May 27th - Letter to Families & Staff for Back to School

 

May 27th, 2020

Dear Families and Staff of School District 8 – Kootenay Lake:

First and foremost, thank you all for your patience, kindness, and support to date during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have been able to successfully meet the four Ministry of Education principles:

Guiding Principles for Ministry of Education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Maintaining a healthy and safe environment for students, families and staff is paramount.
  • Providing services to support children of essential workers is our top priority.
  • Supporting vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
  • Providing continuity of educational opportunities for all students.

Please note that our schools continue to operate under the guidelines established by the provincial health officer – Dr. Bonnie Henry, and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) to ensure the safety of all our students and education professionals. These guidelines include controlling access to buildings, maintaining physical distancing amongst staff, and implementing distancing strategies for students who are in schools, as well as, maintaining good hygiene practices.

The five Education stages for K-12 Students for operating our schools under the pandemic (refer to graphic chart or pie):

Stage 1 In-class instruction: K-12: five days per week (School Density Target is 100%)
Stage 2

 In-class instruction: K-7: five days per week (School Density Target is 100%)

 In-class instruction: 8-12: two days per week (School Density Target is 40%)

 Five days per week available for:

  • Children of Essential Service Workers
  • Students with disabilities/diverse abilities
  • Students who require additional supports

 Remote/online instruction: Balance of Learning

Stage 3

In-class instruction: K-5: two days per week (School Density Target is 50%)

In-class instruction: 6-7: one day per week (School Density Target is 20%)

In-class instruction: 8-12: one day per week (School Density Target is 20%)

Five days per week available for:

  • Children of Essential Service Workers
  • Students with disabilities/diverse abilities
  • Students who require additional supports

Remote/online instruction: Balance of Learning

Parent(s)/guardian(s) have choice for student(s) to return to in-class instruction

Stage 4

Current stage – moving to Stage 3 by June 1

In-class instruction: K-12: limited (School Density Target is 20%)

 Five days per week available for:

  • Children of Essential Service Workers
  • Students with disabilities/diverse abilities
  • Students who require additional supports

Remote/online instruction: K-12: Majority of all students

Stage 5

 In-class instruction: K-12: None (School Density Target is 0%)

Suspend all in-class instruction for all grades and students

Remote/online instruction: K-12: all students

NOTE: This information is subject to change at any time based on information from the Public Health Office and Ministry of Education.


Effective May 27th, 2020:

All Exempt staff, including Principals and Vice-Principals, are expected to be back at school district sites except for those who have contacted Human Resources with their own individual, or family health concerns.  All staff are to use SFE.

Our CUPE employees are invited to return to work at school sites by May 27-29, except for those who have contacted Human Resources with their own individual, or family health concerns. 

Our KLTF (NDTA and CVTA) employees are invited to return to work at school sites by May 27-29, except for those who have contacted Human Resources with their own individual, or family health concerns.  Teachers are encouraged to work during regular hours only.

All staff are to again use SFE for any and all absences.


Those returning to schools for the first time must complete the site Health & Safety Orientation with their Principal.
 

Effective June 1, 2020:

You must register your child’s return, in advance.  Contact the school, by phone or email, and then complete and sign the written package.  You may also register online: https://www.sd8.bc.ca/stage-3-registration 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS:
We will be inviting Kindergarten to Grade 5 students back to our schools on an alternating day basis: A - M on Mondays and Wednesdays and N – Z on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Online learning will continue on Fridays. Sending your child back to school is entirely by parent/guardian choice for the month of June. 

MIDDLE and SECONDARY SCHOOLS:
Grade 6 – 12 - 20% of students will be invited on each of Mondays through Fridays.  You will receive an invite for in-person return, with your specific day, from your secondary school.  Students will book their return by using Google Forms.   Sending your child back to school is entirely by parent/guardian choice for the month of June.  Students are to keep their personal items with them in their backpack at all times: lunch, drinks, books, technology.  Students will not be able use their lockers. 

All students will be expected to follow COVID-19 regulations.

END OF YEAR:
The final day for school for students is Thursday, June 25, 2020.  Principals, Vice-Principals, clerical, and staff will be working at school sites for the Admin Day on Friday, June 26th.  Principals, Vice-Principals and clerical will be working in schools for one additional week until July 3rd.  July 1 - Canada Day - is a statutory holiday.

HEALTH & SAFETY
Health & safety for all of our children and adults is our first priority.  No one is to enter an SD8 building if they are sick. Please protect yourself and others by staying home.

Refer to the Back to School - Stage 3 documents containing all COVID-19 Protocols:

Two Education Stages charts – a dial graphic and a chart graphic (same info on both)
Checklist for a Safe Day at School
On-site Registration Package
Food Guidelines
On-site Learning Document
Exposure Control Plan – COVID 19
School Health & Safety poster – Mandatory Protocol: School Site Procedures – Stage 3.

View STAGE 3 - BACK TO SCHOOL INFORMATION

PARENT(S)/GUARDIAN(S):
Parents, guardians or guests are NOT permitted in schools at this time.  Parent(s) and guardian(s) are welcome to stay physically-distanced on school playgrounds.

HOURS OF LEARNING
Learning will take place within the regular school hours. Please contact your school.

ESSENTIAL SERVICE WORKER SITES (ESWs)
ARES, Erickson, Hume, and South Nelson schools will continue as ESW sites open from 7am - 7pm.

HALLWAYS
Hallways will be clearly marked for physical distancing.  Our elementary students are expected to keep their hands and feet to themselves. Lockers will not be available during this time.

CLASSROOMS
50% of desks, chairs, tables will be stacked at the back of the room.  The remainder will be physically-distanced for students in attendance. Staff and students will organize their own space and classrooms.

TECHNOLOGY
Students should bring district technology with them on school days. All items will be sanitized daily. All district technology must returned to the district by June 25 so we can service over the summer.

BUSSING & TRANSPORTATION
All busses will run on their regular schedule for all registered bus students, beginning Monday, June 1 through Thursday, June 25. However, we encourage parents to drop  and pick up their child(ren) at the school if possible.

Bus riding requirements:

  • One child per seat sitting closer to window.  Front row on both sides is to be left empty.
  • Students from the same household can share seats if space is limited.
  • Students are to follow our district transportation protocols at all times.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT according to the PHO:

  • Masks - Voluntary. 
  • Gloves and Hand Sanitizer - available at sites.
  • Shields and Visors - not available except in specialized classrooms such as shops.

BREAKS
Breaks, including lunch, will be staggered and organized by each school site.  Cafeterias will remain closed.  All staff and students who leave a site during the day (for lunch and/or appointments) will need to complete the Health & Safety protocols upon re-entrance to the school site.

OUTDOOR PLAY & CLASSES
All staff and students are encouraged to hold classes outside and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible.  Some tennis and pickleball courts have been reopened.


In closing, we would like to thank our families and staff for “weathering the storm” as we all learn to live, and operate, in our understanding of what “new normal” means.   We continue to focus on excellence for all our learners in a nurturing environment.  We are proud of all of you and look forward to seeing our students back in school.

Thank you to all of the following for their consultation during the Stage 3 process:

  • Board of Education: Board Chairperson, Lenora Trenaman
  • Superintendent of Schools/CEO: Christine Perkins and senior staff
  • Kootenay Lake Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association: Glen Campbell, Tim Mushumanski, Janene Stein, Joanne Beddoes, Laury Carriere, Shellie Maloff
  • Kootenay Lake Teachers’ Federation: Co-Presidents, Carla Wilson (NDTA) and Doug Kunzelman (CVTA)
  • CUPE Local 748: Local President, Michelle Bennett; and Vice-President, Anita Early
  • District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC): Chairperson, Lorien Quattrocchi
  • Student Trustees of School District 8