An empty learning space at Kelowna’s Canyon Falls Middle School prior to the school’s opening in fall 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

An empty learning space at Kelowna’s Canyon Falls Middle School prior to the school’s opening in fall 2019. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Central Okanagan School District unveils back to school plan

Students return to class on Sept. 10

The Central Okanagan School District (SD23) has unveiled its back to school plan for the 2020/21 school year — featuring a slew of strict new safety precautions.

As students return to class on Sept. 10, elementary students will see a semi-normal schedule, being grouped in regular classes, according to the 18-page plan dropped by the school district on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

For elementary students, breaks, recess, and lunchtimes will be staggered, so that only one learning group is in an assigned area (i.e. gym, library, playground, playfield) at any given time.

Middle school students will also attend classes full-time but will see learning groups of no more than 60 people, including adults. In situations where the number of adults exceeds the learning group size of 60, those adults will social distance and are required to wear masks.

Students will generally receive instruction in their classrooms as teachers circulate between them.

READ MORE: Class resumption raises challenges for Central Okanagan schools

Grade 9 students will also be in classes full-time but will have electives grouped to minimize the size of the learning groups (typical size will be 25 to 90 each quarter).

The district mentioned middle school students will have 100 per cent face-to-face instruction, but this can easily be adapted and adjusted to remote learning if need be.

Grade 10 to 12 students will attend school 75 per cent of the time, alternating between full-days and half-days. Students will take two classes every ten weeks, attending a morning class full time and an afternoon class 50 per cent of the time.

Dismissal times will be staggered across all grade levels.

READ MORE: From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

The district has purchased two reusable masks for every staff member and middle and secondary student. The district has also purchased one‐time use masks for buses and schools in case a student has not brought one.

Busing will continue as normal, resuming 2019/20 school year service levels. Routes have been restructured to accommodate noon‐hour busing of secondary students. All middle and secondary students will be required to wear a mask while on the bus, as will the drivers who will also be equipped with a face shield.

All classrooms will have a large bottle of hand sanitizer present and hand washing stations will be present in portable classrooms.

Parents will be required to assess their children and households for illness daily before sending them to school.

For students who are immune-compromised or are from families that have extenuating medical conditions, distributed (or at home )learning options are available.

You can view the district’s full back to school plan here.

Planning for Return to Scho… by Jen Zee

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