North Okanagan teachers back to school after spring break

Plans to continue education on track for district’s 8,500 students

Students won’t be heading back to class after spring break, but teachers will.

In-class instruction is suspended but school district staff will be returning to work on March 30. That’s where plans for the continuity of learning will be worked out.

For the 8,500 students in the Vernon School District, that means some form of education will be back on track.

“The majority of our kids will be working from home,” said Joe Rogers, Vernon School District superintendent.

But there may be different plans for elementary-aged children whose parents work in essential services such as medical health professionals, first responders, pharmacists and critical infrastructure workers.

”So they can go to work and potentially save us all,” said Rogers, adding that rules are changing daily therefore plans are constantly in flux.

READ MORE: Kids of Vernon’s essential workers supported

Depending on the number of students requiring in-class instruction, there may be one site or two used within the district.

The remaining students may hear from their teachers even sooner.

“The majority of the kids will get contact from the teachers next week saying, ‘here’s some activities to do outside of the classroom.’”

With so much uncertainty and anxiety the COVID-19 pandemic is creating, the district wants to connect with families and staff to help reduce anxiety.

“Our first priority is the social and emotional support for our students and staff,” said Rogers.

“We’re just trying to work this out for your kids, my kids and our grandkids.”

Meanwhile there are some international students who have chosen to return home to be with their families as some countries have been shut down.

The entire situation is unlike anything students, or teachers, have ever seen. For Rogers there are only a couple of historic moments that compare: 9/11 and the 1963 assassination of the U.S. President.

”The only time I was ever shocked like this I was a little kid, and John F. Kennedy got killed, my mom was crying and I was like, ‘what’s going on?’”

It’s unknown how long this pandemic will last, but Rogers is concerned.

“China’s just starting to come down the curve and it started in September and in Italy it’s still going up.

“If you go up for two months I guess you go down for two months.”

He’s also concerned about the potential for COVID to return.

“Until they find a vaccine this could come back next winter just like any flu.”

READ MORE: Vernon mom with presumptive COVID-19 case shares inside look into self-quarantining


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thank you Lake Country paramedics

We are all in this together: COVID-19

Unemployment up, Kelowna loses 2,000 jobs in March: StatCan

March unemployment rate 5.9 per cent, highest in Kelowna since January 2018

Peachland residents living in lockdown in central Philippines

Kevin and Gracelyn Bennett have been in the Philippines since December

Kelowna toddler officially cancer-free

Elara Isagawa’s family is thanking the community for their support throughout her treatment

Central Okanagan School District provides nearly 7,000 meals to students

Families collect the entire week’s supply of breakfasts and lunches at once to minimize contact

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Researchers to study whether plasma of recovered patients can treat COVID-19

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood that contains the antibodies that protect against illness

Law enforcement will patrol shuttered campgrounds in Cascades this weekend

Patrols will enforce provincial order requiring all such facilities remain closed during COVID-19

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

Campfires still permitted in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Restrictions have been implemented elsewhere within valley

Summerland parks remain open for passive use

Users urged to maintain physical distancing to slow spread of COVID-19

Okanagan Indian Band asks visitors to ‘stay away’ during COVID-19

Chief and council asks non-residents not to visit OKIB reserve lands during the pandemic

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Shuswap’s Salty Dog Enduro mountain bike race postponed to 2021

Organizers follow direction from provincial/national bodies to cancel May event

Most Read