Mission School Superintendent Angus Wilson provided an update to parents on March 1, saying classes will be returning to normal in September – hopefully.
“We do appear to be nearing the end of most restrictions as we head towards summer,” the letter says.
“The Provincial Health office has indicated that this summer may begin a return to normal.”
The Ministry of Education is suggesting that by fall they will enter “Stage One.” This effectively ends the cohort system which divided the student population into groups to prevent the number present in schools at any given time.
Wilson cautioned that much is still subject to change, and they need to remain flexible.
“They have indicated that there will still be some guidelines in place,” Wilson said, adding they haven’t received word on what those specific guidelines will be.
“We might have, you know, more robust cleaning requirements or continue to have sign in sheets when you enter the building those kinds of things.”
They are also still waiting to see if there will be continued funding for those extra cleaning requirements.
The Mission School District allocated an additional $467,000 in operations and maintenance costs in their 2020 budget, before the provincial government eventually helped subsidize these extra COVID-19 costs.
Parents who took their kids out of physical classrooms to enroll them at Summit Learning Centre for remote lessons will have to re-register with their former schools by the end of June, Wilson’s letter says.
“For September of 2021, you actually need to decide which one you’re going to be in .. because we can’t fund both,” he said.
In a typical year before COVID-19, Summit Learning Centre had anywhere from 40 to 60 students enrolled, according to Wilson, and this year those numbers ballooned for almost 400 students.