Delta School District’s priority remains fulfilling our purpose and mission of enabling all learners to succeed and contribute to their full potential to the future while at the same time ensuring a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and employees.
Delta’s Back to School Plan
In September, we expect schools to resume under Stage 2 of the Five Stage Framework for K-12 Education which calls for full attendance in classrooms to help minimize learning gaps and provide the academic, social and emotional supports which are essential for every child.
Our back to school plan has two key objectives:
- Ensure a healthy and safe environment for staff, students and the wider school community: We will be implementing all of the enhanced and updated provincial health and safety guidelines.
- Maximise in-class instruction: The majority of students learn best in a classroom with direct contact with their teachers, other professional staff and fellow learners.
Below are the key elements of our plan:
- Daily health checks: We will work together to keep COVID-19 out of the building by encouraging staff, students and families to monitor for symptoms of illness and to stay away from school if they feel ill. Anyone who is sick will not be allowed in school.
- Learning groups: Within our schools, we will be organizing students into learning groups, which are a recommended public health measure to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Learning groups help to reduce the number of different interactions and potential exposure to COVID-19. We will keep our learning groups far below maximum levels – typically at classroom size levels. This will speed up contact tracing, which in turn helps to prevent the spread of illness.
- Physical distancing: Under Stage 2, the only time students and staff must regularly practice physical distancing of 2 metres is when they are outside of their learning group. If students are with their learning group, minimized physical contact is required, but physical distancing does not need to be maintained at all times. Within our schools, classroom layouts will be organized to maximize physical distancing and consistent seating arrangements will be encouraged within learning groups. Please note: Under Stage 2, density limits do not apply. However, if we move into Stage 3 or 4, density limits of 50% and 25% respectively will also apply to the learning groups.
- Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: Students and staff will be asked to wash their hands frequently throughout the day (preferably with soap and water for at least 20 seconds). Additional hand washing stations are being installed, and hand sanitizer and disinfectant will be available in all classrooms. In addition, reminders about respiratory etiquette – the importance of coughing or sneezing into their elbow or a tissue – will be shared frequently with students.
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols: We have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols at all locations in line with the provincial guidelines, and have increased our custodial staffing levels. Maintenance teams have checked all ventilation systems and have confirmed that our air filtration systems meet the provincial standards required. Our maintenance teams will ensure that these systems will provide as much air exchange as possible.
At the elementary level, life will not look a lot different than it did in previous years. A student’s learning group will be their class. At secondary schools, students will see some changes. Secondary timetables will be quartered with students taking two classes at a time ending after 9 to 10 weeks. We are trying to cohort students to remain together over two blocks in each quarter if at all possible. Many students will have a learning group of 30 per quarter.
“Our plan enables Delta students to attend school every day which is so important as in-class instruction provides students with peer engagement, supports their social and emotional development and decreases feelings of isolation,” said Doug Sheppard, Superintendent of Schools. “Our plan also ensures students receive the same amount of face-to-face instruction for most of their courses. We have taken steps to reduce student cohorts below the maximum number allowed where possible, as this will result in less disruption for students if the pandemic requires schools to move between other stages of the education framework.”
Starting September 8, staff will receive instructions about how the updated guidelines will work in their school. This will also allow time for staff to adapt the plan to their school’s needs, adjust to new routines, finalize plans for learning groups and confirm lesson plans.
Students will be welcomed back to class for orientation starting September 10. During this time, they will be assigned to their class, find out who is in their learning group, practise their new routines, and familiarize themselves with how to safely move from the class to outdoor and common areas of the school.
Parents can expect to receive more information from their local school shortly as well as ongoing updates.
For more detailed information on the district’s back to school plan, please visit our website: https://www.deltasd.bc.ca/news-events/news/information-for-parents-guardians-novel-coronavirus/