Referring to it as a ‘crisis situation’ Premier John Horgan said classes at schools in School District 67 are now suspended until further notice. (File photo)

COVID-19: Questions remain regarding remainder of SD67 school year

SD67 anticipates decision will be made tomorrow as to how they will proceed amid COVID-19 pandemic

Uncertainty surrounds the remainder of the school year for K-12 students in the South Okanagan, following an announcement by the B.C. government today that classes would be suspended.

Referring to it as a ‘crisis situation’ Premier John Horgan said classes at schools in School District 67 are now suspended until further notice.

B.C.’s total number of COVID-19 cases jumped to 186 Wednesday, as 83 cases were added to the public health database and three more people died after contracting the novel coronavirus, bringing the total amount of deaths to seven.

Gatherings of 50 or more people have been banned and health officials are telling people to stay in Canada.

READ MORE: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools due to COVID-19

SD67 Chair James Palanio says this announcement didn’t catch them by surprise, and staff has already begun meeting to decide next steps. He anticipates they will decide tomorrow (Wednesday) what the rest of the school year will look like.

“We will basically await to hear word as to how we’re going to incorporate some sort of online learning as best we can,” said Palanio. “I don’t know if it’s going to be provincially dealt with or if it will be district by district.

“We’re basically still learning as we go.”

On March 13 UBCO announced they were moving all classes online, amid COVID-19 concerns. However Palanio says it’s a different story for elementary and secondary schools.

“That is the difficulty here; we obviously have our grade 12s, which are probably the most concerned I would think,” he said.

Although waters are still muddy, Palanio provided some reassurance saying those grade 12s with passable grades currently will still graduate.

READ MORE: COVID-19: UBCO moving to online classes

Online learning, he said, is realistic for the older grades, however will pose challenges for the younger grades. Referring to his 10-year-old in Grade 5, Palanio suspects it might be difficult to keep her engaged. And younger than this, he speculated online learning may not be doable.

This news in relation to COVID-19 has forced some school districts to temporarily put projects on the back-burner, including annual budget.

“We’re still trying to deal with our budget, as all districts are, with the budgets going forward, and this is certainly taken priority now,” he said.

Palanio says they’re currently focused on calming anxieties and abolishing uncertainties, and expect to know more tomorrow (Wednesday) after SD67 superintendent Wendy Hyer meets with school administrators.

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Community of Oliver salutes frontline medical staff

“Honk for the unsung heros. Thanks to each and every one of you”

Summerland’s April 1 snow measurements above normal

Measurements taken at Summerland Reservoir and Isintok Lake

COLUMN: Responding with the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy

Support available for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Okanagan Skaha School Board does not anticipate closures

School district budget tight as a result of declining enrolment

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

‘We don’t need this right now’: B.C. man breaks up road rage incident

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road in Saanich on Vancouver Island

B.C. schools Zoom to online education amid COVID-19

K-12 educators will receive access this month, up to individual districts whether they use it or not

HERGOTT: COVID-19 and legal issues

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Kelowna’s Father’s Day car show postponed

BOYD Autobody and Glass have made the decision to postpone the car show due to COVID-19

YMCA Okanagan offers virtual classes to keep community healthy in quarantine

This virtual offering, called Y Thrive Home, includes a variety of options for all ages

Princeton businesses donate protective equipment to local health-care workers

Princeton’s doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as well as care providers… Continue reading

B.C. adding $300 to monthly income and disability assistance payments

‘Crisis supplement’ for COVID-19 for April, May and June

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

Migrant worker advocates blame government, employers for West Kelowna COVID-19 outbreak

Migrant farm worker group calls on government for adequate health and safety requirements

Most Read