Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna. (Contributed)

Mount Boucherie Secondary School in West Kelowna. (Contributed)

Central Okanagan students go back to school

Superintendent of Schools for School District 23 Kevin Kaardal said about 48.5 per cent of students were registered for in-class learning

Central Okanagan schools are open for students again.

Not all students are back in the classrooms for in-class instruction. According to School District 23’s superintendent of schools Kevin Kaardal, about 48.5 per cent of families registered for in-person learning.

“Of course in all this time, we have had students in the schools. Essential service workers’ children and vulnerable students have been in school since April 6. But this is an increase in the number of students in school,” he said.

In all, about 11,000 elementary, middle and high school students are expected to go back to school over the course of the week.

For elementary students, they’ll be receiving in-class instruction two days a week, with remote learning for the rest of the time. Kaardal said this means a group of students will be at the school on Mondays and Tuesdays, and another group of students for Thursdays and Fridays.

“Teachers are also working in teams. They’re also still continuing to support the students who continue to learn from home,” he said.

Middle and secondary school students are onsite one day a week, with students rotating each day, depending on what each school has scheduled for them.

Kaardal said as a result of scheduling as well as some families’ choice to keep their kids at home, there are fewer students in classrooms, which is making physical distancing easier. The district is also implementing staggered breaks, so when younger students are out on the playgrounds, they can be kept in smaller groups.

He said there has been positive feedback from the parents so far.

“The kids are super excited to be back and the teachers that are there working with them are thrilled to see their students too. And of course, we’re working very hard to stay connected with those students who are learning remotely,” he said.

As for graduation, the district has a plan.

Kaardal said secondary schools in the district have all set up a stage area. Students will be able to pick up their caps and gowns, walk across the stage, and receive their diploma.

“This is going to be done in small groups, one at a time and distanced. But now, instead of a three-hour ceremony, it will take between five and eight days to get all of them on the stage,” he said.

“Then, it will all be put into a professional video, which will include speakers who won’t be at the site but will offer their best wishes to their grads. The video will then be sent back to the students.”

“We are all disappointed. It would’ve been great if we had our normal celebrations between prom and the commencement ceremonies… but we need to follow the provincial health officer’s guidance. But we’re trying to manage and give them some experience that’s a bit of a hybrid where it’s a virtual grad but they can still walk across the stage.”

READ MORE: Kelowna student’s grad petition gains steam

READ MORE: Central Okanagan schools ready to welcome students back


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
Man found dead at Kelowna orchard

Police say the man was working in the orchard at the time of his death; criminality not suspected

Syilx artist Sheldon Pierre Louis contributed a new painting to UBC Okanagan’s public art collection. (UBC Okanagan)
Syilx artist contributes painting to UBCO public art collection

The new painting is titled cax̌alqs — red dress

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

(Contributed)
Collision slows rush hour traffic in Kelowna

Expect delays at K.L.O. Road and Richter Street on your commute Tuesday evening

A conceptual render of the proposed building at 955 Manhattan Drive. (Contributed)
Height not wanted on Kelowna’s Manhattan Drive

City staff said proposed five-storey building poses challenges

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Kay Bartholomew, daughter of the founding owner of Wayside Press, Harold George Bartholomew (Bart Sr.). Outdoor enthusiast and longest-standing Wayside employee, Kay worked for the company until she was 97 spanning 80 years.
PHOTOS: A century of service from Wayside in Vernon

The press and printing company, founded by Harold George Bartholomew, turns 100 in 2021

Spiritleaf, Penticton’s first cannabis retailer opened in 2019. (Western News File)
Penticton expands cannabis store hours to match liquor stores

Cannabis stores are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. in Penticton

Spread out on the staircase of the Kelowna courthouse on June 10, 2021, were several signs with messages calling for justice against Curtis Sagmoen and an end to violence. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News file)
Sagmoen cop assault trial set for 2022

Pre-trial conference set to start process Jan. 26, 2022

Most Read