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Important school start up information

Picture of Carol Gribling
Important school start up information
by Carol Gribling - Thursday, 27 August 2020, 8:24 AM

Dear Parents, Guardians and Students,

I hope that you have all had a good summer and have hopefully been able to enjoy some time off.  It goes without saying that it has been an interesting year so far as we have all had to make significant adjustments in our home and work life.  It is in times like these that I am very grateful that I live on Vancouver Island and work at Parkland Secondary.  I appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate this uncharted territory.  By now you would have received communication from our Superintendent Dave Eberwein regarding the District’s restart plan.  The purpose of this letter is to give you some more details regarding how the restart plan will be undertaken at Parkland.  Please understand that this may need to change and adjust as new information comes available.

School Start up:

Student Orientation Sessions

Thursday Sept 10th 10 am--11:30 am GRADE 9s

Thursday Sept 10th 1:30 pm--3 pm GRADE 10s

Friday Sept 11th 10 am--11:30 am GRADE 11s

Friday Sept 11th 1:30 pm--3 pm GRADE 12s

  • Please email if your son/daughter requires transportation to school on their orientation day.

  • Masks must be worn on school buses (and city buses).

  • Students should enter the school through the front door on their orientation day.

The purpose of the grade wide orientation sessions will be to review the following:

  • new safety protocols 

  • the quarter system (“quadmesters” vs semesters)

  • Attendance protocol

  • Locker assignment

  • Start up information

  • Code of conduct review

and to give students their schedules.

Full school days and regular school bus services will commence on Monday September 14th.  If you wish to use the school bus, please ensure that you have registered with the school district Transportation.

Structure of the school day:

The semester system (two semesters per year) has been re-organized into “quadmesters” (four quadmesters per year).  This is also known as the Copernican system.  Students will take two courses per quadmester --one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Their course selections and timetables have remained the same, they have just been re-ordered.

Additionally, to reduce density and for extra safety, students will not be required to attend full time all the time.

For the first half of the first quadmester students will attend their morning class full time.  They will attend their afternoon class ½ time according to a Day 1/Day 2 model (½ the class will attend on Day 1 and the other ½ the class will attend on Day 2).  This will then flip ½ way into the quadmester and students will then attend their afternoon class full time and their morning class according to the Day 1/Day 2 model. 

Linear/outside-the-timetable courses (Band, Jazz Band, Sport Performance Basketball, Leadership, etc) will run outside the timetable as usual.


Students are organized into cohorts of 120 or fewer students.  We are lucky at Parkland to be a smaller school.  Each grade level will be one cohort. When students are in classes outside of their cohort or in mixed level cohorts they will be required to physically distance and/or wear a mask. 

Health and Safety precautions:

We are in the process of translating the Health and Safety requirements from the Public Health Office and WorkSafe BC into processes and procedures for Parkland.  Some key elements are:

  • Students will enter and exit the school at entrances designated for their cohort.

  • Lockers and eating areas will be allocated according to cohorts.

  • Breaks will be staggered so that students stay within cohorts.

  • All students and staff will be provided with reusable masks.

  • Masks must be worn in all high traffic areas (i.e. hallways) and when students are not able to physically distance from students in other cohorts.

  • Students must use hand sanitizer upon entry into their class.  Each class has a hand sanitizing station.

Special considerations for immune compromised students/family members:

Further information will be available next week regarding options for students who have serious medical conditions and may require alternate educational plans.  Medical forms completed by a family physician will be required.

Time table changes:

Options for timetable changes will be limited this year.  Our counsellors will be in Aug 31 & Sept 1/2/4. If your child requires a timetable change (missing a core course or a post secondary requirement) please book a counselling appointment by going to the Parkland website-->resources-->counselling-->book an appointment or click here  

I understand that this is a lot of information to digest and probably produces more questions than it answers.  I want to assure you that the staff at Parkland will be taking all safety measures very seriously as safety is always our first priority.  We will, however, continue to engage with students and provide the same high quality education that we always have done albeit within a different structure.  I am definitely looking forward to working through the challenges that this year presents and to working hard on behalf of Parkland students.

If you wish to contact me directly, please do so via email.  I am receiving a higher than normal volume of email but I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Take care and see you soon!

Lizanne Chicanot
Principal, Parkland Secondary School