Parents and students at Central elementary in Chilliwack on June 1, 2020 for the first day back to part-time and optional school since March 12, 2020. Students are expected back in class on Sept. 10, although the school district has added a transition plan to learn from home. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack school district and board chair confident in plan to return to classrooms

Parents with continued concerns about pandemic urged to contact school to discuss options

Learning from home — with a Chilliwack teacher — is now an option for some Chilliwack students.

Initial plans for school re-start in this district included only in-class learning, or the new Hybrid Program which combines home and school. Distance Learning via Fraser Valley Distance Education is temporarily halted for a pre-planned restructuring. With that in mind, families who don’t want to send their children back to bricks and mortar schools were advised to seek out programs from other districts, or private companies.

READ MORE: Distance ed not an option this semester in Chilliwack school district

But that didn’t go over well with many local parents, who didn’t want to lose connection with their local schools.

Then on Monday, Aug. 31, the Chilliwack School District released a new plan for students with various concern about being in class (see attached PDF below). Their Learn From Home: Transition Support program is open to elementary, middle and secondary students.

The information is posted to their website with full details, at www.sd33.bc.ca, where the district has been keeping a dedicated page for all back to school updates. For students learning from home, for elementary and middle school, a teacher will support “key learning areas,” including language arts, math, and core competencies.

For secondary students, a teacher will connect with the student at home for the first octet semester.

In all cases, the Learn From Home option is meant to be temporary, and the students will have the option of returning to in-class learning.

The Learn From Home option will not include French Immersion.

Dan Coulter, board chair for the district, says they are confident in the plans moving forward.

“The science that the provincial health officer has given us is pretty clear,” he says. “We think we can offer face-to-face instruction safely. But we do understand some people can’t do face-to-face because of compromised members of their family or for themselves, or they may just be nervous to return.”

He underlined that families with these kinds of concerns need to connect with their children’s schools and teachers, as each student, school and situation is different from another.

“I think if people just connect with their teachers, and learn their options, people will be reassured that we can find a solution for them.”

He added that the district is not anticipating a drop in enrolment at this time.

A townhall meeting is planned for Wednesday night, hosted by the school district senior staff and open to up to 500 parents and caregivers via Zoom. The meeting runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Pre-registration is required via the school district office. Watch for updates from that meeting on www.theprogress.com.

READ MORE: Chilliwack parents invited to online townhall to discuss pandemic safety measures

Staged Restart K – 12 Ed Options by Jess Peters on Scribd


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jpeters@theprogress.com

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