Only a quarter of local students returned to schools for classes in June. Photo: Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner

School District 8: about 25% of students returned to schools last month

The number of students who participated in part-time classes was below the provincial average

Just over a quarter of students in School District 8 returned to schools for in-person learning in June.

Superintendent Christine Perkins said attendance averaged 25 to 27 per cent. That’s slightly below the provincial average of about 30 per cent, which was announced after the first week of classes last month by the Ministry of Education.

Perkins said concerns about the pandemic kept some students at home. Other parents said they were satisfied with online learning options, or were keeping children home because they were also more available.

“We would have the whole range from the online is really working for us [to] coming back to school has been great because they’re no longer afraid to come back in the fall,” said Perkins.

Students across B.C. were given the option of a partial return to classes on June 1. Kindergarten to Grade 5 schools offered families a two-day per week option in order to keep capacity limited to 50 per cent on any given day.

Grade 6-to-12 schools meanwhile were reopened daily to only 20 per cent of students, who were required to make appointments with instructors.

Perkins said whereas the experience was mostly positive for younger students, those in high school were required to make more adjustments while also trying to complete assignments.

“Early on, it was quite overwhelming because they felt like they got a lot of work and they weren’t able to connect in the classroom,” she said, adding the experience gradually changed, especially for Grade 12 students.

“They were able to go back to school to connect with friends, to wrap up some of their courses in a positive way and experience their virtual grad.”

Even though classes were limited — younger students returned to school just eight times over four weeks — Perkins said there is value in having had the month to work out safety protocols. Arrows have been taped in hallways, sanitizer stations have been set up, and staff understand how their schools need to operate with COVID-19 in mind.

Premier John Horgan has said he hopes schools return to 100 per cent in-class attendance in September. Perkins said if that happens, it will still include health provisions like physical distancing and hand washing.

“If we had waited till September all that would have been a surprise. It would have been a lot of stress,” she said.

“I think what we did was manage to alleviate tons of stress across the entire district and also make it more comfortable for people coming back in September.”

Perkins said she expects the education ministry to announce specific return-to-class plans for the fall semester around Aug. 20.

Related:

School District 8 adds $5 million in facility upgrades over five years

‘I didn’t want to go home’: International students, homestay families learn to live together during the pandemic

Let it rain! Cavalcade sweeps through Nelson

@tyler_harper | tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

CoronavirusEducation

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

Just Posted

Membership drive launched to attract input for new Creston Discovery Centre

For more than 40 years, environmental awareness and educational programs were offered at the Creston Valley Wildlife Area’s original Interpretive Centre

Rossland resident Aerin Bowers completes 19-km swim along Christina Lake

Bowers said her dad inspired her to complete the epic adventure

NDP acclaims Brittny Anderson as Nelson-Creston candidate

The provincial election will be held on Oct. 24

Lit Health Column: Health Benefits of Green Smoothies

“There are quite a number of health benefits to drinking green smoothies, and the ingredients that you can use are limitless.”

Restoring wetlands, restoring culture

“As the community planner for the Yaqan Nukiy, Norm Allard is currently managing a large-scale wetland restoration project on Band land in the Creston Valley; an ecological revitalization of the area that he considers to be wholly interlinked with the cultural revitalization of the local First Nations.”

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Kootenay yearling released into northern wild

Photos: Scroll to the bottom of the story to see Kenzo’s release

Transgender B.C. brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Four more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 31 active cases in isolation in the health region

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Most Read