Safe Return To School Guidelines

School District 22 has released a letter with what to expect when everyone returns to school.

Dear Students, Staff and Parents:

We hope you are enjoying the summer break. As we prepare for a safe return to school we understand that there are a range of feelings that staff and families may have. We are working together with the VTA, CUPE, DPAC and our Indigenous partners on our planning.  Principals will be meeting with their staff on September 8 and 9. Some of our students have been out of school for over 190 days and we are looking forward to seeing them. Our top priority is health and safety – including the mental health of our students and staff. Our plan follows the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafeBC and has been approved by the Ministry of Education.


By early next week each school principal will send home communication detailing the specific plan for each school. Principals will also work with their PACs to schedule an online parent meeting to explain their school’s restart plan and answer parent questions.

Elementary Learning Groups

Elementary learning groups will be by division/class with a maximum of 60 or fewer per group. Students will stay in their learning groups including for recess and breaks. Recess and lunch time may be staggered. This will be communicated by the principal at each school.

Secondary Learning Groups

All secondary school schedules are being revised to a quarter system. The year is divided into four quarters and students will take two courses per quarter for approximately ten weeks. There will be one course in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Quarter Dates (tentative)

  • September 10 – November 17 first quarter November 18 – January 29 second quarter
  • February 1 – April 23 third quarter
  • April 26 – June 29 fourth quarter

Charles Bloom & Kalamalka Secondary
The learning groups are organized by grade/combined grades with a maximum of 120 or fewer per group. Students attend all day and have their lunch break organized by cohort group.

Clarence Fulton, WL Seaton and Vernon Secondary

The learning groups are organized in a maximum of 120 students. The schedule will be A block in the morning and B block in the afternoon. Grade 8 and 9 cohorts will attend all day. In grades 10/11/12 students will attend all morning and half the students each afternoon when the learning group/cohort sizes and distancing cannot be maintained. Half of the grades 10/11/12 registered bus students will be bused home at the beginning of lunch. The other half will remain in their B block class. This allows us to

continue to offer the full range of courses students require in the graduation program while reducing class size for physical distancing.

Health and Safety

Our first priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and families. Please note the following:

  • Parents/caregivers are asked to do a health check each morning and not send their child to school if they have any symptoms (Health check form ECP Appendix I, page 61 link here)
  • Staff are asked to do a health check each morning and not to come to work if they are ill
  • Students who become ill during the day will be isolated and picked up by their parents/caregivers as soon as possible
  • Parents of immune compromised students should contact their school principal
  • Students will be organized in learning groups/cohorts and those groups will be maintained throughout the school day
  • Students and staff will be supplied with two reusable masks or can choose to use their own masks
  • Masks for grades K-5 students are strongly recommended on buses, in common areas, and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained outside the learning group or cohort
  • Masks for grades 6-12 students are required on buses, common areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained outside the learning group or cohort
  • Students may use masks within their cohort but it is not required
  • Students and staff will sanitize/wash their hands on arrival and frequently throughout the day
  • Handwashing stations, with soap and water, have been added to portables
  • Cleaning/custodial staff has been increased to provide daytime cleaning of high touch areas and deep cleaning each night
  • Buses will be cleaned after each route
  • There will be staggered times at some elementary schools for student drop off and pick up
  • Secondary students will not have access to lockers and will have lunch and breaks organized by cohorts
  • Directional and safety signage will be posted in all schools
  • Access to schools will be limited to staff and students
  • Parent/caregiver and visitor access will be by appointment
  • TTOCs, EAs, prep teachers, and itinerant teachers who move between cohorts are required to wear masks and physically distance

For our complete Health & Safety Plan please see our Pandemic Response and Exposure Control Plan (ECP) link here.

We look forward to welcoming our students back and believe that by working together and following our health and safety protocols we will have a safe restart in September.

Robert Lee, SD22 Board Chair
Joe Rogers, Superintendent of Schools