Sea to Sky students return to school on Tuesday, September 6

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British Columbia public schools are expected to enroll over half a million students in 2022-23; average class size increases to 22.5 students in 2021-22

According to the calendar, there may be 17 days of summer left, but the Whistler student summer vacation is officially over.

As usual, the Sea to Sky School District (SD48) 2022-2023 school year begins the Tuesday following Labor Day, which falls on September 6 this year. The good news ? Students won’t spend their first day of school stuck in a classroom for hours.

Whistler Elementary School students attending Myrtle Philip Community School or Spring Creek Community School will start at 8:30 a.m. before being dismissed at 9:30 a.m., while Whistler High School students Grades 9-12 will be back in class from noon to 2 p.m. Grade 8 students will start their school day at 8:50 a.m. and finish at 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, in Pemberton, the first day for students at Blackwater Creek Elementary School and Pemberton Secondary School will be from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., while classes at Signal Hill Elementary School start at 8:45 a.m. and end at 10 o ‘clock.

“As we approach the start of the 2022-2023 school year, I would also like to take a moment to welcome our returning staff, families and community partners. And, a huge welcome to the families joining us for the first time,” SD48 Superintendent Chris Nicholson wrote in a letter to families, posted in the district’s back-to-school filing. “Thank you for entrusting us with your child’s education. Our staff are truly amazing and we look forward to getting to know you and doing our best for your child.”

Nicholson encouraged parents to attend the first district board meeting of the school year, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, where staff will discuss “our plan for the coming year and [go] on other interesting information,” he wrote.

SD48’s regular school board meetings are usually held at the school board office in Squamish at 6:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month during the school year. The meetings will also be streamed live on SD48’s YouTube channel. (Links will be embedded under the 2022/2023 Board Committee meeting agenda packages on the District website.)

SD48 parents and guardians are also encouraged to download the School News app by Edlio to keep up to date with Sea to Sky school news feeds and calendars.

Two and a half years into COVID-19, communicable disease guidelines in BC schools reflect public health directives

Students breathing a sigh of relief over the easing of COVID-19 restrictions this fall can rest assured they will be breathing fresh, clean air.

Across the hall, the schools’ air handling units were all upgraded to MERV-13 filters before the current school year. (The acronym stands for “minimum efficiency ratio value”.)

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the BC Ministry of Education and Child Care will continue to provide additional funding to school districts for ventilation upgrades. This commitment includes an investment of $48.4 million for 97 new ventilation upgrade and improvement projects in 2022-23, in addition to federal funding of $11.9 million provided in January 2022 to equip classrooms with self-contained, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration units. The province has already funded 84 ventilation upgrade and improvement projects for BC school districts with an investment of $44.5 million in 2021-22, and 78 new retrofit projects. level and improvement of ventilation thanks to an investment of 33.5 million dollars the previous year.

According to the province, the Department of Education “has worked with education partners to update communicable disease guidelines for K-12 schools, based on recently released public health guidance.” up to date “.

These guidelines encourage students and staff to continue to self-monitor for any symptoms of illness, including before coming to school.

Additionally, “wearing a mask will continue to be a personal choice, and that choice will be supported and respected,” the province explained in a news release. “Schools will continue to have masks available for those who want to wear one.”

SD48’s current COVID-19 communicable disease plan says Sea to Sky Schools will notify public health agencies “if an extraordinary number of students and/or staff absences are reported”, and encouraged its students and its staff “to ensure they are up to date on all vaccine recommendations for other communicable diseases, including COVID-19 vaccines.”

The district leaves it up to principals to ensure that staff, parents, caregivers and students are aware that they should not come to school if they are not feeling well. According to the plan, all members of the school community who test positive for COVID-19 “should follow the instructions on the BCCDC website as to how long to self-isolate. By following these guidelines, they can return to school when they are no longer should self-isolate until symptoms have improved and they are well enough to participate in regular activities.”

The BC Center for Disease Control is currently asking people who have tested positive for the virus to self-isolate for at least five days from the onset of symptoms, or five days from the date of the test for those who did not experience symptoms. The agency said people can end self-isolation after this five-day period as long as any fever is gone without the use of fever-busting drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and as long as their symptoms have improved.

While all SD48 curricular and extracurricular programs and activities can resume as normal, individual schools are “encouraged to share evidence-based information and promote opportunities to get vaccinated in partnership with public health and local medical officers of health,” adds the plan.

As Nicholson told families in his back-to-school letter, “It looks like COVID-19 is now in the rearview mirror, and we’re more or less back to normal. Please continue to take care of yourselves and others. following all of our health and safety guidelines.

British Columbia public schools expected to enroll over half a million students in 2022-23

According to the British Columbia Ministry of Education and Child Care, the province’s K-12 education system will accommodate approximately 572,906 funded full-time equivalent (FTE) students in schools. British Columbia Public Offices in September for the 2022-23 school year, pending final enrollment counts. This represents an increase of 1,730 FTEs over the last school year, the province said in the release. In addition, approximately 89,000 BC students attend independent schools.

The average class size in public schools in British Columbia in the last school year was 22.5 students, which was up 1.2% from 2020-21, according to the ministry, but down from the average of 23.5 classes recorded during the 2015-2016 school year. year.

Broken down by year, the average class size for public schools in British Columbia in 2021-2022 was:

  • 22.7 in grades 8 to 12
  • 24.1 from 4th to 7th grade
  • 20.0 in 1st to 3rd grade
  • 18.1 in kindergarten

In the 2021-2022 school year, British Columbia had 1,583 public schools and 371 independent schools.

Based on the number of pupils above, in public and independent schools in 2021-2022 there were:

  • 82,786 students with special needs in the province, 4,484 more than the previous year;
  • 73,983 Aboriginal students in the province, 584 less than the previous year;
  • 69,475 students learning English in the province, 214 more than the previous year;
  • 6,415 students from the francophone school district, Conseil scolaire francophone (SD 093), two more than the previous year; and
  • 53,797 French immersion students in the province, 157 less than the previous year.
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