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Powell River School District reaches out to parents ahead of return to classes

School District 47 is reaching out to Powell River families with a return to in-class instruction just days away.

In a letter to parents and guardians, school board superintendent, Dr. Jay Yule, reiterated that sending students to school starting on June 1st is voluntary as remote learning will continue. 

The province’s restart plan includes a five-stage return to full in-class instruction in K-12.

“We are at Stage 3 at schools, guided by strict health and safety standards,” Yule said in the letter.

To date, elementary parent responses to an SD47 survey show that 41 percent of students will be returning to school. 

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Secondary school data has not been confirmed. 

“We are also asking families who normally take the bus in elementary school, if they will need to use this service,” Yule said in the letter. 

“A recommended option is to transport students yourselves, if possible. Secondary students who cannot arrange transportation should contact their school.” 

Schools will continue to offer full-time support to students of essential services workers who cannot find childcare, and to vulnerable students who require full-time in-class supports. 

K-7 students will be able to attend in-person half days Monday to Thursday. 

K-3 students will attend mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am while students in Grades 4-7 will attend in the afternoons from 12:30pm to 3:00pm. 

Grades 8-12 will be able to attend in-person five hours per week (one day per week). 

“In all cases, we ask that parents and guardians do not enter the school site so that we can keep the number of persons on site at a safe level,” Yule said. 

“Meetings over the phone may be arranged in advance by contacting the school. As the transition to part-time in school instruction occurs, the health and safety of students, staff, and families is the highest priority.”

Safety measures will include but are not limited to: 

  • Limiting the number of students in schools at one time to support physical distancing and/or reduce physical contact. 
  • -Staggering lunch breaks, recess, pick-up and drop-off times. 
  • A review of available spaces in schools to adjust things like hallway flow, and the number and sizes of groups congregating in common areas. 
  • Rigorous cleaning schedules for high-contact surfaces, and a daily deep cleaning of school buildings. 
  • An increase in the number of hand sanitizing and cleaning stations. 
  • A requirement for parents, students, and staff members to do a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold and to stay home if any symptoms, however mild, are identified. 
  • Ensuring bus transportation is safe by having one child per seat unless children are from the same household, and maintaining a safe, physical distance between the driver and passengers, which in some cases, may include a barrier. 

Meanwhile, the district’s centralized meals program will continue to operate. 

Its playgrounds and fields will be reopening under the guidance of our Provincial Health Officer. 

Those who have not registered their child to return to school and change their mind, are asked to contact their school principal prior to returning, so the district “can plan and arrange for the safe return of your child,” Yule said. 

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