Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School. (Submitted photo)

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

As Vancouver Island’s smallest school district prepares to open schools on June 1 for children to return on a part-time, voluntary basis, schools in Kyuquot and Zeballos will not follow suit.

The Kyuquot Elementary Secondary School and Zeballos Elementary Secondary School will remain closed until the end of the school year.

School District 84 (Vancouver Island West) superintendent Lawrence Tarasoff said the schools will continue with online learning at the request of area First Nations who said they were not comfortable with facilities re-opening.

Tarasoff said that the board complied with the request, adding “it was not a huge ask,” considering these communities had sought complete seclusion after the onset of the pandemic.

READ MORE: Isolated B.C. First Nation seeks further seclusion in response to COVID-19

Meanwhile, schools in Tahsis and Gold River are expecting about 30 per cent of their students to come back when they reopen said Tarasoff. Safety procedures as outlined by the province will be incorporated, and educators will ensure social distancing procedures are practiced.

Parents have also been asked to screen children for symptoms before they come to school and to keep talking to them about not sharing toys and maintaining safe distance while at school.

Online learning will also continue as a supplementary process for secondary students who will come in once a week, and elementary students who will attend school for four half-days a week.

Tarasoff said educators will continue working with students outside of classroom hours, as the limited amount of school hours won’t suffice for them.

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