Posted on March 27, 2020, by , in COVID-19, Featured, with No Comments

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

March 27, 2020

As each day goes by, both here at Bodwell and around the world, we know it is a time of increasing stress. Almost no country has been untouched by COVID-19, and in a number of regions worldwide, scenes of tragedy are unfolding. The crisis we are seeing is complex and unpredictable. Travel to some regions has become increasingly difficult, with restrictions changing by the day and lengthy screening delays likely to occur.

We know that this is also a stressful time for students and parents, separated by long distances. Many parents have faced difficult decisions of weighing risks and facing unknown timelines. We certainly understand how scary this situation is for you and your families, and are impressed at how much courage and patience you are showing in spite of the challenges. Students, you have been brave as well, having been restricted to campus for more than two weeks or having made the long trip home at an uncertain time. These are circumstances that none of us have faced before in our lifetimes. All of us are having our ability to adapt tested. But I am amazed by the maturity of many of our young students during such an alarming moment in history.

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Yesterday, to maintain social distancing, we held our first-ever “online assembly” (in two parts) for all 150+ students remaining on campus, unable to travel back home in the current situation. During this assembly, I reviewed a number of reminders and updates covered in previous newsletters and video updates, and answered many insightful questions from the students. In addition, our Assistant Directors of the Boarding Program, Ms. Natalie Robinson and Mr. Graeme Davies, joined to share some updates for the boarding students, including:

• For additional wellness options, we have added a variety of exercise equipment to our East Gym for daily student use. Additional boarding activities will also be coming up. Students are encouraged to submit ideas and feedback.

• To increase social distancing to reduce the risk of virus transmission, all boarding students have been temporarily spread out in the available rooms in the dormitory. Most girls will now be able stay in their own room, while boys will live 1-2 people in the same room, depending on room size.

In the coming week, we will be putting into place additional measures to increase the separation between students and the local community, to further reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. More school staff will work from home or from special areas of the building where they will no longer come into contact with students. A special live-in boarding staff team, including our school and boarding administrators (Vice Principals, etc.), will take up more week round responsibilities, and will also join with students to self-isolate from the community and outside staff. Our nursing team will continue to be helping on site, and students will continue to have access to meals, the snack bar, wellness activities, online learning blocks, and so on. For additional support, students may need to use methods such as email, phone and Microsoft Teams to talk to their counsellors as well as to their teachers for online learning.

Personally, I also live on campus, so in the weeks and months ahead of isolation here at Bodwell, I’m sure students will be a close part of my greater school family. We will certainly get to know each other even better!

Until our next update,

Stephen Goobie

Principal

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve been receiving a lot of important questions over the past week. Please read below for additional information, and feel free to reach out to a counsellor with further questions.

For how long will classes be suspended?

Like other schools in BC, Bodwell can only restart normal classes once we have official notice from the BC Ministry of Education. Currently, all schools are suspended for the time being. It is difficult to predict when the health situation will improve to the point where schools may fully re-open. Our current sense is that the local health situation is becoming even more serious and will not improve in only a few weeks. The situation in many of our students’ countries is also evolving. We are guessing that a suspension of classes of at least 6-8 weeks is a possibility, but there is also a likelihood of a longer period of time. Again, this is very difficult for anyone to predict.

If classes resume, will all students who travelled home need to return back to Bodwell for class this term?

If the BC Ministry of Education announces schools in BC to start again any time before the end of June, we would review the situation at that time, and contact parents regarding our school’s expectation for international students as soon as possible. For the time being, we will continue using online learning this term.

In the case of an extended absence from school, an English placement test may offered upon return, for adjusting the student to the appropriate English level at that time. For this reason, it is important that students continue to work hard on improving their English language skills while classes are suspended!

What will happen for Spring Break (April 9-18)?

Spring Break will continue unchanged as per our school calendar. Online learning will not be required during these break dates as teachers will be on holidays (although likely still social distancing). Students living in boarding will have a special daily schedule with some fun activities offered each day. More details to come soon.

How about the Graduation Weekend in May?

We are currently discussing alternate plans for the Graduation Ceremony. In case of any interruption or delay, we will find a way to celebrate and recognize all of our graduates as best possible. Due to the local COVID-19 situation, for the time being unfortunately we have needed to cancel our reservations for the graduation dinner at a local hotel, along with our parent dinner at a local venue.

What about July courses?

July courses will proceed as previously planned, as long as we are able to resume classes by this time. We will keep parents informed of any changes or alternatives, such as the use of online courses.

How will my child’s progress in academics be affected?

The BC Ministry of Education has reassured students and parents that:

• Every student will receive a final mark, and all students on track to move to the next grade will do so in the fall. For grades 10 and 11 students, graduation assessments will be postponed.

• Every student eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.

At Bodwell, we wish to keep students focused on their learning throughout this term, so they do not miss out on important time to build up skills and knowledge. All students, no matter their location, need to be putting their full effort into online learning, supported by our teachers. Students should do their best to submit course work before deadlines. Students with exceptional circumstances (e.g. currently travelling home, in quarantine, etc.) should communicate with their teachers and counsellors.

While students are focused on online learning, including forms of assessment, they will not be writing midterm exams this term. Midterm report cards will be postponed until further review is done.

Most universities are likely making plans for addressing entrance requirements (e.g. IELTS, etc.) due to COVID-19. We are doing our best to connect with universities to keep up-to-date on changes. Students should discuss their plans with counsellors and inquire with each university about what changes to expect for upcoming applications.

More info on online learning through Microsoft Teams can be found here.

How can I connect with my child if they remain on campus?

Starting this weekend, we have extended the Wi-Fi in the dormitory spaces to allow for students to connect more easily with their families overseas in different time zones. Although it is important to regularly keep in touch with family, especially during this stressful time, students still need to make sure they get enough sleep and stay healthy for the challenging weeks ahead!

Boarding W-Fi schedule:

Thank you again for reviewing another newsletter, and for all your questions to school staff. Please keep up the communication and collaboration! We are here to support you as best we can.

From the entire Bodwell Team

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