As schools plan to re-open and welcome students back to class this fall, the Fraser Cascade school district has clarified the options available to families who may not want to send their children back to full-time in-class learning.
In an Aug. 31 letter to parents, superintendent Balan Moorthy emphasized that the school district wants all students to return to class full-time. This is Option 1 laid out in the letter, where Moorthy mentions the “extensive health and safety plans” created by each school.
“While we continue to have one of the lowest coronavirus infection rates in British Columbia, we recognize that there are still families concerned about returning to school,” he stated. “As a result, further options are available.”
Options 2 to 4 outlined in the letter involve students either transitioning slowly into in-class learning or continuing to study from home.
Option 2, which could be utilized by students in grades K to 12, involves children learning online or via printed packages with check-ins from teachers and support staff.
“The intention of this option is to have students back in class,” Moorthy stated. Staff would check in with families in this option to see if they can start in October, or by the end of November at the latest.
Option 3, which could be used for children in Grades 4 to 12, involves students learning online through the Western Canadian Learning Network. While the curriculum is delivered by an external agency, student progress is monitored by a classroom teacher from the student’s school. Check ins from teachers or support staff will happen, as will support ‘at scheduled times.’
Option 4 is for families to homeschool their children. This option, which students in Grades K to 12 could opt for, does not involve support from the school district. Usually it would be a family member delivering the schooling without supervision from a teacher.
“Choosing this option means parents must provide and supervise their child’s entire educational program, including curriculum and learning materials,” Moorthy stated.
“We reiterate that the ministry of education and public health have made it clear that we want our students back in school,” Moorthy stated. “We continue to work hard with our school leaders to ensure that schools are ready to support our students.”
The school district is in the process of reaching out to all families in the district to determine their readiness to return their children to school in September. Those who have indicated they are still undecided or won’t be sending their children back will be contacted by their child’s school to see which option suits their family by Sept. 3, the letter stated.
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