offered through RVS. If there are enough students that want a specific course and a teacher is available, the course can run. If RVS does not offer the specific courses a student needs for post-secondary entrance requirements, the student will need to either enrol in that course in their neighbourhood school or find another DL provider who offers that course.
- Do students need to select different electives to meet graduation requirements?
During their high school education, students must complete 13 required courses (52 credits) plus a minimum of seven elective courses (28 credits). For more information on graduation requirements, please visit this Ministry of Education website.
- What if a student requires a specific elective for post-secondary program admission?
If a student wants a specific elective that is not offered through RVS, the student may take the elective at their neighbourhood school or find an alternate DL provider.
- What happens to the electives that students had previously selected for this school year that are not available through RVS?
If students previously selected an elective that is not available through RVS, they can choose to:
- continue with their previously selected elective courses through in-person instruction in their neighbourhood school.
- enrol in a different elective course offered by RVS.
- find another DL provider that does offer that elective.
- The RVS site states that there will be still be in-class requirements. Will these classes require masks and physical distancing?
Like all Richmond School District schools, RVS will ensure that all health and safety guidelines are followed as per the direction of the Provincial Health Officer.
- What is the minimal commitment period?
If a student enrolls full-time with RVS and then decides they want to return to a neighbourhood school, they would need to complete the required district paperwork to re-register. The status of their return to a neighbourhood school would depend on whether or not the school has available space and can create a full program for the student. Students who wish to do so may apply to return to their neighbourhood school at the start of each quarter.
- If a student registers for RVS, are they still part of the school district?
Yes, RVS is a Richmond School District school.
- If RVS is selected full time for the 2020-21 school year, will a student hold their place at their current school if regular school resumes for the 2021-22 year?
Once a student has withdrawn entirely from their neighbourhood school (i.e. all classes are being taken through RVS), that student would need to re-register at their neighbourhood school for the 2021-2022 school year and would need to follow the District’s registration guidelines and timeframe. Students in Grades 10-12 who are pursuing their studies partially online and partially at their neighbourhood school will still be considered registered at their school for the following school year.
- Can a student who does not live in Richmond enrol in RVS courses?
Students living within the Richmond School District will have priority registration for RVS, but out of district students may register as full-time students with RVS, if space is available.
- Is there an option to transition to distributed learning at a later date if it appears that in school is not working well?
If RVS has space available, and can provide the student with their required courses, it may be possible for a student to transfer to RVS at the start of a new quarter.
- Will RVS be offering a Grade 8-12 French Immersion DL program?
RVS is not able to offer a French Immersion DL program due to the challenges that all school districts face in finding a sufficient number of qualified French Immersion teachers. We currently do not have sufficient staff to provide FI teachers for both our physical and virtual schools. Therefore, at this time, the district is not planning to provide French Immersion courses through distributed learning.
- Will RVS be able to provide English Language Learning and/or Learning Strategies classes?
RVS is unable to provide these specialized classes as part of the Grade 8 and 9 core program. Due to the increased number of courses that will be offered online this year, RVS does not have the teaching staff available to provide these specialized classes at other grade levels.
It is highly recommended that parents with health and safety concerns familiarize themselves with the COVID-19 Public Health Office’s Guidance for K-12 School Settings document. School districts do not set health and safety requirements and are required to adhere to these guidelines. The Richmond School District is committed to meeting or exceeding all health and safety guidelines as outlined.
- Will schools be conducting temperature checks on all staff, students, and visitors entering schools?
In all matters related to public health, our schools follow the direction of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). At this time, there is no requirement to conduct temperature checks. All parents and employees will be expected to engage in a mandatory health declaration process each day before coming to school. This process will be shared with all parents and reviewed with students. Staff will receive a complete health and safety orientation before students return to school.
- Why are masks not mandatory in classrooms?
The district’s health and safety practices are in compliance with the direction from the Provincial Health Officer. The guidelines outline a layered approach including reinforced hygiene practices, physical distancing, learning cohorts, and the use of masks for staff and secondary students in spaces where physical distancing is not possible. At this time, the Provincial Health Officer has not indicated that masks must be worn in other circumstances. The Richmond School District will continue to comply with the Provincial Health Officer.
All students and staff are welcome to wear a mask while at school. The school district will be providing two re-usuable masks to every student and every staff member at the beginning of the school year.
- What will the school district do if a teacher is away from work - will substitute teachers be in different classes over the course of a week/month, or will they be considered as part of the cohort?
As the district is in the process of finalizing enrolment and staffing at our schools, we are also organizing how teachers on-call will be working in our schools. Health and Safety guidelines will be followed for all itinerant staff and teachers on call which means that if they are not within a particular learning cohort, physical distancing will be required at all times.
- Will the district change how it is offering instruction to students if there is an increase in cases in the general population or a certain number of confirmed cases at schools?
Every school district in B.C. is operating within the 5 Stage BC K-12 Education Restart Plan. Each district’s plans for school start-up this September were approved by the Ministry of Education and include how we will move between the various stages should that be required. Currently, we are planning for and moving into Stage 2, but if directed by the PHO to move or revert to a different stage, we will make changes to how instruction is provided, based on the requirements of that stage.
- Will you be able to register for homeschooling after September 30?
As is the case in any school year, families can make the decision to withdraw from their current school and register as a homeschool student at any time during the school year. The September 30 deadline is one that is set by the Ministry of Education as per School Act requirements and is intended to ensure that all children are enrolled in an educational program for the coming school year.
- Do doctors’ forms need to be provided for immunocompromised students and will immunocompromised students who are not attending school in-person be assigned to their school teacher or a district teacher?
The majority of students who are considered immunocompromised are already known to their home school. Parents are encouraged to consult with their medical health provider to determine the level of risk regarding their child’s return to in-class instruction. Students who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, and have been identified by a medical health care provider as being high risk to attend school, will be provided with an at-home learning plan.
Who is responsible for supervising that at-home learning plan will depend on the individual circumstances at each school, including the number of students requiring this support within a particular classroom, or within the school. Students will continue to be assigned to a specific classroom, and teacher within their home school, but it may be district or school staff other than the classroom teacher who will work with the student. This person will collaborate and connect with the student’s school team while home learning support is provided. Regardless of which adult is responsible for supporting the immunocompromised student in his or her learning, the focus will be on maintaining that student’s connection to his or her regular school. If you have questions or wish to identify your child as immunocompromised, please connect with your school administrator.
- Will there be covered areas for students to eat outside on rainy days?
Elementary students will eat in their classroom and be supervised by an adult. Play times will be outside regardless of weather. While some schools may have covered play areas, they may not be large enough to house all students in a physically distanced manner and therefore, students should come to school prepared for all types of weather.
- Will parents be allowed to pick up kids for lunch and take them home?
In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we are minimizing visitors to the school, including parents and guardians. This means that students should come to school with their lunch and snacks and everything that they need for the day.
Inter-school sports will not be taking place this fall, however, extracurricular activities, which may include some sports, may take place within a single school site. Participants in these activities will need to comply with the health and safety protocols such as maintaining physical distancing.
- Will students be participating in gym class?
Students will continue to participate in Physical and Health Education classes which are a required part of the mandated curriculum. These classes will be conducted according to the health and safety guidelines.