EIDES recently installed new adaptive playground equipment. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

EIDES recently installed new adaptive playground equipment. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

EIDES running smoothly despite new pandemic protocols

Virtual learning and assemblies prove to be successful in schools this autumn

Two months into the new school year, and according to principal Laura-Lee Phillips, the students at École Isabella Dicken Elementary School (EIDES) have been adapting well to socially distant learning and an increase in virtual events.

“There are a lot of creative ways to stay connected, and it seems to be going really well so far,” said Phillips, who mentioned that both teachers and students are adjusting smoothly to all the pandemic-related changes this year.

Hopping on the virtual-learning bandwagon is Chief Joe Pierre, a proud Ktunaxa member who transitioned to hosting virtual Ktunaxa knowledge sessions with EIDES students in an effort to connect with as many kids as possible.

“In a way, we are lucky because now it seems like we get more access to presenters like Chief Joe Pierre, who we didn’t have access to before because they were based out of Cranbrook,” said Phillips.

Due to capacity restrictions, a number of EIDES’s events have also transitioned online, including their parent teacher interviews, which according to Phillips were predominantly virtual this year.

Holding on to past traditions with a socially distant spin, EIDES’s Remembrance Day ceremony and upcoming Christmas presentation will also be hosted online this year, as staff are striving to maintain social distancing at all times.

“We’re continuing to give kids kind reminders to wash their hands, keep their hands to themselves, and to stay home if they’re sick,” said Phillips, assuring the community that the EIDES team is always working hard to keep kids safe while at school.

Among other exciting changes this year was the installment of a new adaptive playground, including an adaptive swing and teeter-totter, thanks to a ministerial grant and input from their Student Services team.

In an effort to promote the French language, EIDES is also welcoming a French language assistant to their staff this year.

“Language assistants help develop students’ knowledge of their language and culture and build their cultural identity by instilling pride and a sense of belonging to the francophone world,” added Phillips.

Despite all the changes, through a successful transition to more options for virtual learning, coupled with the addition of an adaptive playground and French assistant, EIDES is well on their way to achieving their school goal of “building connections” this year.

For more information on their COVID-19 procedures and upcoming events, visit EIDES’s website at sd5.bc.ca/school/ides/Pages/default.aspx.

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