School District staff providing support for students and families

School District staff providing support for students and families

A wide variety of resources, including food for those who need it, are available

With all in-school learning cancelled province-wide for the foreseeable future, School District No. 74 is working to ensure that students and families have the supports they need until classes can resume, although when that will be, and what it will look like, is very much up in the air.

“All schools have sent learning materials home to each student,” says SD74 Board of Education co-chair Nancy Rempel. “Each family has been contacted by staff, and this is continuing, with teachers calling to see how they’re making out.”

She says that some students are working with their own computers at home, and others are working with paper packages that have been sent home to them.

“Some kids are really excited with online learning, doing totally different types of learning. Some are struggling, but for the most part kids are taking it pretty well. They’re missing their friends, but many are enjoying time home with their parents.

“I’m hearing positive stuff from around the district. There are some difficulties in some families, but for the most part I’m hearing positives.”

She urges any families that are having difficulties to contact their school.

“There’s lots of help. Teachers and support are readily available, and just a phone call away. If you’re in doubt, call.”

The district had implemented a universal food program for all students for the 2019-2020 school year, providing free, nutritious lunches for every student, every day. Rempel says that families were asked if the current situation was causing food supply hardships, with kids home all the time.

“Those that said yes are being supported, but each community is different. Some are having food dropped off at students’ houses, others have it available for pick-up at a central location.”

Schools in communities that need it are also providing childcare for the children of tier 1 essential workers, such as doctors, nurses, and first responders. “It gives the district a warm feeling to be able to support these service workers who are working for all of us,” says Rempel. “It’s not huge numbers [of students], but they’re going to the schools, where they’re in a childcare setting, They’re not going to class as such.”

Graduation ceremonies and events have been put on hold throughout the province, and Rempel says that the board has not yet heard anything about what Grad 2020 might look like in the district.

“We haven’t really talked about this yet, as it’s all pretty fresh from when [school closures] first came out. We know that grad students have a lot of uncertainties, and we’ll probably discuss it at the next board meeting.” She adds that as far as she knows, scholarship and bursary opportunities are still available as usual for qualifying students.

Asked about when reopening might happen, Rempel says that hasn’t been discussed as a board.

“We’re waiting to see what the Provincial Health Officer tells us. Currently we have no plans for reopening. We’ll keep on as is until we hear differently.”

In the meantime, she says that many students seem to be enjoying some good family time.

“It’s a good fresh set of family values. Everybody is holding a pretty positive attitude, and we’re happy to be able to support students.”

She adds that while they don’t always want to be directing kids to go on computers, there are a lot of resources available online. “And in Clinton [where Rempel lives], the community is really rallying around, trying to offer kids as much as they can.

“Clinton Communities in Bloom is going to be doing a sunflower growing contest as part of science. Students will learn to grow sunflowers and have fun doing it, and it will give them something to do.”

Rempel notes that the district is doing the best it can to try to offer some stability to students and their families, and keep some sort of education going, while acknowledging that we will never go back to normal. However, she adds that parents aren’t expected to be teachers.

“We’re all there to support the children, so if you can support them that’s great. If you’re having difficulties, call your child’s teacher or principal.”



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusSchools

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

Just Posted

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Police say that a U-Haul truck abandoned in Cache Creek on Jan. 19 (pictured) was being used to transport equipment and supplies consistent with a fentanyl drug production operation. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Rental truck abandoned in Cache Creek believed to be connected with fentanyl drug production

Police seized high end equipment, chemicals, and several firearms

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Interior Health reported two more COVID-19 deaths at Sunnybank Retirement Center in Oliver Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 claims lives of two more South Okanagan care home residents

Five residents of the Oliver care home have died since the outbreak was first declared

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

Most Read