Welcome back!  We are very excited to have students and staff all back together for the start of the school year.  In order to keep everyone safe, it will be important for everyone to follow the new procedures that are in place.  Please read the information below carefully so that you will know what to expect.

What will be the same?
What will be different?
Return to School
Daily Health Checks
Learning Groups
Bell Schedule
Quarterly System – Course Offerings
Special Circumstances for Learners
Materials and Lockers
Continuity of Learning

What will be the same?
  • Our school focus will continue to be on learning and on helping students develop their potential.
  • Students will work in classrooms with their teachers and support staff on the required curriculum.
  • Students will continue to have academic and social/ emotional supports available to them.
  • Buses will continue their usual runs to bring students to school
What will be different?
  • Students and staff of several classes will make up learning groups for all instruction.  Our learning groups will be Grade 8, Grade 9, Grade 10, and Grade 11/12.  Students and staff from different learning groups will not interact with each other.
  • Classes will be scheduled on a quarterly system, and students will focus on two classes at a time (for about ten weeks) before switching to their next set of classes. 
  • At this time, there will be no whole-school assemblies or activities with other schools (like sports events or Big Buddy visits).
  • Students will not be able to access their lockers.  We ask that students only bring the items that they will need for each day.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear masks if they are in contact areas with people from other learning groups, such as in the hallway and on the school bus.  Students and staff may wear masks at any time, and are encouraged to do so.
  • To minimize contact with other groups, each learning group will have their own assigned entrance and exit door from the school.   The start of the day, lunch hour, and the end of the day will have staggered times for each group.
  • There will be a focus on hand hygiene and students will be expected to follow expectations for diligently hand washing and/or using hand sanitizer.
  • Increased cleaning will take place in the school throughout the day.
Return to School

Following the September 8 and 9 Inservice Day for staff to familiarize themselves with the Health and Safety protocols and the revised structure and programming of the schools, we will welcome students for their orientation on September 10, 2020 at the following times:
8:50-10:50     Grade 8 Students
8:55-10:55     Grade 9 Students
1:15-3:15       Grade 10 students
1:20-3:20       Grade 11/12 students

There will be a mid-day bus run to Quatsino and Fort Rupert to return Gr. 8 and 9 students from their morning orientation and to bring Gr. 10-12 students to PHSS for the afternoon.

All students will attend for the full day (8:48-1:52) on Friday, September 11, 2020.

Daily Health Checks

Parents are required to do daily health checks with their children before sending them on transportation or to school.  Staff are also required to do this daily health check. Anyone sick with these symptoms or who has someone in their household sick with these symptoms must stay home:

  • Fever
  • New cough or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Anyone sick with COVID-19 or who has been identified as having close contact with someone who has it must self-isolate for 14 days.  Additionally, anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada must self-isolate.  Please seek advice through the Provincial Health COVID line or your health care provider if necessary.

Learning Groups
  1. Grade 8
  2. Grade 9
  3. Grade 10
  4. Grade 11/12

Each learning group will have assigned a Learning Assistance and Resource Teacher, Educational Assistants, and a First Nations Support Worker and/or Child and Youth Care Worker to support them.  During their Orientation, students will meet their assigned teachers and support staff.  These staff will work exclusively within one learning group.

If students need to work with a specialist teacher who may be working with other learning groups (for example, ELL Teacher, Counsellor, Teacher-Librarian), masks will be worn and social distancing measures will be followed.  There will be WorkSafeBC occupancy limits in the office, LART rooms, the Learning Commons, and other support rooms when they are not being used by a specific learning group.

Each cohort will enter and exit from their designated door and sanitizing station.  Staff will be on supervision duty at each of these entrances (scheduled at the entry points for their learning groups). To minimize contact in the hall, students will not be able to use their lockers and will need to proceed directly from their entrance to their classrooms or assigned welcoming area.

We will provide pre-packaged snacks near each entrance as students will not be able to access breakfast snacks in common areas of the schools as they have in past years.  A school team will work together to plan for food distribution following the provincial guidelines, and we will share details of this plan once it is in place.

Bell Schedule

The bell schedule start and end times for each day will be as previously scheduled- ie, the school day will start at 8:48 and end at 3:26 Monday through Thursday and end at 1:52 on Friday.  The proposed revised timetable would be as follows:

Learning groups will begin the day with a staggered start, beginning with the grade 8 group at 8:48 (the regularly scheduled start time) and the other groups proceeding at two-minute intervals following that. This is to ensure that there is only one learning group in the hall at a time.

Likewise, lunch hour start and end times will also be staggered to limit numbers in the hallways.  Groups will have designated areas within the school to eat their lunches, or students may choose to leave the building (exiting and entering only through their designated doors). 

While waiting for the bus, students will be asked to wear masks and remain socially distanced from students not in their learning groups.

Quarterly System – Course Offerings

Courses will be delivered on a quarterly model, with students taking two courses at a time for the following periods:

Quarter 1: Sept. 8- Nov. 13
Quarter 2: Nov. 16- Jan. 29
Quarter 3: Feb. 1- Apr. 23
Quarter 4: Apr. 26- June 24

The quarterly system minimizes the number of students and staff interacting each quarter.

Student course assignment will be based as closely as possible on the courses each student chose during course selection in spring 2020.  However, the reorganization of courses to have specific grade groups scheduled together has limited our number of elective choices as we can no longer offer electives to multi-graded groups as we have in the past (eg, Art 9-12 will now need to be offered as three separate courses).  All groups will be offered elective courses but students may not be able to have their first choices. 

Classes and/or groups will have access to the Learning Commons with consideration for scheduling and cleaning procedures.  One group per day could use the space on a scheduled basis to allow for it to be cleaned before another group accessed it the following day. 

Special Circumstances for Learners

Students who need to complete or retake a course from the previous year (with the exception of the grade 11/12 learning group) will have their situations considered individually as we develop a plan for credit recovery with the support of the staff assigned to that students’ learning group.

Students who are working above grade level will be put in with the next grade above for each quarter for their courses as needed.   This will be on an individual basis.

Students who are enrolled in a distance education/ online course have been provided with a computer and space to work on this course in previous years.  This year, we will encourage families to have students work on these courses at home if possible.  If this does not work for families due to travel requirements or other reasons, we will schedule students in the Learning Commons with adherence to Worksafe numbers and spacing requirements, and social distancing protocols.

Material and Lockers

At this time, student lockers will not be used.  Students will be asked to only bring what they need for their two courses, in addition to their own food and beverages for the day. Students will not be able to share food/drink, or personal items such as calculators.

Continuity of Learning in Case of Self-Isolation or Mandated Transition to Remote Learning

To ensure continuity of learning in the event that we again transition to remote instruction, teaching staff will be using Google Classrooms to supplement their classroom instruction beginning in the fall.  Students will each be given an individual Gmail address.

In the event that a student is required to isolate at home, they will be able to access the learning materials being used in the class through Google Classrooms, and/or the school can provide paper copies of assignments.  Students isolating at home would be able to sign out chromebooks if needed, and would have the remote support of the teacher and support staff assigned to their learning group.


Beginning the first week of school, PHSS will be issuing weekly bulletins for families (through email and posted online) to share updates and news about school procedures and programming changes related to our pandemic response.

Families are encouraged to contact the Principal, Ms. Sweeney, (rsweeney@sd85.bc.ca) or the Vice Principal, Ms. Cunningham, (acunningham@sd85.bc.ca) with concerns and questions. Thank you for your support and patience as we continue to work with all of our partners to ensure a safe start to the year.  We look forward to seeing our students back on September 10.