Parents and students head to Shortreed Community School on Thursday morning for the first of two days focused on COVID-19 safety in the classroom. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Langley students start school year by studying COVID safety

Everything from entering classrooms to walking hallways, even using the washroom will be explained

Thursday, Sept. 10, may have marked a physical return of many Langley students in the classroom, but actual curriculum learning won’t quite beginning just yet – the first two days are dedicated to COVID-19 safety.

Joanne Abshire, communications manager for the Langley School District, said the purpose will be to get students familiar with new health and safety protocols to ensure they are prepared for next week when learning begins.

“A priority will be focused on care and connection; providing an opportunity for students to ask questions, and for staff to hear any concerns they may have,” Abshire explained. “For many of our students, they haven’t been in school since last Spring, so making them feel comfortable and confident will be important.”

READ MORE: Most Langley students back for first time since March

Staff will be teaching students our health and safety measures and protocols, which will include practicing and modelling procedures such as entering the classroom, walking in the hallways, hand washing, using the washroom, staying in their cohorts, physical distancing, and playing in designated zones in the playground.

“The district wants students and their families to know that all of the provincial health and safety guidelines are being met,” Abshire said. “We want parents to know that all of our protocols and procedures are in place to help keep students healthy and safe.”

She added that schools are continuing to communicate with families on the return to school for all options being offered.

“We know that approximately 90 per cent of families will be back full-time in-school next week,” Abshire added. “Currently, the district is determining the number of students who will be in the Transition Support Model as well as students interested in a full-time distributed learning program for Kindergarten to Grade nine.”

READ MORE: Windows not ready at Langley school, despite students returning to the classroom

The communications manager said the district will will have a clearer picture at the end of this week of what the demand is and continue developing plans.

The Transition Support Model for elementary and middle school students will begin on Sept. 21.

Secondary school students in the Transition Support Model will begin on Monday Sept. 14.

Abshire said the district will be updating the community next week on information related to this new model.

People can stay informed and check for updates at www.sd35.bc.ca.

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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