Robyn Gray, superintendent of the Cowichan Valley school district, said planning is underway to provide education to students during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. (File photo)

Cowichan Valley school district planning how they’ll teach kids during school closures

But many teachers involved with planning are in isolation

The Cowichan Valley school district said it is preparing plans to provide education to its students during the school closures announced Tuesday, March 17, due to the COVID-19 crisis.

But Robyn Gray, the superintendent of the Cowichan Valley school district, said that although the district senior leadership and educational teams are continuing to plan for providing educational services in the Valley, district officials realize that a fundamental shift in the district’s educational delivery model will take time.

“Many of our staff were caught out of the country when the travel advisories and recommendations for self-isolation were first announced,” Gray said.

“Most of those staff are back with us now, but will be following the request by the provincial health officer, Dr. Henry, to self-isolate. Therefore, the staff who will be helping put these detailed educational opportunities together will not be ready for a number of weeks. It’s important to recognize that these opportunities will not look the same as, or replace, traditional in-class instruction.”

Gray said that by practising social distancing, including staying at least two meters away from anyone else and practising good hand-washing hygiene, people can do their parts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and let the district return to its regular routine sooner.

“Thank you again for supporting the health of our community, and for your willingness to be flexible in these trying circumstances,” she said.

Education Minister Rob Fleming announced on March 17 that in-class instruction in public schools in the Valley, as well as across B.C., is to be cancelled until further notice due to the growing COVID-19 crisis.

“Planning is now being made as to how we can continue education and to coordinate initiatives within each school district, and announcements will be made when those plans are developed,” Fleming said at the time.

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