A Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district school bus. (News Bulletin file photo)

High school students in Nanaimo-Ladysmith will take two classes each day

First day of school for Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School students is Sept. 10

While elementary school students shouldn’t see many changes as the 2020-21 school year starts, education will be different for secondary students, says Nanaimo Ladysmith school district’s superintendent.

According to the B.C. Ministry of Education, school districts are required to post their COVID-19-conscious back-to-school plans online by today, Aug. 26 and Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools says it will offer in-class instruction, remote learning and support for home-schooling. In a post on YouTube last Friday, Scott Saywell, school district superintendent and CEO, said high school students won’t be on the semester system.

The ministry previously announced that students would receive instruction in learning groups, or cohorts, with a maximum of 60 students for elementary and 120 for secondary.

RELATED: B.C. gov’t approves 60 school district pandemic plans

In the social media post, Saywell said the semester system wouldn’t allow for secondary students learning groups under 120 students. The school district would prefer flexibility in moving in and out of various provincial COVID-19 stages as the threat grows and shrinks.

Instead, Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools, like most other school districts in the province, will be moving to a ‘quarterly’ system that will see students taking two classes at a time over 10 weeks, four times during the school year. There will be one class in the morning and another in the afternoon.

“That’ll run for 10 times a week and then they will shift into the next two classes and of course, that will happen four times over the year, so that students can get their full complement of eight courses,” Saywell said.

RELATED: SD68 navigating back-to-school uncertainty

Because of the way the district is typically set up around elementary and middle school classrooms, which include fewer than 30 students, Saywell said younger students “won’t see much change when they return to school.”

The district recently received $1 million in funding from the ministry to ensure schools across the district are safe, said Saywell, and a majority of that will go towards hiring custodial staff, as well as cleaning supplies and a personal protective equipment for students and teachers.

“We’ve also purchased something called the Clorox Total 360 electrostatic sprayer for each one of our schools and these are hospital-grade machines that can clean our classrooms very quickly and can cover in and around surfaces with disinfectant very quickly,” Saywell said.

RELATED: SD68 students to return to school full-time in ‘learning groups’

The first day of school for students, originally scheduled for Sept. 8, has been pushed back to Sept. 10 and 11, said the superintendent, to allow staff time to become acclimatized to safety procedures.

“They’ll be getting their timetables and learning about all the new health and safety protocols at that time,” Saywell said.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

Education

Just Posted

Patrick brothers pioneered hockey and tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows their efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Offleash dogs put shorebirds resting on Tofino beaches in jeopardy

“It’s a free-for-all. Most of the violators are locals, I believe, but there are visitors as well.”

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

EDITORIAL: RCMP remind motorists to drive carefully in our school zones

30km/h speed limit in school zones in effect 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on school days

The secret life of tadpoles

Vancouver Island photographer Maxwel Hohn’s documentary traces the ‘big little migration’ of western toad tadpoles

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Water supplies declared safe in wake of major tire fire near Ladysmith

Concerns about water quality arose after Sept. 10 scrap yard fire at Schnitzer near Nanaimo Airport

Hundreds march against location of Duncan safe injection site

A Voice for Our Children opposes centre being near schools, recreation sites

Suspect robs store, stabs clerk in Courtenay

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for suspect in Ryan Road incident

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Heritage revitalization project in downtown Victoria a labour of love for developers

The tiny Adelphi Block offers unique living spaces, urban lifestyle on busy Old Town corner

Most Read