Next week marks the first time most kids on the North Shore will get a chance to head back to the classroom since March.
For many high school students in North Vancouver, however, a return to the classroom isn’t necessarily in the offing.
About half of families in many Lower Mainland school districts have said they’re keen to see their kids go back to school – including elementary and secondary students in West Vancouver and elementary school students in North Vancouver.
That number could even grow among North Vancouver elementary students, say school officials, as an additional 25 per cent of families indicated they “may be” interested in having students attend.
But in contrast to that, most high school students in North Vancouver will likely not get much time in the classroom in June – unless they make special requests.
Rather than invite all high school students back one day a week for a scaled-down version of their timetable, the North Vancouver School District is choosing a different approach – of concentrating classroom time on students most socially vulnerable or most at academic risk.
“That could be students who are not passing a course or at risk of not graduating, or are really unhappy with their (academic) standing to that point,” said North Vancouver assistant superintendent Chris Atkinson.
Most high school students in North Vancouver will continue to do remote learning, said Atkinson – although he added an increasing number of secondary students are no longer checking in – in part because they are satisfied with their marks.
High school students who want to go to school can still request that by contacting their teachers to arrange in-class tutorial sessions in specific areas they need help in, said Atkinson.
Those students will also be included in schools, he said – as long as high schools don’t exceed maximum capacity set by the provincial health officer of 20 per cent of the student population at any one time.
In a large high school of 1,500 students, that would be about 300 students at any one time.
All high school students will also be invited back to school during the very last week of June to pick up yearbooks, any remaining personal items, and to say goodbye to their peers and teachers.
Elementary school students in North Vancouver whose families indicated they want to go to school will be heading back to the classroom in two groups next week, school district official said this week. One group will attend Monday and Tuesday and the second group will attend Thursday and Friday, with extra cleaning of the schools on Wednesday. There will also be staggered start of day, end of day and recess times.
North Vancouver Board of Education chair Christie Sacré said this week both staff and students are likely feeling a variety of emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety over the prospect of returning to school.
School playgrounds are also reopening next week.