As the first day of school draws closer Sun Peaks’ parents and teachers are considering what classrooms may look like this year. At Sun Peaks School, (previously Sun Peaks Elementary School), principal Mike Johnson, said things won’t be too different.
While all COVID-19 protocols will be in place, the school’s regular operations and class groupings already align with new guidelines from the provincial government.
Johnson said for now the school will offer only in-class learning but that is possible to change as required, as seen in spring when the pandemic first affected schools.
Three different cohorts will exist within the school, which will include grades eight and nine for the first time this year. There will be a primary, intermediate and grade eight and nine cohort which will all have their own exclusive teachers. This year is the first time the school has taken on grade eight and nine students.
“I mean, it’s actually in many ways a good year because it’s a small cohort,” he said. “And I know Keith [Massey, the grade eight and nine teacher] has been working really hard to set up a really good program for them…the desks have arrived, all of the boards are set up, the classroom is all ready to go. We’ve received a whole bunch of our resources, including Chromebooks. So we’re really excited for it. I’m really excited.”
Teachers will also take advantage of the many outdoor spaces to encourage distancing and safety, something Johnson said is already common in the school.
“We’re going to use the outside as much as we can. Teachers are already using it, we did so much work outside last year, I was with the K-ones and they were doing patterning outside, going for walks, and doing science experiments. It was really neat to see. And I know they’ll do a lot of that this year.”
Other changes include increased health and safety protocols such as more, and better, hand washing, more cleaning and keeping cohorts apart.
“That’s our goal, safe but a great learning environment. Health and safety is at the forefront of our mind while still providing a great learning environment.”
Students will be in classrooms for an orientation on Sept. 10 or 11.