New to Canada...

 If you or your family has just arrived to Kelowna/Canada, please call our Welcome Center office (250-470-3258) to book an appointment. 

 Currently, our Settlement Workers will be able to have a phone or video consultation with you to discuss your needs.

Thank you for your understanding as our priority is to keep our newcomers and staff healthy and safe.

Updates about COVID-19 - International Education Program
We will post summaries from our health authorities and guidelines from our international program here.  UPDATED APRIL 3rd - School Planning and Community Update
Updates about COVID-19 - International Education Program

We will post summaries from our health authorities and guidelines from our international program here.  UPDATED APRIL 3rd - School Planning and Community Update

 Update ​April 3rd, 2020

Sending well wishes and positive thoughts over the miles from the Central Okanagan International Program staff to all of you, your families, and colleagues. Our hearts go out to all of you in areas of the world experiencing significant health emergencies. Being so connected in the international education makes every news story from every country so important to all of us.  We hope that in the coming days, the news about each of your countries takes a positive turn as your citizens work through this pandemic together. Stay safe, be healthy and find a reason to smile everyday.

Community Update

The health risk in the Central Okanagan continues to remain low although the alert in our area has been heightened with more local cases of COVID-19 being confirmed. To date there are now 107 confirmed COVID cases in the Interior Health Region (please see below for a link to a map of the region). Our local hospital and medical facilities are prepared and ready for increased cases.

Most citiens in our communities continue to follow all the precautionary restrictions.  Families are being urged to stay together as a family unit when out for walks and exercise. We are fortunate to live in a low-density population area surrounded by nature. There are many walks, hikes and cycle paths that are available nearby.

Essential service businesses remain open and food and other essential supplies are available in our grocery stores and pharmacies. These stores are well stocked, and most food and non-food items are readily available. Our homes in Canada typically have large storage areas and additional freezers so families can purchase more food less often. This helps our families to stay home more as they do not need to go out to get additional supplies as often.

Homestay Meetings

Our homestay coordinators have had several check in meetings with their students from around the world. Students were happy to see each other on a video chat from a variety of time zones.  Many meetings turned into impromptu Show & Tell sessions with students introducing each other to their Canadian siblings, parents, and pets. The homestay coordinators will continue to adjust their virtual homestay meeting groupings and times based on student needs. Next week the ELL teachers from each school will also be joining the meetings to answer questions about school planning and provide support with other subject areas. The homestay coordinators have also shared a wide variety of activities and ideas with students to continue to expand their learning and practice their English skills.

School Update

During the first week our teachers and school staffs have been working together to activate the on-line educational program. Staff have been busy connecting with families to ensure that we understand each student's situation and create appropriate learning opportunities and expectations. Teachers from each school have communicated with students about their learning plans. If your students were not contacted by a teacher by Friday, April 3rd, please ask them to connect with their homestay coordinator for assistance.

At the district level in the Central Okanagan, we have a skilled tech support team and a knowledgeable instructional support team. We also have district level ELL support teams as well as ELL teachers assigned for every school. We are fortunate to have experienced, dedicated teachers who work collaboratively to support the varying needs of all learners in our system. In addition to teaching staff, a wide variety of district professionals are collaborating and making plans to remotely provide a high level of service to students with diverse abilities and needs including our international students. District staff, in partnership with community agencies, will provide support for the social, emotional and physical well-being of all students.

Our district motto, Together We Learn, guides the approach that our teachers, district support staff and community partners have taken as they design innovative lessons for the new on-line environment. All grade levels will blend synchronous learning (where teachers and students connect in real time through technology) and asynchronous learning (where students continue learning on their own time through meaningful activities and assignments). Teachers will differentiate lessons for students who are living in different time zones as needed.  

The latest message to families from the Board of Education can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2UDnv5A

The latest news release summarizing the progress on the Provincial priorities can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/3bQi7Sp

Frequently asked questions about final marks, graduation and the Continuity of Learning Plan for the province of British Columbia is available in multiple languages including English, Arabic, Chines, Farsi, Korean, Punjabi, Tagalog can be accessed here:

 https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/program-management/safe-caring-and-orderly-schools

This site also provides information about final marks and graduation. This site is updated regularly.  The last update was made on April 1st

Medical and Counselling Support

Students in our program who are in Canada have access to a mobile doctor through their Guard Me Insurance. Students are covered for all new and emergent conditions and medically necessary treatment, including COVID-19. Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19 can connect through the Mobile Doctor service.  Students can also access counselling support through the Keep Me Safe service.  Links to both services are below and on our website. Our insurance provider, Guard Me, also posts regular updates on their homepage with useful links and FAQ sections - https://www.guard.me/cosd

Counselling = Keep Me Safe

Doctor = Mobile Doctor

Government Policy Update

Recently the Canadian government changed travel restrictions for international students.  Any international students who have received a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020 are exempt from the travel restrictions. If students are travelling by air, they need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before they are allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. Upon arrival in Canada students will be medically assessed before they leave the port of entry. Students must isolate for 14 days even if they have no symptoms. This is mandatory. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Canadian and BC government will continue to make amendments. The government of British Columbia also continues to add additional precautionary measures at the provincial level.  A summary of updates can be accessed at BC Gov News

Gratitude

Thank you again for your patience, kindness, and support of our students as we navigate through these difficult circumstances. Together, we will continue to grow and learn and stay connected safely to ensure a healthy tomorrow. Sending positive wishes of good health around the world from the Central Okanagan.

The Okanagan Valley is a part of Interior Health Region. Click the link to see a map of the Interior Health Region – LINK to MAP of INTERIOR HEALTH REGION. Interior Health posts active facility outbreaks on their website. For the most accurate updates please visit the Interior Health website – INTERIOR HEALTH

Update ​March 29, 2020

Attached below is a letter sent to parents and homestay parents on Friday, March 27th from the Minister of Education and President of the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. This letter provides important information regarding the continuity of learning plan and the priorities of the government of British Columbia.  Also included are translated versions in Chinese, Punjabi and French. 

During the first week after Spring Break (March 30th – April 3rd), schools will not be open to students. During this week our teachers and school staffs will be working together to activate the on-line educational program to begin the week of April 6th – 10th.

The Ministry of Education has launched Keep Learning BC at www.openschool.bc.ca/KeepLearning in order to provide resources for self-directed learning for the first week (March 30th – April 3rd). This site offers a list of everyday educational activities for every age designed to support the BC curriculum and includes four main sections:

  • Learning at Home – Outline and practical tips
  • Everyday Learning Activities – For elementary students
  • Resources – Some on-line courses, e-textbooks, library resources, learning videos
  • Keeping Healthy – COVID-19 information resources, on-line safety, mental health supports & resources

The Ministry of Education has also created a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions regarding the Continuity of Learning K-12 Education System at www.gov.bc.ca/SafeSchools/. This site will continue to be updated with new information.

Attachments:
LettertoParentsfromtheBCMinistryofEducationMarch27th2020.pdf
LettertoParentsfromtheBCMinistryofEducationMarch27th2020Chinese.pdf
LettertoParentsfromtheBCMinistryofEducationMarch27th2020French.pdf
LettertoParentsfromtheBCMinistryofEducationMarch27th2020Punjabi.pdf

Update ​March 27, 2020

Thank you for your continued support of our students during this unprecedented time. We are very happy to hear that our students who returned home have safely arrived and reunited with their families and that are students who remain in the Central Okanagan are enjoying their spring break with their Canadian families. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the complex layers that this world pandemic has created for our international program.  We are very fortunate to have such caring partners to work and collaborate with to ensure the health, well-being, and happiness of our students.

Community Update

The health risk in the Central Okanagan remains low. To date there are now 62 confirmed COVID cases in the Interior Health Region (please see below for a link to a map of the region). Most citizens in our communities are diligently following all of the precautionary restrictions.  Essential service businesses remain open and food and other essential supplies are available in our grocery stores and pharmacies. Our local hospital and medical facilities are well prepared. Provincial and national parks have now closed.

Government Policy Update

The Canadian government has now mandated that all citizens returning from abroad must self-isolate. Failure to do so will result in fines and/or jail time. Travellers returning to Canada must use personal vehicles to return to their homes. If personal vehicles are not available, officials will assist them in returning to their homes for their self-isolation period.  Travellers returning from abroad cannot use public transportation.  The government of British Columbia also continues to add additional precautionary measures at the provincial level.  A summary of updates can be accessed at BC Gov News

Medical and Counselling Support

Students in our program who are in Canada have access to a mobile doctor through their Guard Me Insurance. Students are covered for all new and emergent conditions and medically necessary treatment, including COVID-19. Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19 can connect through the Mobile Doctor service.  Students can also access counselling support through the Keep Me Safe service.  Links to both services are below and on our website.  Counselling = Keep Me Safe    Doctor = Mobile Doctor

School Update

Teachers and school staff were on spring break for the past two weeks. During this time, provincial and district staff have formulated a coordinated approach for the continuity of learning in response to COVID-19. The health and safety of school staff, students, parents and communities remains the highest priority.

During the first week after Spring Break (March 30th – April 3rd), schools will not be open to students. During this week our teachers and school staffs will be working together to activate the on-line educational program for our 23,000 students including all international students who have chosen to continue on-line learning and returned to their home countries or remain in Canada (options 2 & 3).

Each school will be coordinating their own on-line system. Once we receive more information from our schools, we will communicate the school level plans with you. A teacher will be connecting with each student in our program by Friday, April 3rd.  If your students have not been contacted by a teacher by Friday, March 3rd, please ask them to connect with their homestay coordinator for assistance.

All students continuing to participate in our program will receive final grades if they successfully complete assigned work and assessments using the on-line learning platform.  Reports cards and graduation/convalidation documents will be issued at the end of the program. School report cards for term 3 will also be issued but may be delayed due to the recent COVID situation.

Homestay Meetings

Our homestay coordinators have scheduled on-line zoom meetings on Monday or Tuesday next week.  Students were sent an invitation and a link for their homestay zoom meetings. Meetings will be recorded and shared with students who are unable to attend on-line meetings.  Homestay coordinators will schedule regular check in meetings and information meetings each week and will be adjusting meeting times to allow for multiple time zones.

International Activities

Our activity coordinator has organized on-line activities for our students that will provide some fun for them while respecting social distancing guidelines. As restrictions decrease, the activities coordinator will organize other appropriate activities for students who are living in the Central Okanagan.  Homestay coordinators will share more information about activities during their student zoom meetings.

Refund Update

The Central Okanagan International Program will process homestay and medical insurance refunds as soon as possible. Our insurance provider requires a 30 day wait period to determine if a claim has been made. No medical refund will be made for a policy that has had a claim. The final combined homestay and medical refunds will be processed together in a single refund after the 30 day wait period.

As we are not able to predict exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out in our country, we will also be refunding all Rocky Mountain and Vancouver/Victoria trip fees in full.  Refunds will be issued to the same credit card used for registration. This process may take some time, but please be assured the fees will be refunded as soon as possible. Should it become possible for our students still living in the Central Okanagan to travel as a group prior to the end of the school year, we will explore trip options at that time and update you accordingly. 

Gratitude

Thank you for your on-going support in reinforcing with our students the importance of staying at home as much as possible for their own safety and the safety of community. Thank you as well for continuing to keep us informed of updates regarding changing travel plans and family decisions for each student.  Sending positive wishes of good health around the world from the Central Okanagan.

The Okanagan Valley is a part of Interior Health Region. Click the link to see a map of the Interior Health Region – LINK to MAP of INTERIOR HEALTH REGION. Interior Health posts active facility outbreaks on their website. For the most accurate updates please visit the Interior Health website – INTERIOR HEALTH

 

Update ​March 23, 2020

The  health risk in our community remains low and our provincial health authority and government continue to remind all citizens of the importance of following all precautionary restrictions diligently. To date there have been 30 confirmed cases in the Interior Health Region (please see below for a link to a map of the region). Most non-essential businesses and public facilities are now closed including public parks and school yards.

In a press conference this morning the Canadian Prime Minister stated that there will be no tolerance for citizens disobeying orders to socially distance from others in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19. Over the weekend, some provinces have implemented more restrictive measures including arrests and fines in order to enforce social distancing. Although the province of British Columbia has not implemented these measures, there is a strong possibility of increased restrictions in the days and weeks ahead.

Our Prime Minister has stated that everyone living in Canada:

  • Must practice social distancing (staying at least 2 meters away from others)
  • Must stay at home (exceptions for work and accessing basic necessities)
  • Must self-isolate for 14 days if they or anyone living in their house has flu or cold symptoms

The vast majority of our citizens are respecting the restrictions by our government. For the protection of everyone, it is important  that our students understand what is being required at this time. Students must understand that the majority of each day will be spent at home with their host families. Their social lives and regular activities will remain impacted in the weeks ahead. This includes meeting up with friends in public places. They will have to meet with them on-line.  

Thank you for your assistance in reinforcing with our students the importance of staying at home as much as possible for their own safety and the safety of our most vulnerable and elderly. We are not able to predict exactly how the pandemic will play out in our country, however, all indicators point to increased restrictions in the coming days and weeks.

The Okanagan Valley is a part of Interior Health Region. Click the link to see a map of the Interior Health Region – LINK to MAP of INTERIOR HEALTH REGION. Interior Health posts active facility outbreaks on their website. For the most accurate updates please visit the Interior Health website – INTERIOR HEALTH

Update ​March 20, 2020

Please refer to the government websites for the most accurate sources of information about our province and country in relation to COVID-19:

CANADA INFO  Government of Canada COVID- 19 Updates     

BC INFO - Government of BC COVID-19 Updates

Our community continues to take precautionary measures to control the spread of COVID-19. To date there have been 12 confirmed cases in the Interior Health Region. The Okanagan Valley is a part of this health region.  Please click the link to see a map of the Interior Health Region – LINK to MAP of INTERIOR HEALTH REGION. We do not know how many of these 12 cases are in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country which are our communities in the Central Okanagan. Interior Health posts active facility outbreaks on their website. Presently there are no cases listed on this site in Kelowna, West Kelowna or Lake Country. For the most accurate updates please visit the Interior Health website – INTERIOR HEALTH

In the Central Okanagan many businesses and facilities have now shut down or are working with skeletal staffs in order to maintain services. Restaurants and coffee shops are open with drive thru and pick up services.  Many stores have reduced hours and have customer capacity limits. Most food items and household supplies are still available. 

Our most pressing issue in the international program is our students understanding the importance of social distancing and staying at home. Student must take these precautions seriously if they have chosen to stay in our program during these crucial weeks.  Host families are following the Prime Minister's appeal to Canadians and residents to stay home and to practice stringent social distancing restrictions. Many of our host families have elderly relatives and/or young children who are at risk. Many of our host parents work in industries that are linked directly or indirectly to health care and other essential services. Our students need to respect social distancing recommendations. Our federal and provincial health authorities are strongly encouraging all residents to stay home if possible in order to flatten the curve of reported COVID-19 cases. If students have chosen to stay in the Central Okanagan, they must understand the importance of the social distancing restrictions and respect the guidelines that their host parents are asking of them. Their social lives and regular activities have been impacted and will remain impacted in the weeks ahead. This includes meeting up with friends and participating in sleepovers in other students' homes. We ask for your assistance in reinforcing with our students the importance of staying at home as much as possible for their own safety.  There are many indoor (in home) and outdoor activities that are possible during this waiting period that can be done alone or with a friend or family member with the permission of their host parents. Thank you in advance for your support in reinforcing the importance of staying at home.

Student who have been in our program since September are have MSP coverage and Guard Me Plus BC medical insurance. See the links below:

Students who started in the new year have a different medical plan so that they are fully covered without MSP.  See the link below:

Our Guard Me website has other additional information included regular updates regarding COVID-19.  It also has our policies in multiple languages. See the links below:

Our students also have 24-hour access to our Keep Me Safe on-line counselling program. Keep Me Safe provides counselling in multiple languages. This program has trained counsellors who understand cultural differences and specialize in working with students abroad. Please remind students of this important support service – Keep Me Safe

It is impossible for me to predict the future on the situation in our region.  The most accurate information based on facts from government sources will be posted on our website. This is a difficult time for many of our students and their parents. We will continue to support each student as they work through their decision to return home or to stay in the Central Okanagan. Those choosing to return home will have access to distance learning. As teachers are still on spring break, we not yet know the details of the educational plan yet. This will be coming in the next few days. If students are choosing to go home, please let me know if they would like to withdraw from our program or continue with on-line learning so I am able to update schools regarding their plan.

Thank you again for your continued support through this unprecedented time. We are very fortunate to have such supportive partners working with us in the ever-changing landscape of this pandemic situation.

Update ​March 18, 2020
On March 17th, the Provincial Health Officer declared a Public Health Emergency in British Columbia. The Ministry of Education directed all schools to suspend in-class instruction until further notice. Central Okanagan Public Schools is currently on spring break, and therefore, our schools are not in session.  

Although the health risk in the Central Okanagan remains low, we are asking that parents, homestay parents, and agents continue to remind students of the social distancing restrictions and the importance of good hygiene practices in order to keep themselves safe as safety is our number one priority.

The Central Okanagan Public Schools is planning for the continuity of education for our students after spring break. After March 29th, while in-class instruction is suspended indefinitely, schools will provide an educational program to ensure continued learning and support for our students. 

Teachers and school staff will support learning and academic progress for all international students through on-line technology. International students who are graduating, working on credits for graduation, or validating their year abroad will receive the curriculum and instructional hours necessary to meet requirements. So long as students continue to engage in their courses and complete all assignments, students will receive school credits and complete their program.

Should students be going home at this time? 

There is no easy response to this question as each student and family situation is different. In addition, government directives and health risks vary by region and country. 

The Central Okanagan International Program is offering the following options in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Students should be able to access on-line learning from their home country.

  1. Students can choose to return home and withdraw from the program. 
  2. Students can choose to return home while remaining in the program and continue their educational program via distance learning. 
  3. Students can remain in the Central Okanagan and continue their educational program via distance learning. It is important to note that the risk of remaining in Canada at this time is our inability to predict the availability of air travel in the upcoming weeks.
Should the Public Health Officer and the Ministry of Education decide to resume in-class instruction, all students who are enrolled in the program will be able to return to regular classes. 

Update (2) ​March 17, 2020

The attached two letters were released by the Central Okanagan School District and the Ministry of Education today.  Our team will be providing more information specifically about our international student program as soon as possible. 

Please read the following letters to parents from the Superintendent of Schools/CEO and the Ministry of Education regarding COVID-19.

Letter to Parents re: COVID-19 - March 17, 2020 

Ministry of Education Letter to Parents - March 17, 2020 

Update ​March 17, 2020

An  announcement has just been made by the BC Government about indefinitely extending school closures. Our team is working to provide an update of next steps for students, homestay parents and agents as quickly as possible. We will be sending out more information as soon as we have all of the details of this announcement and the impact it will have for our international program. Updates will be emailed to agents, homestay families, and students directly and will also be posted on our website www.international.sd23.bc.ca

Update ​March 16, 2020

Thank you for your continued support of communicating with the parents of our students in the Central Okanagan. 

Today more announcements were made by the provincial and federal governments. In summary:

  • Canadian borders will be closed to foreign nationals. Only Canadian citizens and US citizens, permanent residents, diplomats, and other essential service personal will allowed into Canada
  • International airport entry points have been reduced to 4 locations: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary
  • Social distancing restrictions are now limited to 50 people of less
  • All people in Canada are being encouraged to stay at home when possible
  •  For full details: CANADA INFO  Government of Canada COVID- 19 Updates     BC INFO - Government of BC COVID-19 Updates

To date there are 2 confirmed cases in the Okanagan Valley. 

Shopping malls, stores, and many businesses remain open. Our main shopping mall is reducing hours to allow for additional cleaning. Recreation centers, movie theaters and ski hills (including Big White) have closed. Restaurant and other service facilities have customer limits. Groceries stores were quite empty on the weekend, but the shelves have been replenished and most food and other necessities are available.

The health risk in the Central Okanagan continues to remain low. We must encourage our students to follow the recommendations announced by our health authority today. Teenagers are very social in nature. 

We are asking for your support in reaffirming with our students that they must limit socialization to small groups and respect their homestay parents' guidelines and directions. The situation seems to be changing daily and the homestay parents have the students' best interests in mind. 

New closures and social distancing restrictions will impact our students' regular routines. Thank you for your help in communicating these latest changes to our students and their parents.

Update March 15, 2020

An update regarding COVID 19 and the situation in the Central Okanagan was sent out on March 14th. Please see the March 15th update below with important changes in BOLD FONT below based on changes in the past 24 hours.

As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly across the world. The purpose of this email is to provide you with an update regarding COVID-19 and the Central Okanagan International Program. To begin I want to reassure our partners, parents, and students that the health risk in Canada remains low. To date, there is one confirmed COVID-19 case in the Central Okanagan. Recreation centers, shopping malls, ski resorts etc. are opened for business and functioning as they normally would with the addition of enhanced cleaning routines in place as precautionary measures. The medical health officer continues to confirm that the best preventative measure is good hygiene. The health and safety of our students in our district and our international program continues to be our highest priority. Our district works closely with our local health authority, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education.   

The BC Health Officer advised travel and large event restrictions on Thursday in our province. Yesterday the Government of Canada also implemented similar restrictions for all Canadians. 

  • The health authority is advising against all non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the United States.  If people travel outside of Canada, then they must self-isolate and stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return.
  • Gatherings and events larger than 250 people, should not be held or should be cancelled.

These restrictions are preventative measures that have been implemented by our government as most COVID cases in our country have been directly or indirectly linked to international travel. The health risk in our province and country remains low. For more detailed information click here – BC Health

Central Okanagan Public School District is on a 2 week spring break from March 14th – March 29th. This is a regularly scheduled spring break. School is scheduled to re-open on March 30th as per our regular calendar. Our superintendent will be closely monitoring the situation and will inform us if there is an indication of a potential closure. Presently the Provincial Health Officer has advised that closing schools for additional days is not appropriate or advised at this time. The Health Minister also stated that public health officials will be working with the education sector during spring break to continue monitoring the pandemic and the province's response to it.

Please find the attached letter sent directly to parents and homestay parents with important information from the Superintendent, the Deputy Minister of Education, the Provincial Medical Officer and the District. The Ministry has provided letters in multiple languages including: English, Chinese, Punjabi and French. 

Please note that the "international field studies" in this letter is not a reference to the Central Okanagan International Program. This reference is to school field trips that were scheduled outside of Canada over spring break. All field trips outside of Canada have been cancelled. For those of you with students scheduled to participate in the program's spring break trip, the tour to the Rockies (in the province of Alberta) will NOT be going forward as scheduled. The trip has been postponed until further notice based on closures and announcements made in the past few hours by the government of Alberta. Travel within Canada is not restricted, however, the government of Alberta (location of the Rocky Mountain Trip) announced school closures and restrictions of gatherings of more than 50.

As our group surpasses this number, we are unable to travel in a tour at this time. We are also uncertain at this point in time which attractions on the itinerary will remain open in the next few days. The safety of our students is our top priority during this dynamic and quickly changing environment related to COVID-19. We will provide more information regarding future travel as soon as possible. We ask for your patience as we work through possible date changes with the tour company. Thank you for your understanding and support.

Please assure our students and their parents that the health and safety of our students in our top priority. The health care system in Canada is excellent and the provincial and federal governments are working diligently in preparation for the impact of this world pandemic. I also want to remind our partners of our 24 hour emergency phone line should they have any urgent questions or concerns after regular office hours. Emergency Phone +1-250-801-5684

Spring in the Central Okanagan is a beautiful season. Hopefully the warmer days and sunshine will help students have a fun, relaxing and safe spring break and that they are able to enjoy time with their friends and their Canadian family. 

 We will provide more information regarding future travel at a later date as soon as possible.  We ask your patience at this time as we work through this change. Thank you for your understanding and support.


Attachments:
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-Chineseversion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-FrenchVersion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-PunjabiVersion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHeatlhCOVID-19.pdf
LetterfromtheSuperintendentofSchoolsCOVID19.pdf

 

UPDATE MARCH 14, 2020

As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly across the world. The purpose of this email is to provide you with an update regarding COVID-19 and the Central Okanagan International Program. To begin I want to reassure our partners, parents, and students that the health risk in Canada remains low. To date, there are no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Central Okanagan. Recreation centers, shopping malls, ski resorts etc. are opened for business and functioning as they normally would with the addition of enhanced cleaning routines in place as precautionary measures. The medical health officer continues to confirm that the best preventative measure is good hygiene. The health and safety of our students in our district and our international program continues to be our highest priority. Our district works closely with our local health authority, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education.   

The BC Health Officer advised travel and large event restrictions on Thursday in our province. Yesterday the Government of Canada also implemented similar restrictions for all Canadians. 

  • The health authority is advising against all non-essential travel outside Canada, including to the United States.  If people travel outside of Canada, then they must self-isolate and stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return.
  • Gatherings and events larger than 250 people, should not be held or should be cancelled.

These restrictions are preventative measures that have been implemented by our government as most COVID cases in our country have been directly or indirectly linked to international travel. The health risk in our province and country remains low. For more detailed information click here – BC Health

Central Okanagan Public School District is on a 2 week spring break from March 14th – March 29th. This is a regularly scheduled spring break. School is scheduled to re-open on March 30th as per our regular calendar. Our superintendent will be closely monitoring the situation and will inform us if there is an indication of a potential closure. Presently the Provincial Health Officer has advised that closing schools for additional days is not appropriate or advised at this time. The Health Minister also stated that public health officials will be working with the education sector during spring break to continue monitoring the pandemic and the province's response to it.

Please find the attached letter sent directly to parents and homestay parents with important information from the Superintendent, the Deputy Minister of Education, the Provincial Medical Officer and the District. The Ministry has provided letters in multiple languages including: English, Chinese, Punjabi and French. 

Please note that the "international field studies" in this letter is not a reference to the Central Okanagan International Program. This reference is to school field trips that were scheduled outside of Canada over spring break.  All field trips outside of Canada have been cancelled. For those of you with students scheduled to participate in the program's spring break trip, the tour to the Rockies (in the province of Alberta) will be going forward as scheduled. Travel within Canada is not restricted and has not impacting this planned trip. The health risk in the province of Alberta also remains low and school is still in session in Alberta. In addition, most of the activities on the trip itinerary are outdoors. Our tour company has been in close contact with all of their hotel properties and other attractions and will adjust the itinerary should it be deemed necessary. There is no necessity to do so at this time. The international staff will continue to remind students to wash their hands and take other normal hygiene precautions. 

Please assure our students and their parents that the health and safety of our students in our top priority. The health care system in Canada is excellent and the provincial and federal governments are working diligently in preparation for the impact of this world pandemic. I also want to remind our partners of our 24 hour emergency phone line should they have any urgent questions or concerns after regular office hours. Emergency Phone +1-250-801-5684

Spring in the Central Okanagan is a beautiful season. Hopefully the warmer days and sunshine will help students have a fun, relaxing and safe spring break and that they are able to enjoy time with their friends and their Canadian family. 

Attachments:
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-Chineseversion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-FrenchVersion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHealth-PunjabiVersion.pdf
LetterfromtheMinistryofHeatlhCOVID-19.pdf
LetterfromtheSuperintendentofSchoolsCOVID19.pdf




Updates about COVID-19
​We will post updates from health authorities and guidelines from our district here as they emerge.
Updates about COVID-19

​We will post updates from health authorities and guidelines from our district here as they emerge.

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    The Central Okanagan hosts a vibrant, 98% English speaking community, and is ranked one of the best places to live in Canada. We have...
  • Our Program
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    We offer exceptional education in a beautiful community with exciting educational, recreational and cultural activities.  There are optional sightseeing trips to the Rocky Mountains,...


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    The Central Okanagan Public Schools International Program is accredited by the British Columbia Ministry of Education.  The district is an EduCanada brand-authorized institution. Canadian institutions that are brand authorized consistently provide high-quality education programs, deal with international students in accordance with recognized codes of practice, and are subject to quality assurance mechanisms that monitor adherence to set standards. The Central Okanagan Public Schools is a member of the Canadian Association of Public Schools International, the International Public Schools Education Association, and the British Columbia council for International Education. 

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