Lucas and Maddy, Kanaka Creek Elementary students, were happy to be back at school. (Contributed)

Lucas and Maddy, Kanaka Creek Elementary students, were happy to be back at school. (Contributed)

Slow start for in-class instruction across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Only 18 per cent of elementary students and five per cent of secondary students attend in person

In-school attendance across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has ranged from about five per cent to 18 per cent since schools opened their doors on Monday.

Out of a total enrolment of 8,989 elementary school students, 602 attended classes on June 1, or 6.7 per cent. That percentage jumped to 1,668, or 18.56 per cent by June 2.

Meanwhile, secondary schools saw around five per cent attendance on both days.

Out of a total enrolment of 5491 students, only 321 attended classes in-person on the first day of in-class instruction, or 5.85 per cent, and on the second day attendance dropped to 289 students, or 5.26 per cent.

Highland Park Elementary had the highest percentage of attendance in the district at 29.20 per cent, or 99 students of 339 returning to school on Tuesday.

Samuel Robertson Technical had the highest percentage of secondary students on the first day of in-class instruction, with 86 students returning to class out of 745 students enrolled at the school – or 11.54 per cent. Although, on day two, only one student attended classes.

READ MORE: What returning to school in a pandemic may look like in Ridge Meadows

Westview Secondary had the next highest percentage with more than nine per cent of total enrolment showing up each day.

School District 42 assistant superintendent Jovo Bikic had a chance to drop by some of the schools Monday and Tuesday and said the vibe was “really nice.”

“You could see the kids were excited,” Bikic said.

The biggest challenge, now, for the school district, he noted, will be maintaining that care and connection with the students while making adjustments to changes in the school environment.

“It’s that change factor,” said Bikic.

“How do you, now, kind of go through and adjust to the new changes that have occurred and the new expectations,” Bikic said.

Jon Wheatley, principal a c’usqunela elementary, is happy to be back, and is happy his students are adapting to the new routines.

Although, he said, with smaller groups of students, it is easier to teach.

READ MORE: B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Out of 450 students enrolled at the school, 53 attended in-class on Monday and 127 on Tuesday.

Most classrooms at the school have had five to seven students in them, while a few had 11 students.

The school has implemented a soft start and finish where parents can drop off their children and pick them up any time within the 15 minutes before school starts and 15 minutes after instruction ends at the end of the day, in order to keep social distancing between both the adults and the children.

Bathrooms in the school have been designated to certain pods, or groups of students at the school, in order to limit the interaction and cross-contamination between them.

And, students wash their hands when they first enter the school at the beginning of the day, as well as before and after recess, said Wheatley.

“By and large, they’ve sort of figured it out pretty quick and obviously this school is set up well for it. It’s got big wide hallways and lots of entrances so we’ve been able to spread out kids coming and going,” he added.

Bikic thinks it was worth it for students to return to school with only three weeks left to go in the school year.

“I think it’s important that kids get that chance to reconnect directly with teachers, because really the best education happens when it is face-to-face and in groups,” said Bikic.

“And it gives people a chance to re-emerge because I think that we can’t stay in this state forever,” he said.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

maple ridgePitt MeadowsSchools

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

Just Posted

Howard Done and his wife were walking through the Yennadon neighbourhood of Maple Ridge, when they encountered this young buck relaxing in the grass on a vacant lot at the corner of 232nd Street and 128th Avenue. "He didn't seem to be bothered by any of the traffic, pedestrians or dogs," Done noted. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Young buck caught lounging in Yennadon

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

The employees of Maple Ridge Hyundai pose around their coat donation box. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge Hyundai dealership holds coat drive

Business aim to collect 100 coats for local Salvation Army in second year of charity initiative

Mary Robson, executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, is renting two additional facilities because of the COVID-19 provincial guidelines. (The News/files)
New COVID guidelines creates storage issues for Maple Ridge food bank

Must store non-perishables for two days before being able to hand it out to clients

There have been COVID-19 exposure events at three more schools. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposure events at three more schools

Maple Ridge schools exposed to the virus

Students at Meadowridge did fundraising over Halloween to fill shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. (Special to The News)
Meadowridge students give gifts for children abroad

Maple Ridge school filled more than 60 boxes for Operation Christmas Child

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read