Important Messages from the Comox Valley International Student Program


May 8, 2020

Some encouraging statistics from our Provincial Government


April 29, 2020


April 7, 2020

ROLES IN HOME LEARNING

STUDENT’S ROLE – The active learner

  • Do the best you can
  • Work with your parents and teachers
  • Ask for help when you need it

FAMILY ROLE – The facilitators of learning

  • Create conditions at home (routines and spaces) that support learning and increase comfort
  • Maintain three-way communication (parents, teachers and students)
  • Monitor student emotional and physical well-being
  • Balance family and student needs

TEACHER’S ROLE – The learning guide

  • Maintain regular contact with students (twice a week) via phone, email, online meetings, etc.
  • Help students maintain connections with other students
  • Provide 1-2 hours of core learning opportunities each day
  • Provide ongoing support
  • Identify and monitor family and student needs: refer to school team for extra support
  • Assess progress with specific and constructive feedback
  • Provide a final report at the end of June

SCHOOL’S ROLE – The learning journey support system

  • Communication with school community
  • Support emotional and physical health for students, staff, and families
  • Support students, teachers and parents with their learning journey
  • Coordinate school routines and structures

March 27, 2020

Hello everyone,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families all the best during these challenging times. I know that these past two weeks have been unsettling and unusual; however, we hope you had some fun and had a relaxing break with your families over the spring vacation.

Next week, all our teachers will be working from home. They will be connecting with each of their students/families by telephone or email and beginning to plan for the delivery of learning opportunities in a different way now that face-to-face instruction is no longer possible. Our goal is to stay connected and keep the learning agenda moving forward for all our students. Details from each student’s school will be coming to you via the teacher contacts and school emails. Schools will also be working with families to facilitate opportunities for students to retrieve any personal items they may need to support them in their learning. Again, details will be forthcoming from the schools. Please do not send your student to school next week. Students cannot enter schools. If they have items in their lockers that are needed, they should contact their Support Teacher (Ms. Baron, Ms. Oliphant, or Ms. Mulrooney) to let them know. Arrangements will be made over the next few days for the pickup of these items. Schools will be providing further information for families in the coming days.

As a parent of two young adults, I really feel like I spend a great deal of my time reminding my daughters that they are not invincible, and that their decisions during this pandemic have consequences that go far beyond them. We have over 100 international students still with us, who, in addition to needing the same conversation that I have with my own children daily, might also be from cultures where being social, hugging, and kissing each other as greetings or farewells is the norm. If you as natural parents or agents of these young people could help us reinforce the following message, we will weather this storm together. ALL students remaining with us here are expected to follow the Health and Safety Guidelines set out by our Provincial Government. Here are the all important basics:

  • Stay home wherever possible, that means NO getting together with your friends, no trips to Starbucks, no hanging out together. Instead you should be using social media to keep in contact with your friends
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water (20 seconds)
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.
  • If you go out for some fresh air or exercise, make sure your maintain a distance of 2 metres from others

On a more positive note, here is what students SHOULD be doing:

  • Watch a show or movie
  • Play a game, cook, or just spend time with your homestay family
  • Connect with friends and family online
  • Get some exercise – go for a walk (maintain a safe distance from others) or follow an online exercise class
  • Be creative – play an instrument, do some baking, draw, paint, knit….so many options
  • Focus on the fact that you are safe and healthy and this situation istemporary

Thank you again for your patience, understanding and flexibility. Your school will be sending out information about subsequent weeks, learning activities and schedules. We are all working together to make sure our students make the most of the opportunities provided to them in these difficult times. We need your help as we move forward. I encourage you to stay in contact with anyone on our team, or our social media sites; Facebook ‘Comox Valley International High School Program’, Instagram ‘comoxvalleyisp’

Please take care of yourself and each other. We’re here for you.

Respectfully,

Greg Kochanuk, District Principal


March 23, 2020

Dear Partners,

We want you to be aware of the following information on air travel service from the Comox Valley.

Temporary Suspension of Air Canada, and Pacific Coastal Airlines Services

The Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) has been notified by Air Canada that service to YQQ will be suspended from April 1st to April 30th. Please see the Air Canada website for further details.

Pacific Coastal Airlines President Quentin Smith has also issued an update, suspending all air service effective end of day, Tuesday, March 24th, until May 3rd. See the full statement here.

At this time, WestJet has reduced the frequency of service on some of the routes out of YQQ and passengers are advised to check the airline’s website for schedule changes and further updates.

“Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our passengers, our employees, and tenants and the communities we serve,” said acting Comox Valley Airport CEO Alex Robertson. “We are working now to adapt to the temporary suspension of service and ask for your patience until we are able to issue more information and details regarding resumption of services.”

Information updates will be posted to www.comoxairport.com as they become available.


March 21, 2020

Dear partners in education,

In an effort to keep you updated about how COVID-19 is affecting us in the Comox Valley, here is the latest from our office. I would to stress the importance of remaining calm an1d as a team, we will get through this together.

Status of COVID-19 in British Columbia

There are 277 total cases in BC, including a single case in the Comox Valley. Our advice to students who are remaining with us  is to practice the following:

  1. Frequent and vigorous hand washing
  2. Social distancing and avoiding contact with large groups of any kind
  3. Listening to homestay requests on these issues

Restaurants, malls, community centres and theatres have now closed to help keep the public safer through avoiding large crowds. As a result of the current situation, we have closed face to face instruction in our schools for the foreseeable future.

Travel

We realize this is a difficult time, but we are still leaving the decision up to individual families as to whether or not students should return home.  There are risks with returning, such as going through airports and in many cases, travelling to places where COVID-19 is much worse than it is here. However, we realize that in uncertain times, families often want their loved ones close by, which we totally understand and support. We will refund all homestay and medical fees to students who opt to return home at this time. For those remaining with us, we will continue to offer an educational program here when Spring Break ends and school resumes on March 30.

What next?

Our Minister of Education has made it clear that he will be supporting our international students that require these marks for validation of their report cards or who are with us to graduation. We will continue to offer classes remotely with the same teachers with whom the students were taking their courses. All of our teachers will be back in schools on March 30, planning how to deliver their course material to students over the coming weeks.

We are hopeful that our summer program will run as planned for both the July and August sessions, but we will make a definitive call on that in about one month’s time.

For those of you worried about what next year might look like in terms of registering your students, we have added a COVID-19 rider to our refund policy which should put all of you at ease knowing that families who register with our program will be entitled to full refunds of all fees save the registration fee.

We will be keeping all of our partners updated regularly through our website and social media accounts:

Facebook: Comox Valley International High School Program

Instagram: comoxvalleyisp

Finally, my message to all of you is that if you have questions about anything at anytime, please reach out to our team.  We are working every day to keep on top of a situation we know changes hourly. We are, as we will always be, here for you.

Sincerely,

Greg Kochanuk

District Principal, Comox Valley International Student Program