Students at Monterey middle school pass a soccer ball around a circle on May 22, an approved interactive game for students during the optional June 1 return to class. (Black Press Media file photo)

Learning groups, scattered lunches new norm for Greater Victoria students

SD61 announces plan for 2020-2021 school year

More than 20,000 Greater Victoria students will return to school on Sept. 10 after summer break and months of pandemic-related school shutdowns – but in the ongoing COVID-19 reality of 2020, individual learning will vary.

The Greater Victoria School District (SD61) has released its 2020-2021 school year plan, outlining the organization of schools and educational options for families.

All schools will be organized into learning groups with a maximum of 60 students for elementary and middle schools and 120 students for secondary schools. Start and end times as well as recess and lunch breaks might also be staggered to keep interactions limited to learning groups.

“We are committed to ensuring our students’ success and making sure no one falls behind,” said board chair Jordan Watters in a statement. “Despite the challenges we face, we hope our students, families and staff share our excitement about the return to school and the year ahead.”

READ ALSO: Sooke School District secondary students to have half days for self-directed learning

Watters emphasizes SD61 will work with families and students who are immunocompromised to explore options that work best for them – including in and out of school learning.

But all families have options under the provincial Stage 2 restart framework, including in-class instruction, homeschooling and distributed learning – where students connect with educators remotely using a variety of electronic tools. Students with special needs will also have access to a full range of supports including inclusive education resources.

SD61 is also considering a hybrid learning option for Grade 1 to Grade 8 students that would consist of home study supplemented by in-class and remote learning. SD61 is assessing the level of interest in this option before moving forward. A survey will be emailed to parents and guardians.

Staff will return to schools Sept. 8 for orientation and a review of health and safety protocols. Students will begin attending school Sept. 10. Each school will communicate directly with families regarding schedules and first day of school plans.

For more information on the SD61 2020-2021 school plan, visit sd61.bc.ca.

READ ALSO: SD61 distributes more than 1,000 Chromebooks and iPads to students learning from home


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