The Vancouver Island North School District has released its plan for back to school. 

It’s part of Stage 2 of the five-stage framework for K-12 education.

The district says under stage 2, students will be organized into a learning group (cohort) in elementary and middle schools, which will be up to 60 people including the staff and students.

Secondary school cohorts will include up to 120 people.

SD85 says learning groups are able to work and play together while minimizing physical contact and students and staff not in the same cohort will be expected to maintain physical distancing.

Four elementary schools fall under the 60 student criteria, meaning each school is considered one learning group or community.

Three elementary schools are expected to be organized into two or more learning groups.

One high school is under the 120 learning group criteria and will operate as close to normal as possible. Two of the district’s high schools with higher enrollment will have to separate into several learning groups.

Schools with one learning group are functioning much the same as before with social distancing protocols in place where possible. These include things such as lining up outside their own classrooms, staggered lunch breaks and increased cleaning protocols.

Elementary schools that need to have between two to five cohorts will be implementing staggered times for students at the start, lining up outside their classroom or entrance and increased cleaning protocols.

Two secondary schools in the district will be moving from the traditional semester system (4 courses/20 weeks) to a quarterly system (2 courses/10 weeks). This means students will be taking two courses each quarter.

Other important changes include students will not be able to use lockers, masks will be required in common areas and hallways, and as soon as they are done with their afternoon classes they will return to buses and head home. 

For more information on the school district’s restart plan, visit the Vancouver Island North School District’s website.