Greater Victoria School District sets out plan for the 2020/21 school year

View Release PDF

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Greater Victoria School District sets out plan for the 2020/21 school year

VICTORIA, BC – The District is informing families of its restart plan for the 2020/21 school year. The District is entering Stage 2 of the BC K-12 Education Restart Plan in September, focusing on student and staff safety while maximizing in-class instructional time.

Following the comprehensive measures set by the Ministries of Health and Education, the District has updated its health and safety protocols to adhere to all of the requirements of the COVID-19 Public Health Office’s Guidance for K-12 School Settings. All schools will be implementing the following procedures outlined in the GVSD Exposure Control Plan for School Sites.

“District Staff and School Administrators have been working tirelessly to plan a safe return to school for more than 20,000 students and 3,000 staff members,” said Board Chair Jordan Watters. “Everyone deserves to be safe and feel safe in our buildings. We understand that many families have concerns for students and family members who may be immunocompromised. Our District will be collaborating with these families to ensure we can provide options that work for them. We are committed to ensuring our students’ success and making sure no one falls behind. Despite the challenges we face, we hope our students, families and staff share our excitement about the return to school and the year ahead.”

Staff will be returning to the schools on September 8th for orientation and to review all health and safety protocols, prior to students return. Students will begin to attend school on September 10th. Each school will be communicating directly with their families regarding scheduling and first day of school plans.

Organization of Schools

Schools will be organized into Learning Groups. The way schools are structured will vary across elementary, middle and secondary schools. Learning groups will not exceed 60 individuals for elementary or middle schools, or 120 individuals for secondary to help limit contact and potential exposure.

When necessary, schools will also stagger start and end times along with recess and lunch breaks, and assign students different entries and exits to ensure that students are not interacting with others outside their Learning Group.

To learn more about how schools will be organized at the school levels, see attachments.

”We are very excited to be welcoming students and staff back to school. While we had many students return to class in June, we will be welcoming some students back for the first time since March,” said Superintendent Shelley Green. “This is really exciting for us because we understand that the educational system offers consistency for our children and plays a pivotal role in their development of relationships, identity, social-emotional skills and overall well-being. Our schools have missed all of our students and we are really looking forward to having them back.”

Inclusive Education

All students with special needs who are enrolled in a District school will have access to the full range of supports typically offered in our schools, although the delivery method may look different. All students with a Ministry designation will continue to have an IEP with personalized goals. The IEP will be in place across stages and options (e.g., hybrid), acknowledging that support strategies may vary or be adjusted for different stages and environments. Regardless of stages/environments, continuity of access to learning will remain.

The District is committed to ongoing communication and collaboration with students and families to implement plans and monitor the success of student learning goals. Parents/guardians and caregivers should communicate directly with their school team.

Students/Parents/Caregivers with Immune Suppression

 For students with immune suppression, if attending in-class instruction is right for the child: school and school districts work with parents or caregivers to develop options for learning to ensure appropriate preventative measures are in place.

For students with immune suppression, if attending in-class instruction is not right for the child: schools and school districts work with families to develop options to continue their child’s education at school or school district.

 Educational Options

 Students and families will have several educational options as they plan to return to school for the 2020/21 school year. The options include:

Since the release of the Stage 2 Restart Framework, the District has received many requests from families to offer additional options that allow their children to continue learning from home while holding their child’s space at their school.

The District is currently considering a hybrid learning option for Grades 1 through 8. This would consist of primarily home study supplemented by in-class and remote learning.

  • Hybrid Learning (*under consideration*)

In order to explore this option, the District is assessing the level of interest. The District will be surveying families to determine which option they will be selecting for their children. The survey will be emailed to parents/guardians.

For more information on the educational options please review the following table.

K -12 Return to School Educational Options – Stage 2

For additional information please visit the District’s website:


For more information contact:
Lisa McPhail 
Communications & Community Engagement
Greater Victoria School District
Office: 250.475.4103   |       @sd61schools


Google Translate is used as a free tool to enhance the usability of the Greater Victoria School District website. As such, the Greater Victoria School Disctrict is not responsible for Google Translate™.