North Okanagan teachers back to school after spring break

Plans to continue education on track for district’s 8,500 students

Students won’t be heading back to class after spring break, but teachers will.

In-class instruction is suspended but school district staff will be returning to work on March 30. That’s where plans for the continuity of learning will be worked out.

For the 8,500 students in the Vernon School District, that means some form of education will be back on track.

“The majority of our kids will be working from home,” said Joe Rogers, Vernon School District superintendent.

But there may be different plans for elementary-aged children whose parents work in essential services such as medical health professionals, first responders, pharmacists and critical infrastructure workers.

”So they can go to work and potentially save us all,” said Rogers, adding that rules are changing daily therefore plans are constantly in flux.

READ MORE: Kids of Vernon’s essential workers supported

Depending on the number of students requiring in-class instruction, there may be one site or two used within the district.

The remaining students may hear from their teachers even sooner.

“The majority of the kids will get contact from the teachers next week saying, ‘here’s some activities to do outside of the classroom.’”

With so much uncertainty and anxiety the COVID-19 pandemic is creating, the district wants to connect with families and staff to help reduce anxiety.

“Our first priority is the social and emotional support for our students and staff,” said Rogers.

“We’re just trying to work this out for your kids, my kids and our grandkids.”

Meanwhile there are some international students who have chosen to return home to be with their families as some countries have been shut down.

The entire situation is unlike anything students, or teachers, have ever seen. For Rogers there are only a couple of historic moments that compare: 9/11 and the 1963 assassination of the U.S. President.

”The only time I was ever shocked like this I was a little kid, and John F. Kennedy got killed, my mom was crying and I was like, ‘what’s going on?’”

It’s unknown how long this pandemic will last, but Rogers is concerned.

“China’s just starting to come down the curve and it started in September and in Italy it’s still going up.

“If you go up for two months I guess you go down for two months.”

He’s also concerned about the potential for COVID to return.

“Until they find a vaccine this could come back next winter just like any flu.”

READ MORE: Vernon mom with presumptive COVID-19 case shares inside look into self-quarantining


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

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

Just Posted

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Fur Brigade Trail was transportation route in Okanagan Valley

Transportation corridor passed through Nicola Prairie, now Summerland

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Stay away from landfills, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen urges

Residents urged to use curbside collection services, stockpile recyclables during COVID-19 pandemic

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Okanagan women spending quarantine making masks

Group at Predator Ridge, and a colleague in Vernon, keeping busy making surgical masks for others

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read