Candace Spilsbury, chairwoman of the Cowichan Valley school district, said a new at-home school curriculum has been developed for students during the COVID-19 crisis. (File photo)

Cowichan students begin studies again, but not in schools

District introduces new at-home learning curriculum

Students in the Cowichan Valley school district will continue their school year, but not in classrooms.

District officials and teachers have developed a new curriculum during the COVID-19 crisis that will allow students to continue with their educations at home.

Schools in the Valley, and across B.C., have been closed since spring break due to the COVID-19 crisis.

RELATED STORY: ‘BACK TO SCHOOL, IN A VIRTUAL WAY’ FOR B.C. STUDENTS IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Candace Spilsbury, chairwoman of the school district, said local schools and teachers have worked hard over a short period of time to completely re-tool education in a local context, and they have found creative and supportive ways to slowly introduce students and families to this new educational reality.

Spilsbury said that after contacting each student and family in the district last week, teachers have been preparing activities and classes for their students, all of whom are expected to participate.

She said at-home learning will be as extensive as teachers feel is required for each student, but the curriculum won’t be exactly as if they are attending regular school.

“The new curriculum asks teachers to provide personalized, individualized instruction based on a students’ interests and passions and through project-based learning,” Spilsbury said.

RELATED STORY: SOME COWICHAN SCHOOLS TO REOPEN FOR CHILDREN OF ESSENTIAL-SERVICES WORKERS

“It is a strong reliance on positive relationships that helps learning like this flourish. With students being supported in their at-home learning by their teachers, we’re happy to see these relationships continue.”

Spilsbury said that while numerous ways of connecting with the district’s students are being explored, one that has come to the forefront is the tools that support online learning.

She said the district is dedicated to ensuring each family has access to the technology and supports that are required, and families who need technology to support student learning at home are encouraged to reach out to their teacher or principal.

“We have quite a number of computers in our schools that can be used by students at home,” Spilsbury said.

“We’re also looking at other ways that we can support them. As master collaborators, teachers have gathered, created, and shared numerous resources to help engage and work with students.”

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANNING HOW THEY’LL TEACH KIDS DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES

Spilsbury said the overall and broad framework for the new curriculum was provided by the Ministry of Education, but district staff have been working with principals and support staff to tailor-make the curriculum to meet local needs.

“For our graduates, it is important to note that requirements for course completion and graduation have been adapted to the new learning model and support from schools is available,” she said.

“Through these difficult times it is hoped that these strong relationships with teachers that help support education will become a family affair, and be strongly supported through the relationships with the teacher.”

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Put money into addressing causes of flooding

The real issue is Somenos Creek being totally silted up

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Small businesses in Saltair change with the times

Pandemic creates creative thinking to remain in operation

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Council lifts moratorium on committee and advisory body meetings

Meetings to be done by electronic means and streamed to provide transparency for the public

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

44% fewer passengers flew on Canadian airlines in March 2020 than in 2019

COVID-19 pandemic has hit airlines hard as travel remains low

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Most Read