We are looking forward to welcoming our North Okanagan-Shuswap StrongStart families back to our programs starting on Thursday, October 1st. StrongStart is a free early learning program for preschool children, 0 to 5 years old, and their parent or caregiver. There will be COVID-19 guidelines in place at all programs to ensure the safety of our families, StrongStart educators, and school community.
Registration for all SD83 StrongStart programs will open on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 and will be ongoing
If your child was previously registered in a StrongStart program in our district, please call the school to indicate that you and your child are interested in attending the StrongStart program again this school year
If your child is new to StrongStart, please phone the school to request a time to come in and complete the registration process
Interested families will need to choose one program to attend as we will not be supporting participation at multiple programs due to COVID-19
Our “Return to School/Safety/Start Up Plan” is available by clicking the link below. We are excited to have all of our students and staff return to a safe, healthy, and happy building! Remember, school for grade 1 – 5 students starts on Thursday Sept 10 from 8:15 – 2:17, and for kindergarten students, there was a special letter emailed to parents that describes their gradual entry. Looking forward to seeing everybody soon!
We are all doing our part to maintain safety during the COVID-19 pandemic and are looking forward to students being back in school. If your child will not be riding the bus, we ask that you call the Operations Department at 250-832-9415 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to advise as soon as possible. It is very important that all drivers have an up-to-date passenger list at all times.
Below are instructions for students to safely ride their school bus during COVID-19.
Students who are sick, or showing symptoms of illness will need to be kept home. Students who develop symptoms while at school will not be permitted to return home on a school bus and should be picked up by a parent or guardian. We are not able to transport students who are ill or showing symptoms.
Parents will be responsible for their child’s safety at the bus stop. Parents must remain with their child K-5 until the bus departs in the morning and then again meet their child at the bus in the afternoon.
To ensure that your child is as safe as possible, please review safety procedures before riding the bus:
Line up with limited contact when waiting for the school bus.
Always follow the driver’s instructions.
When loading onto the bus, go to the furthest available seat unless the driver instructs otherwise.
When unloading the bus, wait until the seat in front has moved before you get up to go, ensure physical distancing is observed.
When space is available students will be seated in the window seat away from the aisle.
When possible bus routes will utilize a strict seating plan that reflects cohort and family groupings.
No eating or drinking (except water) on the school bus.
School Buses will not be accepting unregistered riders which includes after-school friends coming home with a bus student. Alternate transportation will need to be arranged in those cases.
Students from grades 6-12 will be required to wear masks while riding the school bus as directed by the Ministry of Education.
Your child will receive an updated ‘Procedure and Code of Conduct for Bus Students’ form from their bus driver. Please review front and back of form with your child and return the signed bottom portion to the bus driver as soon as possible.
In order to keep students and staff as safe as possible, we will require bus students to follow the above rules very closely to avoid the risk of losing their busing privileges. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping everyone safe.
**PLEASE NOTE: Your child’s school bus driver has the option to wear a surgical mask while driving their bus as well as a face shield/safety glasses when the bus is stopped, and although this has become normal practice for some, please prepare your child for this change in their bus driver’s attire.
As this is an ever changing environment, Ministry needs may change as the school year progresses.
In this unusual year, SD83 would like to share what information we currently have, and hopefully answer some questions our parents may have about the new school year.
When will my child begin school? The Ministry of Education has announced there will be a staggered start to the new school year to give everyone time to become familiar with the new safety protocols.
School District No. 83 staff will report to their schools on Tuesday, September 8 for safety orientations and planning sessions.
Students will report to schools on Thursday, September 10 for their welcoming and safety orientation sessions. Regular learning will commence as soon as appropriate routines are established. School staff will communicate any changes to student schedules. Graduated entry for Kindergarten will still occur in its usual manner.
What is a Learning Group or Cohort? Through the direction of our Public Health Officer (PHO), the BC Ministry of Education has established learning group limits for regular student interactions that occur inside our buildings. Schools are expected to adhere to this expectation for all learning activities, or establish additional safety protocols, including social distancing. Staff that work with more than one cohort of students will also have to adhere to these safety protocols. Click here for information on Learning Groups/Cohorts
Will the school buses be running? School District No. 83 will continue to offer bus services. In late August all bus students will receive a postcard in the mall with a stop location and pick up and drop off times. If you are new to the district and qualify for busing please contact our transportation office at 250-832-9415 to register your child for busing. Please contact the transportation department if you don’t receive yours or if your mailing address has changed.
Please note that additional safety protocols are being finalized for all bus routes. These will likely include seating plans, use of masks for riders in grades four through twelve, as well as PPE for the drivers. Submission of regular health checks may also be required.
Will the school district be staggering school day start and end times? Changes to school start and end of day times are not being contemplated at this time, as many of our students ride to school on our interlocking bus schedule. However, break and lunch times may be staggered in some schools to reduce hallway, playground, and common area interactions.
What is happening at the high schools? High schools are currently investigating timetable options to limit the number of contacts. At this time, some secondary schools in School District No. 83 are considering the use of the quarter system, where students would take two courses a day for ten weeks. To meet the cohort requirements determined by the PHO, but still allow students to stay enrolled in their currently selected course options, some of our larger schools may have to divide the student population into groups, having students attend in-person on certain days and work from home the other days. Secondary leadership teams are currently working on this issue and will notify families as plans are nearer to completion.
Will there be “health checks” like there were in June Parents of bus students may be required to submit health checks, but otherwise, health check forms will not be required. However, it is extremely important that parents pay close attention to the health of their children and keep them at home if they are sick or symptomatic. More information is available here.
Our family has an immune compromised member and we don’t think our children should attend school. What are our options? School District No. 83 is focusing on making our schools as safe as possible for all students. However, if are uncomfortable having your child return to regular learning, you may wish to consider some other options.
School District No. 83 currently has an online option for students in Grades 9-12 known as the Education Outreach Program (EOP). Students in EOP are supplied assignments and resources (such as textbooks and learning activities) as well as some access to a local teacher, but the program is primarily self-directed. The Education Outreach Program currently offers a wide range of online courses to students on a full-time or cross-enrolled basis in Grades 9-12.
School District No. 83 previously offered an Education Outreach Program option to elementary and middle schools student, but it was closed due to lack of demand. We will reopen this program option for the duration of the pandemic if there is sufficient interest. For more information regarding the EOP program, or to express your interest in registering, please contact Education Outreach Principal Rob Macaulay at email@example.com
What about music/band/choir/musical theatre? At this time, all programs will be carrying on as previously planned. However, there music-specific safety protocols and scheduling to allow for sufficient physical distancing for classes outside the set cohort numbers that still need to be worked out. Expect further communication from your school prior to start-up.
Students with special needs? Students with special needs will be given full access to learning and supports, as they would in a non-pandemic context. For more information about your child’s program or to request an individual meeting or orientation, please contact your school.
What about extra-curricular activities (clubs/sports) Schools may continue clubs if cohorts or physical distancing can remain intact. The Fall interschool sports schedule has been cancelled. The remaining seasons of play will be re-evaluated throughout the year. https://www.bcschoolsports.ca/news/planning-return-play-fall-2020
Community use of school facilities? After hours community use of facilities will be allowed in the fall providing they are in full alignment with health and safety measures.
Further Information Further information will be provided via the School District No. 83 website over the coming weeks, including the full District Safety Plan. You can also expect a survey confirming your student’s intentions to attend school and/or utilize bus transportation for September.
Additional links from the Ministry of Education and Public Health
As planning continues for school re-start on Monday, June 1, School District No. 83 (North-Okanagan-Shuswap) transportation department has important information for the parents of any child who will be riding the bus.
Student pick up and drop off times will remain the same for their return to school on June 1st. However, due to lower ridership, parents are requested to please have their children at the bus stop a minimum of five minutes early in the morning. In addition, some high school students may return home a little earlier in the afternoon because fewer people are riding the bus.
Parents who have indicted their child will be riding the bus to school will be receiving an email directly from the SD83 Transportation Dept. with finalized information, later today or early Saturday. Please keep an eye out for it.
Drivers please be aware school zones are in effect. For the safety of all, we ask that everyone remember the importance of stopping for a school bus with red lights activated (We Stop – You Stop), please don’t rush the bus, and ensure you not driving distracted around our students or the bus.