PHOTOS: An inside look at one of SD62’s schools before students welcomed back

Sooke School District superintendent Scott Stinson explains most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Belmont Secondary’s music room has fewer chairs to help create physical distance between students. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
A hand sanitization station is available for students and staff. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Students at Belmont Secondary will enter the school through three separate entrances, depending on which floor they are heading to. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Only two people are allowed in the washrooms at Belmont Secondary. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District’s superintendent Scott Stinson (left), board chair Ravi Parmer and secretary treasurer Harold Cull are seen wearing masks while walking through Belmont Secondary’s hallways. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Teachers at Belmont Secondary have spaced out desks to encourage social distancing. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Thirteen new custodians have been hired across the Sooke School District, as most schools re-open their doors to students starting Thursday.

During a walk-through of Belmont Secondary on Wednesday, district officials noted the changes students will see when they come back for the fall semester. The school’s registration sits at approximately 1,400 students but the number continues to fluctuate as parents and guardians continue calling in to make adjustments.

At Belmont, there are three different entrances for students. Each entrance will be assigned to one of Belmont’s three floors and can be used as an exit as well. Hand sanitation stations are available for students and staff once they enter those doors and most washrooms will be set to a capacity of two people.

“Most of the block classes in high schools will be divided in half,” said Scott Stinson, SD62 superintendent. “Classes with 30 students will turn into 15 in most cases and our cooking class of 16 will turn into eight. But they won’t be serving any food just yet.”

Lindsay Vogan, communications manager for SD62, clarified that even if a student tests positive for COVID-19, it doesn’t mean the entire cohort will have to self-isolate. Each situation will be a case-by-case scenario, as it depends on how many people the infected person has been in contact with, how the student caught COVID-19 and whether other students show symptoms.

READ MORE: Sooke School District loses $2 million due to lack of international students

“Every process is a living organism,” said Belmont principal Jim Lamond. “We are ready to adapt as we see fit over the next few days and will be prepared for a full week starting Monday.”

There will also be a fourth portable brought onto the school grounds for students and lockers aren’t being used until further notice.

Visitors and parents are being asked to call or email administration to schedule access to the school. They also must complete a health check prior to arriving at the school.

Elementary and middle school students will return to in-class instruction fulltime but secondary schools will follow the one-eighth model, where students attend school every day for either the morning or afternoon for only one course at a time for roughly five weeks.

According to a recent survey conducted by SD62, the district expects to see the return of 82 per cent of its student population.

mailto:aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

Belmont secondarySD62

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

For Owen Bains, having autism makes navigating the rules and social norms around COVID-19 challenging, says his mother. (Courtesy Nicole Zimmel)
Pandemic poses serious problems for children with autism, say Victoria parents

Parents of children with autism say COVID-19 is overwhelming and reducing social skills

Lacrosse player Patrick Dodds, 19, got his start playing for the Saanich Tigers in Braefoot Park and has now been drafted to the Calgary Roughnecks for the upcoming National Lacrosse League season. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Calgary Roughnecks draft young Saanich lacrosse star for coming NLL season

Going pro at 19 is ‘surreal,’ says Patrick Dodds

Nicole Abbott and her 10-month-old daughter, Ophelia, shown here at the Metchosin Fire Hall for the Halloween events last year. Residents are invited to a drive-through version this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore fire halls take pandemic-safe approach to Halloween

One spooky lane among three drive-thru features by firefighters

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read