Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Most students will have rotating schedules for June 1 return

Arrows on the floor mark the one-way directions for students walking the hallways of Monterey middle school.

The return to school isn’t the same, and no one expected it would be.

“If you want to go the bathroom, you might need to do a lap around the long way,” Monterey principal Ken Andrews explains. “We are lucky here, the way the school is set up, we can organize the hallways into loops.”

These traffic pattern guidelines come from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and the district’s own Joint Occupational Health & Safety Committee.

READ ALSO: During COVID-19 think of parents as facilitators, not teachers, says school board chair

It’s all in preparation for the Greater Victoria School District’s (SD61) June 1 return to school, when it welcomes back all students on an optional basis. These are in addition to the current student population of 1,100 (of 20,000 total) whose parents and guardians are essential service workers (ESW), or whose livelihood and education has been particularly vulnerable during COVID-19.

Some schools are currently at 80 for ESW children while some are below 10.

“They’ll grow as businesses open,” Green said.

However, not all are expected to return, and for those who do, school will be part-time on a “rotational basis,” said superintendent Shelley Green. Children of essential service workers can attend full time, if needed, while rotational students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 can attend two full days a week. Grade 6 to 12 rotational students will be invited to attend around 20 per cent of the week, which is one day or could be two half days.

That number will vary based on needs, Green added.

“It’s not necessarily based on a maximum of students per room, but rather it’s based on space between students, traffic patterns and total numbers,” Green said. “The students will experience things [such as] how you line up outside the grocery stores.”

For instance, not all students are expected back.

Students at Monterey middle school pass the soccer ball around a circle on May 22, one of the approved interactive games. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

“[We’re hearing] some families are happy to keep the kids, they’re in a nice routine and will finish the year from home,” Green said. “So we’re anticipating that we’ll have enough space.”

While schools in SD61 did remain open throughout the COVID-19 crisis to the children of essential service workers, all schools reopened May 19 with an expanded list of students in ESW families. It’s this transition period that directional lines and other protocols can be tested to ensure spacing.

And for students struggling with difficult high school courses or children who have additional learning needs, schools have made efforts to provide additional learning time, Green said. There were already vulnerable children brought back to Monterey and other schools, “those kids who weren’t coping well,” Andrews said.

There are many cases of teachers checking in regularly who will also be able to provide additional face-to-face teaching for those struggling with challenging classes.

“Some of the more specific courses are challenging,” Green said. “I think about what it was like in Math 12 for me, and others, who need that additional tutoring. It’s been difficult probably for some of our high school students to stay on target, so they might have an opportunity to come in for that added time.”

While there is also concern about the financial impact on the district’s international student program, which is a revenue generator, what those impacts are is still to come, Green said.

READ MORE: About 80 children of essential workers attending school in Greater Victoria

“We didn’t lay anyone off, we kept all staffing intact and worked through [the COVID-19 pause] with everybody,” Green said. “With international students, [COVID-19] has curtailed the number of students. We’re still receiving interest [for the program] and will follow safety guidelines for that.”

Until then, the district is hoping the number of staff retirements this summer could offset the losses from the international revenue, Green said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Greater Victoria schools to reopen with one-way hallways, rotating class schedules

Just Posted

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read