Education Re-start Plan Stage 2

Re-start Plan


This is where you will find information about our Education Re-start Plan. If you have questions, please email us.

Read our re-start plan here.

Updates from SD73


August 26, 2020  - Education Re-start Plan Approved 

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

SD73’s Re-start plan has been approved by the Ministry of Education. You can read it here. Our operational guidelines, developed with our education partners and health authorities, ensure a consistent districtwide approach to keep schools safe for all students, teachers and staff. 

I understand these are anxious times, but as Dr. Bonnie Henry says, We need to learn to live with this virus, and that is done by respecting the health and safety guidelines outlined in our plan.   

It is important for the social development of children that they return to school. And, our staff are ready to support you as you prepare for the education of your child(ren). Please watch for communication from your child(ren)’s principal and teacher regarding back to school orientation and classroom placements.  

Our staff and school principals have been hard at work throughout the summer to ensure a successful and safe return to school that aligns with the requirements of the Provincial Health Office and the Ministry of Education.  

For more information, please visit our website and do not hesitate to reach out to your school to discuss your child(ren)’s needs.  

Together we will keep each other safe while ensuring that your children receive the education they need and deserve. 



School re-starts the week of September 8. Please read a summary of our Education Re-start Plan below. 

September 8 and 9 

On September 8 and 9, all staff will be instructed in the updated health and safety guidelines specific to their school. Teachers and staff will use this time to adjust to their new routines, finalize plans for learning groups, review health, and safety protocols and prepare lesson plans that teach students how to protect themselves and others while at school and in public. During these two days staff will contact families directly to inform students about their first day.  


September 10 and 11  

Students will return to school for one full day only during this week. Staff will advise families which day their child is scheduled to attend. On this day, students will be assigned to their classes and meet the children assigned to their learning group. Students will also be taught the health and safety routines and protocols and learn how to move safely within the school.  


Mental Health and Well-being 

Equity and inclusion are a particular focus in our plan. Schools will continue to deliver support and services for students on Inclusive Education Plans. Options and support for students with underlying complex medical needs will continue. 



School buses will run at regular times. Middle and secondary students must wear masks while on the bus. New health and safety guidelines will be followed. This includes loading from back to front and offloading from front to back.  


Further Information 

For more details, we encourage parents to check the FAQ we have posted to our parent resource page on our district website. If parents have a question specific to their children and school, we ask them to contact their principal after August 31. For more general questions, please send us an email.

August Updates
 August 20, 2020 

Dear parents and guardians:

As we all prepare for the school year ahead, a big part of getting ready is having all the facts.  This update offers highlights some of the frequently asked questions you have been asking, the new provincial operational guidelines, and the district’s progress on our Education Re-start Plan for September. We thank you for your patience as we get the Re-start Plan in place.

We have updated our FAQ on the Parents’ Resource Page. Here are the most asked questions:

  1. Is the return to school mandatory? Will there still be online instruction available for those who do not wish to return to school?

In Stage 2, as is currently outlined by the provincial authorities, all students are expected to return to school. Online and Distributed Learning may be available. Guardians should contact their regular school principal after August 31 to discuss program options.

  1. 2.    What are the options for parents in sending their children to school?

The hybrid model of in-class instruction and remote learning that was offered in June will not be available this fall. Parents have the option to send children to in-class instruction or they can choose Online and Distributed Learning. Online and Distributed Learning provides the BC Curriculum to students with a BC certified teacher in an online format. A third option is homeschooling, which is usually provided by a family member and this does not provide an option for a BC Certificate of Graduation or a “Dogwood Diploma”.

Parents and guardians who are considering moving their children to Online and Distributed Learning or homeschooling are asked to contact their school principal after August 31. Moving a student means they will leave their current school. For planning purposes, we ask parents and guardians to notify their school to advise if their child is leaving. If there is a decision to later return to their school, they will need to re-apply for a seat in a School of Choice, or re-register in their Neighbourhood school.

  1. 3.    Can students stay registered at their current school and do the Online or Distributed Learning option?

No. Online and Distributed Learning is provided through a distance learning school such as @Kool. This method of learning is not connected to your current school. It is a separate school with an alternate method of education delivery.

  1. 4.    Will there be a mask requirement?

Masks will be required for staff, middle and secondary students in high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas such as hallways or anytime outside of their learning group whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons.

The Provincial Health Officer does not recommend mask for elementary children. More   information is here.

  1. 5.    What provisions are being made for children at risk?

Parents of children with complex medical conditions or underlying risk factors are being directed to consult with their health care provider to determine their child’s level of risk regarding a return to school. Protective self-isolation is only recommended for children who are severely immunocompromised on a case-by-case basis. Please ensure to discuss your child’s needs with your school principal.

  1. 6.    Is there going to be extra help for children with special needs?  How is it going to be delivered?  Will there be more support staff?  

School teams will continue to develop Inclusive Education Plans, programs and services to provide additional support to students. The delivery models and number of support staff will remain the same.

  1. 7.    Will school bus transportation be affected?

School buses will be running in their regular schedules. Additional health and safety precautions will be taken.

K-12 Operational Guidelines

We have received updated operational guidelines to help keep us aligned with provincial standards to keep schools safe for all students, teachers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more about the updated guidelines, read the BC Ministry of Education’s August 17 news release.

Education Re-start Plan – Progress Report

Since August 10, when we were provided with the provincial framework, we have been finalizing our Education Re-start a plan for a Stage 2 return to school for all students in the district. On August 17, we began sharing an outline of our technical plans with partner groups for consultation and feedback. This week, the Board of Education will receive the Education Re-start Plan, and then it will be submitted to the Ministry of Education.  

Key dates for parents:

August  26, 2020 – SD73 communicates the final Education Re-start Plan to parents, staff and the wider community in the district.

September 1, 2020 – Schools begin communicating specific schedules directly to parents and guardians.

September 8 & 9, 2020 – SD73 teachers and support staff return to school for detailed orientation and training. 

September 10 & 11, 2020 – SD73 students return to school.

We know you still have questions. Please keep asking them! You can send your questions to  We will compile an FAQ which you can access on our Parents’ Resource Page on our District website, in addition to providing you with regular updates through email.

Thank you,

Trish Smilie,

Bill Hamblett

SD73 Assistant Superintendents

 July 31, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:

We know the 2020/2021 school year will look different for students, staff and parents, and it is important we keep you informed as the SD73 Education Re-start Team develops our plan for September.
On July 29, 2020, the Ministry of Education announced that schools are re-opening at Stage 2 in the Five Stages Framework for K-12Education. Our Education Re-start Team is currently working on developing a Re-start Plan for SD73. Our goal is to keep you informed every step of the way. 
Below you will find information about how students will be brought back; what steps will be taken to protect students; and, why it is so important that we do everything we can to bring your children back to the classroom in September.
How we know this is a safe plan
We know that British Columbia ranks among the top jurisdictions in the world for its response to the global pandemic. Under the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the safety of BC students and staff has always been the focus.
We also know the science shows that children are at a much lower risk of contracting and transmitting the virus, and therefore the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Ministry of Education have determined that K-12 schools in the province can re-open safely for in-class instruction.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said, during the July 29 announcement, that organizing schools into learning groups helps to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in the event of an outbreak and allows students to return to school with low risk. Dr. Bonnie Henry says that “we’ve gone to this cohort system, because that’s how we could manage it effectively.”

We are confident that we can return to school in September while supporting the health and safety of children and adults under the guidelines published by the Provincial Health Office.

Therefore, for September, students will be placed into learning groups of 60 in elementary and middle schools, and 120 in secondary schools. The details are still being determined by individual school districts across the province, including SD73.

Please know we are committed to telling you as much as we can, as soon as we can.
What steps will be taken to protect students and teachers 
Keeping everyone safe and providing for the health and well-being of students and staff during this pandemic is a priority.
We have implemented public health infection control measures including staying home when ill, physical distancing, minimal physical contact, hand hygiene and frequent cleaning and disinfection. 

There will be deep cleaning on a daily basis, bolstered by additional funding from the Provincial Government. Face masks will be provided to teachers, support staff and most students. There is increased funding to access current technology, and increased funding to ensure all students with special needs have access to adaptive technology and software.
Why it is important for students to return to school
The impact of school closures on students is profound. Global research tells us it disrupts the learning process and long-term outcomes for students.
It goes beyond learning loss. Students suffer impacts to their mental health and well-being, and some suffer from food insecurity and loss of access to health services.
Dr. Trevor Corneil, Medical Lead in the Office of our Provincial Health Officer has expressed his concerns that these impacts may affect students for the rest of their lives, and even into the next generation.
We know you have questions. Please ask them!
You can send your questions to  We will compile an FAQ which you can access on our Parents’ Resource Page on our District website, in addition to providing you with regular updates through email.
Please take care of yourselves, and thank you.

Updates from the British Columbia Government

We will continue to share updates with you as we receive them.

September 4, 2020

 July 30, 2020
Plan to Safely Bring K-12 Students Back to Class Full Time

Enhanced safety measures and additional resources will enable most students in grades K-12 to return to school on Sept. 8, 2020, with full-time in-class learning as the province moves to Stage 2 of B.C.’s Education Restart Plan. Read more here.

Useful Links

Stage 3 Archives

Stage 3 Archives information can be found here.

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