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Lake City Secondary shows what parts of school will look like this year

As we approach closer to next week, parents and students are wondering what school will look like when classes are back in session. 

Students will be attending orientations on September 10 and 11, and they will be back in class for the school year on September 14. 

For students attending secondary schools, like the Lake City Secondary School – Williams Lake Branch, there will be several changes that students will notice right away. 

The school has displayed many images reminding students to keep six-feet apart and wear masks in common areas, which will be mandatory. They have also put arrows on the ground for students to follow when walking the hallways. 

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Doug Brown, one of the vice-principles at the Lake City Secondary School – Williams Lake Branch, said that they would be relying on the signage they have placed all over the school to ensure students’ safety. 

“Our schools have been deemed safe from the Ministry,” he stated. “We have been maintaining safety protocols, we’ve been following safety protocols, and we’ve been encouraging safety across the board with all of our staff. We have been putting down signage and reminders to encourage safe practice, and the Ministry has supplied things like masks so we can ensure that when we do say that kids need to be wearing a mask in common areas outside of their cohorts, that they have that available to them as well.” 

Other changes students might notice is any high touch surfaces will either be heavily sanitized or unavailable for students, such as lockers and vending machines. 

“Any of the high touch surfaces we have to control. We have to maintain sanitization,” Brown said. “Our janitors need to be wiping down all of these high touch surfaces. Our vending machine is gone, there are different things like that where we’ve taken the extra precautions. Are we going to be able to control that? No, okay, that needs to go. The things that we can control, let’s do it well, and not just do it as a sign on the floor type deal.” 

For the year, students will be split into cohorts of 120 and are encouraged to stay in their cohort for the whole school day, or when possible. When it comes to breaks, each cohort group will be split up. 

“We have cohort designations for areas, for instance, break one, cohort one upstairs, cohort two downstairs, the break two, cohort three upstairs, cohort downstairs, break three, cohort five upstairs, cohort six downstairs,” Brown explained. “That was in that half-hour ten-minute break that the students needed. 

For lunchtime, the school will have designated areas for the cohorts, but Brown said that they would have to trust students when it comes to those who head home or go out for lunch. 

“We are an open campus. We have to trust what they are doing, just as if when they go to their homes, and then they come to school the next day,” he said. “We are trusting that there have been certain safeties have put in place in their homes, and when they come back into the building, they need to be washing and sanitizing.” 

“We are going to hopefully maintain that safe place here, by encouraging the hand washing. We have noon hour supervisors that go around in the building and part of their role will be asking kids, have you washed your hands, pointing them in the direction of the signs, you are in a common area, you are supposed to be masked up, the best that we can do is encourage all of these things,” Brown continued. 

He added that for students and parents feeling anxiety, he ensures that they, like schools all across the Cariboo region, are doing everything that they can to make school a safe place. 

“We miss having the students in the building. We became educators to educate kids. We miss them in the building, that’s number one.” 

“Number two, we have followed every Ministry guideline right to the letter to say that our schools safe, and that parents can feel at ease sending their kids,” he said. “We are implementing the same that Vancouver is implementing, and the numbers are four times higher than anything that is going on here. I think there’s five cases total in our whole region. We’ve implemented everything over and above that we can to ensure the safety of kids. That’s our big thing; we want the kids back in the building.” 

Other secondary schools in the school district will have similar back to school precautions as Lake City Secondary – Williams Lake.

For more on the Cariboo-Chilcotin School District #27’s back to school plan, click here. 

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