Update 5: Covid-19 Procedures and Online Learning

17 March 2020

Dear Parents, 

As we mentioned in yesterday’s update, the Premier of British Columbia provided an update on the K-12 education situation. To slow down the spread of the Covid-19 virus, the Premier has closed “until further notice” all schools in British Columbia.  The indication is that this will be a prolonged closure likely till the end of the school year.   

First, I want to state that the health and safety of all our students, staff and our community is paramount. Second, because of the actions taken prior to Spring Break, Brookes Westshore was prepared for the school closure. Our teachers met several times and engaged in discussion and training to prepare for online delivery so that our students’ education would not be disrupted if the school had to suspend in person class delivery. As a result, we are able to continue delivering our education to our students.  

The rapid spread of Covid-19, however, has created a number of concerns for our dormitories. As a result, and in consultation with the Ministry of Education, the Independent Schools Association, the Federation of Independent Schools, and other schools on Vancouver Island, we are suggesting the following recommendations: 

All students  

  • Beginning on March 30, continue your education with online classes delivered by your existing teachers using the variety of tools including Managebac.  We will ensure that every student will graduate from their grade level.   

International students who have already returned to their home countries 

  • Once the school closure is over and students can travel back to Canada, we will offer, at no charge, summer classes and activities. This is optional but will allow students to continue their studies safely and make up any missed work. 

International students who are currently in Canada but would prefer to be home safe with their families  

  • The covid-19 virus is still spreading, and it will likely be several weeks before the number of cases start to decline. If you can travel home, this may be a wise decision, especially considering a prolonged closure.  As stated above, students can stay connected online and return in the summer to make up any missed work.  
  • If you need choose to return home, please let us know if you need assistance.  

International students who cannot return home  

  • Although the school cannot conduct in person classes, the dormitory is allowed to remain open. After Spring Break, if you are unable to return home or do not have a safe place to reside, please return to the dormitories.  Students who return to campus will do the online instruction from the dormitory rooms.   
  • Following the Ministry of Heath protocol, large groups are not be allowed to take place.  Thus, there will be a number of restrictions including that meals will be staggered in the dining room.  For the safety of all staff and students on campus, students will not be allowed to go off campus to go shopping or to take outside activities.  Students will be self-contained on campus.  

All Grade 12 students  

  • All grade 12 students will receive their BC Dogwood Diploma, and the Ministry has assured us that students applications and access to  Canadian universities will not be negatively affected. 

Grade 12 IB Diploma students 

  • Grade 12 IB Diploma students will be able to come onto campus in May to write their IB examinations.  Again, following the protocols set forth by the Ministry of Education, each student will sit 2 meters apart in the examination room.  Once examinations are complete, students will be required to return home. Please note, at this moment, graduation ceremonies will not be allowed. Our team will review and discuss ideas to celebrate graduation at a later date. 
  • Please note that we are also in discussion with other IB schools around the world. It may be possible to write the examination at another school in your home country. We will update students on this option once it is confirmed. 

 These are drastic measures the BC and Federal governments are taking, but they are completely necessary to safeguard our students, staff, and the broader global community. 

 Jerry Salvador,
Head of School