Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is gearing up for a resumption of in-class instruction beginning in June. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is gearing up for a resumption of in-class instruction beginning in June. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

School district reveals restart plans for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

K-5 students will see two days of instruction a week, 6-12 students once a week

With in-class instruction expected to resume next week, Nanaimo Ladysmith school district’s restart plan has been approved by the ministry.

B.C.’s Ministry of Education halted kindergarten-Grade 12 classes in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the province easing restrictions, parents can choose to return children to school part-time, beginning Monday, June 1. Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ restart plan was approved by the ministry Thursday afternoon, and according to the school district, no more than 50 per cent of students from kindergarten-Grade 5, and no more than 20 per cent of Grade 6-12 students, will be in attendance at a time.

Scott Saywell, school superintendent, elaborated on the plan at the school board’s meeting Wednesday. Students in kindergarten to Grade 5 can return to school two days a week, students in Grades 6-12 can attend once a week.

“We will also be encouraging some of our most vulnerable students to come back full-time and we will be able to accommodate them, as well as students with diverse abilities,” Saywell said. “We’re looking forward to engaging them once again.”

The district’s plan will see students from K-7 split into two groups (A and B). Group A students from K-5 will be in class Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Group B students Thursdays and Fridays. Group A students from Grade 6-7 will be in school Tuesdays and Group B students on Thursday.

Grade 12 students will be in class Mondays, Grade 11s on Tuesdays, Grade 10s on Wednesdays, Grade 9s on Thursdays and Grade 8s on Fridays. Like vulnerable students, children of essential service workers from K-7 can attend school five days a week.

RELATED: B.C. schools to begin part-time instruction June 1

RELATED: COVID-19 causes suspension of K-12 in-class instruction

RELATED: NLSF finds new ways to feed students in COVID-19 times

In terms of social distancing, only half the desks in a classroom will be used, up to a maximum of 16 desks, said the school district. Each classroom will have disinfectant spray and gloves.

“Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves are not needed, beyond those used by staff as part of regular precautions for the hazards normally encountered in their regular course of work,” the plan document said.

For parents who decide to let their children continue remote learning, teachers will continue their support and schools will “adjust learning opportunities throughout June” based on student attendance, according to the document.

While other provinces, such as Ontario, have cancelled class for the rest of the school year, Saywell told trustees Nanaimo-Ladysmith won’t be doing likewise as the number of COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island “is almost non-existent now.”

“We have one case in the hospital and we haven’t had any new cases in almost three weeks now,” Saywell said Wednesday night. “About 900,000 people on the Island, one case in the hospital, that’s about a one-in-a-million chance right now and so the work that we’ve been doing for the last little while … has been producing dividends. It is very safe, right now, to send children back to school.”

The superintendent also said resumption is a critical part of the province’s plan to restart the economy and it would benefit vulnerable students.

“Another reason is that the longer we are out, our most vulnerable learners are impacted the most and for that reason we have to get them back into school as quickly as possible,” Saywell said. “Finally, I think a good reason to be restarting now is this will give us a really good indication of things to expect in September and onward.”

Nanaimo Christian School, independent from the school district, has a similar restart plan, according to principal James Sijpheer, who said students will be back on site June 1.

“We’ll have about 30-35 per cent of K-5 students on campus at one time and the middle school and high school, the target is 20 per cent,” said Sijpheer.

K-5 students will be divided into Monday-Wednesday and Tuesday-Thursday groups, while middle school students and high school students get one day a week of on-campus instruction, as selected by parents.

Grade 6-8 students will see their day of instruction Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Monday and Tuesdays are for Grades 11 and 12 and Wednesday and Thursdays are for Grade 9-10.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


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

Just Posted

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: Vancouver Island in a January spike while B.C. cases decrease

Island’s top doc Dr. Stanwick breaks down the Island’s rising numbers

A downed power line has sparked a brush fire along Yellow Point Road south of Nanaimo. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Downed hydro line sparks brush fire in Yellow Point

North Oyster firefighters and B.C. Hydro on scene along Yellow Point Road

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Heavy flows of water pooled on Davis Road after a lead to a fire hydrant burst on Thursday Jan. 21. (Jim Tredwell photo)
Fire hydrant connection burst at Davis Road and Battie Drive

Crews worked well into the night on Thursday Jan. 21 to staunch the flow of water

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP have arrested a prolific offender who is now facing more than 40 charges. (Black Press file photo)
‘Priority offender’ arrested in Cowichan Valley faces more than 40 charges

Tyler Elrix, 37, had a history of evading police; was ordered not to be in Vancouver Island

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

Most Read