COVID -19 Series: Middle Returning to School
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May 19, 2020
Middle Snapshot
Returning to School

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The provincial government has announced the Restart Plan for the economy which includes the return to school for BC students.

Our district and school teams are engaged in ongoing collaboration to plan for safety measures, space, scheduling, and educational programming. The goal is to welcome students back to school on a voluntary basis to be supported with their learning and social-emotional well-being.

The transition back to school may bring mixed emotions such as excitement, anxiety, and concern, as students are returning to a known place that will look and function differently in response to COVID-19 safety parameters. We also know that our middle school learners benefit greatly from routines and positive connections with their teachers and classmates. They are social beings who miss having fun with friends and engaging in school activities. School offers a familiar foundation of community and connection. The future may be uncertain, but we do know that we are all better together.

We know school will look different, and for now,
grades 6-12 will attend school about one day a week.

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The Ministry of Education's Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12: 
desks spaced apart

avoiding groups or gatherings of students in hallways or other common areas

regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, keyboards and desks at least twice a day

cleaning the school building at least once a day

students, educators, and staff will be required to clean their hands upon entering school property
hand-sanitizing and cleaning stations available

staggered drop-offs, lunch, and recess breaks, with increased time outside 

one student per seat on school buses, unless students are from the same house

students should not share food or personal items like phones, pens, or pencils
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COVID-19: Back to school in B.C. Safety measures

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Monterey Middle School Walk Through

 This video gives you an idea of how schools are setting things up for social/physical distancing, hand washing, and other COVID-19 related safety procedures.
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Answer questions honestly. 

Adolescents need to be reassured in a way that is age appropriate. As a first step, you may consider a family meeting to prepare for the return to school. Here are some recommendations:

-  Acknowledge their fears
-  Explain the overall risk of getting the virus and what happens if they do get sick.
-  Outline the steps the schools are taking to keep them safe at this time.
-  Reassure them that young people tend to get a mild form of the virus.
-  Discuss any questions they may have.

Focus on the solutions.

When talking with your child use a solutions-focused approach:

- Many things are being done to keep everyone safe. 
- It will be nice to connect with your friends and teachers again. 
- Life will return to normal.
- Let’s focus on the fun, what are all the positive things about going back to school?  
 COVID-19 Real Talk
How are you feeling overall?

Do you know what "flattening the curve" means?

What has this experience been like for you?

What are the rules/guidelines that have been set and why do you think these rules are in place?

How has staying inside more than usual affected you?
It's okay to have strong feelings such as anger, sadness, or frustration during COVID-19. If you have felt any of these things, could you tell me about them?

Sometimes life changes and we wonder about feeling safe. Do you feel safe these days? Could you tell me about that?

What do you need? How can I best help you throughout this COVID-19 experience?

What kind of activities would YOU like to do to help boost your mental health?

Stigma Free Society
This video takes you through some simple tips and tools that will support you emotionally and practically during this time of COVID-19. You will learn tools for soothing feelings like fear, confusion, and boredom; Staying focused and hopeful; And choosing actions that support well being in both the short and long term.
This video provides teens with strategies they can use to stay calm, focused, and motivated while everything around them is changing and uncertain. You will learn tools for soothing feelings like fear, confusion, and boredom; Staying focused and hopeful; And choosing actions that support well being in both the short and long term.
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The First Nations Health Authority - How to Cope with Covid-19,  a message of resilience through connection.

 "If ever there was a time and a need to honour our common humanity, "Namawyut (we are all one), this is it. This is the moment."  (Chief Joseph, Reconciliation Canada)

BC Ministry of Education Restarting BC's Schools
Stigma-Free COVID-19 Youth Wellness Toolkit 
Kelty Mental Health - Taking Care of yourself and your family during COVID-19 
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Click the button below for a comprehensive list of Community Services and their availability during the pandemic.

Learning Resources
The Ministry of Education site contains excellent information on learning at home and resources for families
The Greater Victoria School District provides learning opportunities for elementary, middle and secondary age students.
TedED - Parents can sign up for grade specific daily lessons on any subject imaginable.  Fun and engaging!
BCTF - Aboriginal Education Teaching Resources
Indigenous Educational Resources

  Learning Resources for Students with Complex Needs

Food Resources for Families 

 Resources used in this Snapshot  Centre for Addiction and Mental Health  and BC Ministry of Education
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