The Fernie Academy prepares to reopen their doors in September. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Fernie Academy prepares to bring students back

New mandates include reduced class sizes, physical distancing, and the obligatory use of masks

As schools prepare for a COVID-conscious return to school, The Fernie Academy is taking a number of precautions to ensure the utmost safety of their students and staff.

Among new directives are those involving learning groups, a measure recommended by the Provincial Health Officer to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

Learning groups, otherwise referred to as cohorts, are defined by the Ministry of Education as, “a group of students and staff who remain together throughout the school quarter, semester or year and who primarily interact with each other.”

Currently, the Ministry of Education is mandating that elementary and middle school learning groups remain under 60 people, and that secondary school learning groups cap off at 120 people.

To limit interpersonal contact, The Fernie Academy is dividing their class sizes in half, with exceedingly small cohorts of roughly six to 12 students, with a possible exception of 15.

Their students will attend school in alternating cohort times, maintaining full academic days however reducing hours by limiting their physical education and fine arts programming.

The students and staff of The Fernie Academy are expected to practice physical distancing while in their learning groups, while also ensuring that students wear masks and teachers use face shields at all times.

“We foresee return to school as a collaborating event, and are counting on the whole community to participate,” said head of school, Jocelyn Sombrowski. “If everyone follows the same guidelines and we are all diligent and careful, we are mitigating risk.”

Though The Fernie Academy seeks to start running classes on September 1, their start date will not be confirmed by the Ministry of Education until August 26.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

backtoschool

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

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read