As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does learning for students with those who are in line to graduate high school still able to do so, according to Sooke School District superintendent Scott Stinson.
“Grade 12 students are in a unique position as they come to the end of their public school education,” Stinson said. “This is the time when they are looking at scholarship applications, transition to post-secondary and graduation ceremonies.”
In a letter addressed to grade 12 students in SD62, Stinson says “it is less than ideal” that in-class instruction has been suspended during their final year of high school but that the hard work and dedication of students is not lost on the school district.
The letter assures students that the provincial Ministry of Education has stated that anyone eligible to graduate at present will graduate this year. More details about next steps and how that will look as well as what students are required to do will be made available in “coming days,” according to the letter.
— Scott Stinson (@10stinson) March 31, 2020
When it comes to post-secondary, scholarships and bursary applications, the letter says the ministry is working with federal officials and post-secondary institutions across Canada to ensure a seamless transition to post-secondary schooling for those who will pursue it. More details on that are forthcoming as well, according to the letter.
“We are also continuing to support scholarship and bursary applications,” Stinson says in the letter. “If you have specific questions about deadlines or submission criteria, your school staff will still be there to support you.”
All SD62 staff will also continue to work throughout the pandemic, many of them remotely. Stinson said processes to connect with staff like counsellors are being set up and teachers were expected to reach out to students this past week as well.
Ceremonies such as graduation and prom have not been cancelled yet, but the letter says the school district “will be looking very closely at what unfolds over the next while.”
“If traditional graduation ceremonies are not possible, we will look at ways to celebrate your hard work in other ways,” the letter says.
In an e-mail statement to Black Press Media, Stinson says SD62 is continuing to work with staff and administration to resolve specific issues .
“Learning continues and students should remain engaged with their teachers,” Stinson says.
Under the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, all schools in B.C. are closed to in-class instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. A previous letter sent to families from SD62 at the end of March says teachers used the week of March 30 to April 3 as a planning week and are expected to start providing learning opportunities “as soon as practical and no later than mid-April in keeping with the Minister of Education’s directions.”