High school students in the Sooke School District will attend school during either the morning or afternoon for one course at a time, with the rest of the day allocated for self-directed learning. (Black Press Media news staff)

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

SD62 outlines reopening plans during COVID-19

A southern Vancouver Island school district has unveiled its plans for back-to-school.

Self-directed learning will be the new normal for high school students in the Sooke School District (SD62), alongside learning groups and “sanitation stations” for all education levels.

The school district will divide students into learning groups that will remain in place throughout the entire term or school year – limiting interactions between students to reduce contact outside the group.

“Health and safety and honouring student choice are at the foundation of our plan,” says a statement from Ravi Parmar, SD62 board chair. “We knew staff and families had questions, so we wanted to implement measures that would build confidence and meet the strong guidelines set by Dr. Bonnie Henry and the provincial health office.”

READ ALSO: Students in line to graduate high school will graduate, SD62 superintendent says Elementary and middle school students will return to in-class instruction full time, but secondary schools will follow the 1/8th model – where students attend school every day for either the morning or afternoon for only one course at a time for roughly five weeks.

Schools will also be outfitted with “sanitization stations” at entrances.

Scott Stinson, SD62 superintendent, says the 1/8th model drastically reduces the number of people in a cohort as well as the number of people in common spaces.

“Outside of their a.m. or p.m. class, students will have the remainder of the day for self-directed learning – either at home or on-site where they can receive additional support or access resources,” Stinson said.

SD62 has not had in-class instruction since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. School staff are returning to schools on Sept. 8 to 9, while the gradual return of students is set to begin on Sept. 10.

For more information on the SD62 reopening plan, visit sd62.bc.ca.

READ ALSO: Grad events, prom cancelled for SD62 students


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