Comox Valley School staff are planning alternative ways to teach students amidst the COVID-19 situation.

Superintendent Tom Demeo says starting this week, teachers will be reaching out to families to check in on how their students are doing.

“What they can expect this week is contact from their teacher who will touch base with students and families and just get a sense of how things are going. Just make that connection that they have in school and start the planning for learning opportunities moving forward.”

The district is in the very early stages of developing some kind of learning model to keep students educated, but Demeo is asking parents to stay patient.

“What it will look like and what kind of activities they can do. We’re looking right now at the early stages of the planning and in the letter that we sent home to parents on Friday we simply said elements we are focusing on are literacy. We’re aiming for an hour to two hours eventually of some instruction or some school type activities for students to get involved in.

He adds that while making sure students keep learning during the COVID-19 pandemic is important, making sure the grade 12’s can graduate is a top priority as well.

“Students that are eligible to graduate we want to make sure they can graduate. We’ll be spending some time with those kids making sure that they’re prepared to graduate and furthermore, making sure that those students that have prerequisites that are required for post-secondary for next year, that they have those well in hand.”

Demeo says staff is working hard to get some kind of education model in place but is asking parents to stay patient during these unprecedented times.

“Something like this has not happened before so how we react, how do we implement a full-scale system. In our district, we have over 8500 students and so delivering an alternative type of educational model is going to be new for us. There’s lots of learning that has to happen and I would echo that appreciate people’s patience as we work through this. We are going slowly, we’re in this for the long haul we think right now, and that’s the information we’re getting, so we want to make sure we do this right,” said Demeo.