Chair of SD57 Tim Bennett and Superintendant Anita Richardson spoke on the finalized Back to School plan announced today, during which they announced a new “Quarterly” system that will be implemented for many Prince George High School students in grades 8-12.

“The quarterly system in place means that students will take two courses every day for ten weeks, and that will be their learning group so one course in the morning and a course in the afternoon, so learning groups will be closer to 60” says Richardson.

Richardson says, “the quarterly program also maximizes the amount of in-person instruction time with teachers and support staff and doesn’t reduce the options that are available to students.”

“We heard a lot of concerns from parents of the secondary cohort sizes being around 120”, explains Bennett, “staff worked to implement a comprehensive plan that will keep the groups much lower than 120.”

Smaller high schools such as Valemont and Mcbride will stay on the semester system due to their smaller size and grade 7 and 8 students in Mackenzie will as well, but grades 9-12 in Mackenzie will be on the new system.

Taking into account the addition of staff and learning support, learning groups may be closer to 65.

Richardson says, “the quarterly program also maximizes the amount of in-person instruction and time with teachers and support staff and doesn’t reduce the options that are available to students.”

Additional funding set aside by the Education Ministry in consideration of additional health and safety measures has aided the change, as well as paid for an extra 12,000 hours of custodial time and extra Personal Protective Equipment.

As far as students in K-8, a hybrid program that is partially online has been approved for 16 BC schools, none of which are in SD-57, and are mainly in the lower mainland.