Students in Quesnel, at least about one third of them, will be going back to class on June 1st.
Superintendent of Schools Sue-Ellen Miller says as of today 975 students will be returning, with grades K-5 students getting two days of instruction per week, and students in grades 6-12 one-day of instruction…
“When you have as much busing as we do in our district it’s hard to determine what that schedule will be, because we do have to make sure that we don’t have too many students on a bus at one time, so that’s why our two days for our K to 5 students and our secondary students why we have to plan that out so carefully.”
Miller says there will be some exceptions…
“Students with special needs in low incidence categories and vulnerable students may be eligible to attend for up to five days per week dependent on school density. Children of essential service workers ages five to twelve will be eligible to attend five days per week. There are some eligibility requirements, just because of density that we need to make sure we keep a good handle on 20 percent of high school kids in the school at any one time, and 50 percent of elementary age kids in the school at one time.”
Miller says every school schedule will be a little bit different….
“Some schools will have time for teachers to do the remote learning and preparation on a Wednesday, some will have it on a Monday, and some have it on a Friday, so there is a little bit of that will look different in every school and every district throughout the province, but the amount of time that kids can be in school will be similar.”
Wells School has two groups of students with one coming in the morning and the other in the afternoon, and Nazko school, which is another very small school, is breaking their students into smaller groups as well.
Each school has a health and safety plan in place…
“Keeping kids safe requires teaching. And it does require us to do that teaching in the classroom, on the playground, throughout the school about how do we manage in this time of COVID. It will also require their parents to have that conversation with them before they come to school. We’ve been taking out direction from the provincial Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry, and for the most part children are at a lower risk of getting COVID-19, so our guidance that we’ve been given is that this interaction that children will be having will be safe.”
The District is asking parents to check their children daily for symptoms of COVID-19, and children who are sick must not come to school and students who develop symptoms at school will be sent home.
Miller says masks are not required for teachers, although she says the District will support teachers that want to wear them.
There will be food available in the schools, but Miller cautions that it won’t look like the previous programs because they can’t offer the buffet service that they used to offer.
Miller says all of these plans were developed in collaboration with the Quesnel District Teachers’ Association, CUPE 4990, Quesnel Principal and Vice-Principals’ Association, Aboriginal Education Council Representative, District Principal Support Services, Board of Education Representatives, and District Administration.