Kindy registration opens on Tuesday

 SD83 Kindergarten Registration 2021-22 

To Parents/Caregivers, 

We are looking forward to welcoming you and your child to North Okanagan School District No. 83! Due to COVID-19, there are some changes to the Kindergarten registration process this year: 

1. Kindergarten registration will open at 9am on Tuesday, October 13th and remain open for the rest of the school year. 

2. You may choose to register in-person at the school or online. 

3. Registering in-person: Please phone the school and make an appointment to come in and complete the paperwork, as only one family at a time can be in the school office area. 

4. Registering online: Please email the school to request the online registration link. 

5. You will need to register at your child’s catchment school (based on your physical address) or specialty school (Bastion – Early French Immersion or South Canoe – Outdoor Learning). To access our catchment school locator tool or find out more information about our specialty schools, Click Here

6. Any parents/caregivers requesting a cross-boundary consideration will need to follow these steps:

a. Register at their catchment school (in-person or online) 

b. Complete a cross boundary request form 

c. Have the form signed by the catchment school’s principal 

d. Take the form to the principal of the requested school (for cross-boundary consideration in the spring) 

7. All Kindergarten registrations completed on Tuesday, October 13th are treated as “equal”, so there is no need for line-ups on that day. Registrations received after October 13th, will be date/time stamped and treated on a first come, first served basis. This information will be used to determine placement IF catchment area schools or programs are full. Students with siblings already registered in a Program of Choice (French Immersion or Outdoor Learning) will be given priority if there is limited space.

If you have any questions about the Kindergarten registration process, please contact: Jennifer Findlay, District Principal, at jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca 

Re-opening info for StrongStart Program

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: 

  • 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 

Click here for complete information

New info on school start up

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 8.19.08 PM

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.

What health guidelines are being put in place?
The plan and protocols are being updated and will be posted on the district website (www.sd83.bc.ca ) by August 26.
Click here to view the COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for K-12 School Settings

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 rmacaula@sd83.bc.ca

Note that the Home Learning Opportunities program that School District No. 83 provided through June will not be available this coming year. Parents who are interested in homeschooling their children may wish to visit this website:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/support/classroom-alternatives/homeschooling

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
Ministry of Education Return To School Information
BC Centre for Disease Control website with the most recent information on school safety and child care safety protocols.
The BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 dashboard
7 Tips for talking to kids about COVID-19 poster on the Fraser Health website
All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix are posted here
The Provincial Pandemic Coordination plan

Click here for complete SD83 newsletter

Does your child ride the bus?

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.

Thank you!

Survey closing, finalizing plans for voluntary classes

The survey to determine who is planning on their child(ren) returning to school on a part-time basis, and whether bus transportation is needed, will be closing at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 28.

This will give the schools a bit of time to finalize plans before students return to school on Monday, June 1. If you have not yet filled in the survey please do so here:

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR K-5 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR GRADES 6-12 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

It would be appreciated if you respond to the survey even if you are not planning on your child returning to class at this time.

After May 28, SD83 asks parents and caregivers to contact their child’s school directly if they change the status of whether their child is attending, or not attending, school. Each week school teams will create weekly class organization structures within the 50% normal classroom limits so this information is critical to planning. Also, after May 28, if your child is a bus student please ensure you also register with transportation (250 832-9415) so that they know who to expect on the bus.

Just a friendly reminder that as of Monday, June 1 our school buses are back on the road, school zones are in effect, and school playgrounds are in use during the school day.

Our staff and students will be following many safety protocols around health checks, handwashing, spacing, equipment use and cleaning. We ask for your support in ensuring your child is not sick if attending school, and in driving safely around our buses and schools. We are also asking the public to not use our schools and playgrounds during school hours as we will be working hard to keep student and staff density low and ensuring safety protocols are followed. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated as we do our best to keep everyone safe. Thank you!

Much organization and thought has gone into preparing our schools including:

  • Surveying all families to see if they intend to send their children to school, and how often.
  • Follow up communication to families that have not completed the survey to ensure all families are contacted regarding their intentions for June.
  • Inform parents which days their children will attend
  • Reduce kindergarten to grade 5 Home Learning support and interactions for May 25-29 to allow teachers and staff to set-up classrooms and prepare to receive students
  • Have Health and Safety Teams at each school review the site-based safety plans
  • Put in place health and safety procedures at each school
  • Have every school staff ‘practice’ the week before return to in-class instruction. This will allow us to identify any improvements we need to make before the return of students.
  • Follow Ministry Guidelines around maximum class sizes (50%) and school densities (50% for K to 5) and (20% for Grade 6 to 12) and strategies to minimize physical contact
  • Organize custodial staff for daytime cleaning supports in each school to accommodate occupancy

Did you see our survey?

SD83 recently sent an email and survey to all our parents (with an email listed with their children’s school). By any chance did we miss you?

With the positive news about the decline in COVID-19 comes recent direction from the Ministry of Education to re-open our schools effective June 1, 2020, to provide additional in-class instruction. Parents will still have the option of keeping their children at home, and some home learning opportunities will continue on-line until the end of the school year.

Stage 3 of the Ministry plan allows for students in kindergarten to grade five to attend up to two to three days per week, with students in grades six through twelve attending up to one day per week. Schools will be open five days a week for children of Tier 1 Essential Services Workers and students requiring additional supports. Busing will be available with capacity limits in place.

We are following all Health and Safety Guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC and the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that our schools are safe places to learn and to work. These guidelines include having no more than 50% of students in attendance in grades K-5 and no more than 20% of students in grades 6-12 at any given time.

In order to meet all of the Health and Safety Guidelines, including the limits described above, we will need to know which students will be returning to schools in the coming weeks. Additional surveys will follow shortly to gather more specific information as June 1st draws closer.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR K-5 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE OUR GRADES 6-12 RETURN TO SCHOOL SURVEY

Thank you!

Virtual parent meeting to talk about math!

What is all this math that teachers are sending home? Where are all the worksheets? What is my child supposed to be doing? How do I know if they are on track? What happens if they don’t learn everything this year?

SD83 invites all parents to join us in a virtual meeting on May 12 at 6 p.m. to talk about the kinds of math that SD83 is hoping students can be working on during this home learning time and how that matches with the math we have included on our home learning opportunities pages.

changed math meeting

To join the virtual meeting just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12th please click here: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_OTZlNzJkYTEtODA0Yy00MTY2LTljMjgtNjY2ZjQxYjAxYzVl%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2287a1ffa4-963f-450e-8d90-155de78d9be5%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22ae0930ac-c822-4a6b-91ca-ae7bf9cb0ffc%22%7d

We will talk about things to watch for as your child works on the math, and how you can support their learning. The focus will not be on how to actually do the math, although in the Q &A we can certainly help with that, but on questions you can ask your child to help them deepen their understanding of the concepts they are working on.

We will discuss the different types of math activities that you might be seeing sent home, including why these activities were selected and how your child can use them. We will also spend some time talking about ways to help them learn basic facts.

There will also be question and answer opportunities through the virtual meeting. Bring your questions and join us for a rich mathematical discussion. If you would like to email your questions ahead of time, please send them to vedgell@sd83.bc.ca with Parent Math Night question as a subject.

Easing children’s anxiety

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education and Health’s EASE team has been hard at work adapting EASE classroom activities for use at home by parents and caregivers to support children’s mental health and continuous learning.

EASE at Home is a collection of fun and practical strategies to help guide parents and caregivers in managing their children’s anxiety and worries in the comfort of their home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The links below include suggestions for fun and engaging activities:

EASE at Home – Grades K– 3

EASE at Home – Grades 4 – 7

For more everyday activities and resources to help support continuous learning while families are home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, view the Ministry of Education’s Keep Learning BC website https://www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning/ and First Nations Education Steering Committee’s website. http://www.fnesc.ca/continuous-learning/

More information is available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/child-teen-mental-health/ease

Supporting essential services

Part of the government’s direction to school districts during this challenging time is to provide some support for the children of Tier 1 essential service workers who have no other child care options. This has caused some confusion with parents as many are on the essential services list, but not necessarily in the Tier 1 group. Hopefully the following information will help provide clarity.

Click on this link for more details.

Calling all families

teacher calling

We just wanted to let parents know that with the unprecedented number of phone calls teachers are making to students and parents, many of these calls will not be coming from our school phone number.

Some of the calls may show up as No Caller ID.

Some will show up on your call display as (236) 600-9089.

Please answer as it will be a teacher attempting to contact you. Thanks!

If you missed Monday’s letter to parents explaining about the phone calls please click here.