School Newsletter Regarding Suspension of Classes
School Updates in accordance with Ministry Updates – 3/20/20
Today, the BC Ministry of Education announced that all K-12 schools in British Columbia will be immediately suspending classes for the time being, as an additional measure to curb the spread of COVID19. Infection cases in British Columbia are on the rise and all public gathering spaces are being closed or highly limited.
Students were informed of this announcement during their class after lunch:
1) All classes at Bodwell are suspended until further notice. The campus will continue to operate to support those boarding students who need to remain onsite. Currently, we are unsure of when the general situation will improve and when classes will resume.
2) Students will continue to be supported by our teachers in course learning through online learning systems. More details are below.
3) Students spent the afternoon meeting with teachers to ensure they have the necessary learning materials, such as textbooks, exercise books, etc. Students who depart for home need to take all of these items with them, including their school laptop.
I should also note that we are forced to cancel this year’s Yukon Trip. We will follow up with trip participants soon.
These are unprecedented events and I know you are very worried. We take very seriously our responsibility of keeping students safe and healthy, and as you can imagine, caring for a large number of boarding students for an extended period without classes is a big challenge. At this point, given the difficult and unpredictable circumstances, I do need to encourage parents to bring your children home into your care, if you are able to. Alternate safe arrangements will be acceptable; for example, students staying with local family or friends, when possible. To date, approximately 100 students have already departed school for home or will be departing in the next few days. Boarding students are encouraged to bring all their belongings with them, especially valuables, however if needed they can store a limited number of clearly-labelled items on campus. Students currently living in homestay will receive separate instructions.
For students who cannot return to their parent’s care due to travel restrictions, in-country risk, or lack of flight options, we will continue to take care of these boarding students in the best way possible for the weeks to come. Students needing to continue living on campus will follow a special routine, including regular health checks as well as structured time for studying and completing their course work, with small-group recreational activities available as much as possible. However, for their own safety, students will not be permitted to leave campus. To reduce risk, it will continue to be important to practice social distancing and avoiding close personal interaction. For example, from today we have limited cafeteria seating to 50 at a time. Additional safety measures are to be expected. Essential support staff will be present.
COURSES & LEARNING
All students, regardless of living location in the next few weeks and beyond, are expected to continue to put in full effort to their studies to meet our school requirements for meaningful course learning. Regarding course credits and graduation, we have received the following instructions from the Ministry of Education:
• All students will receive a final mark and students on track to advance to the next grade will do so.
• Provincial graduation assessments for Grades 10 and 11 will be postponed.
• Grade 12 students on track to graduate this year will do so. The Grade 10 Numeracy assessment is a requirement for this year’s graduates and more information will follow for Grade 12 students that still need to meet this requirement.
Bodwell’s online learning will take the following form:
1) Teachers will use email to regularly send students assignments, class readings, formative assessment and other class materials and instructions.
2) Students must check their school email at least once a day, and carefully read and reply to each message.
3) Students will be expected to spend at least one hour per day working on each course that they are taking this term (i.e. a minimum of 5 hours of study each day).
4) Students need to meet all deadlines for submission of assignments and assessments, and are to contact teachers with questions on course content.
5) Teachers may each use a variety of online learning tools, videos, and resources.
6) We will begin to migrate all online learning to Microsoft Teams (see video here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/education/products/teams), a powerful Learning Management System accessible anywhere in the world. Students will receive instructions on how to access and use this platform, including how-to videos. Microsoft Teams offers many useful features to help students progress in their learning, as organized by the teacher of each course.
7) Students who need I.T. support will be able to contact our I.T. team regarding email passwords and other matters.
It is unclear how long this current health emergency will last. When the situation improves in British Columbia, and classes restart at Bodwell, we expect all students to return to class on campus as soon as possible to complete the term. If some students are unable to come back to campus at that time due to travel restrictions or self-isolation requirements, those students will need to continue to learn online until they are able to return to Bodwell.
At Bodwell, our motto is “Strength in Diversity”. In these difficult times, as people from all over the world, we all need to be strong, work together, care for one another, and have a positive outlook that we will overcome this global crisis. We look forward to the day when our students will resume their regular Bodwell lives.
Please do connect with school counsellors with your questions and needs for support.