A heart felt “welcome back” from all of our staff to our students and families as we begin a school year like no other. Our apologies this post is the 1st since spring break however we chose to use direct email for the information we needed to get to families as it unfolded through April, May, and June. Moving forward, we will continue to use this blog as our bi-monthly newsletter to share news and celebrations, direct email to parents for important reminders, and our school App and website for all other information. Our website will be the main source of reference for everyone.
Since the back to school plan was unveiled in late July by the Ministry of Education, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Provincial Health Officer, we have been working hard to create a plan that would ensure the safest possible learning environments for students and staff. In addition to these resources, families can get up to date info on COVID exposures in schools from the Island Health website.
We feel very fortunate our District has supported the “1/8th model” for our students and staff as this plan has provided the organizational structure which supports keeping learning groups well below the 120 student maximum as outlined by the back to school plan. Although, from a historical “time” perspective we have all experienced being in school where we attended 4-8 classes at a time, this model is far different. We truly believe taking one course at a time over a 5 week period (similar to summer school) will provide students and staff time to focus, reduce class size by using an AM/PM division, reduce the anxiety for students of having to take 4 classes at a time, and give students flexibility during the rest of their day to study and enjoy other interests or family commitments. This is the same model our neighbours Royal Bay Secondary and Edward Milne Community School are also using.
The 1st day…
On Thursday September 10, we welcomed our grade 9s in for their first full day of school in more than 5 months. Considering they had no orientation, school tour, or spring activities as they would have usually, the 355 grade 9s showed up ready to learn and easily found their way to their block A class. Wearing masks in common areas and hand sanitizing upon entry, collectively they sure seemed confident and aware of protocols. It was so incredible to finally have students back and our staff was extremely relieved that processes and protocols worked well so they could focus on welcoming the students.
Our teachers took the time to provide the grade 9s with guided tours of the various areas of our school while also discussing protocols we have to adhere to in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment. The grade 10s, then 11s and 12s followed on September 11 & 14 respectively and also demonstrated an understanding for how we have reorganized zones and entrance and exit protocols.
Overall, considering new organization, processes, and protocols, our students and staff started off the school year very smoothly. We really appreciate the patience and support from families and students.
2020/21 Course Schedule
Below is the finalized course schedule for the remainder of this year. Please note we will not be entertaining course changes. This is the same as in any school year. Any students with grad credit questions, please contact their Counsellor.
As in past years, we are happy to support all students, especially our grade 12s with Scholarship support. Ms Hoskins is our go to Scholarship lead and is always happy to help students. For more info see the info below.
Parking Lot Reminders
As we welcome students back, some reminders for families to consider in order to help ease traffic congestion:
- If you must drop your daughter or son off or pick them up from school, please arrange to have a meeting spot off of campus. This will ease frustrations and congestion.
- Please do not stop at D wing or Zone 1 entry to let you child out as this causes back up for other people entering the lot.
- If the driver of a vehicle has a handicapped designation but does not need to leave their car as they wait for a student, please don’t park in the handicapped/accessible spots as those are used for students requiring the use of a wheelchair or crutches. If we ask you to move, please understand why:)
Safe and Healthy Schools Info
Family Smart Webinar Opportunity for Parents: September Topic: Parenting when Anxiety Shows Up as Anger
Join us as we answer questions families have asked about the relationship between anger and anxiety. We’ll share experiences and strategies that can help in hard moments and focus on strengthening our relationship with our children and youth when those have passed. Connect and learn with other families for this online discussion.
Video Guest Speaker: Karen Peters, MA, RCC, (Registered Clinical Counsellor)
Follow up Discussion facilitated by Lisa Tate & Wendy Safruik Parent’s in Residence
Cost: Free of Charge – Date: September 29, 2020 – Time: 7pm -8:30pm
Registration Required: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1134168643535377165