The Cowichan Valley school district will reopen eight elementary schools this week for children of local essential services workers, board chair Candace Spilsbury announced. (Photo by Mark Margerison)

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

Eight elementary schools in the Cowichan Valley school district will reopen this week to ensure the children of essential-service workers in the Valley have child care and/or supervision for their children so that they can continue to work.

“The board of education acknowledges the importance of providing free, on-site care and educational instruction for children of essential-service workers during this public health crisis,” said Candace Spilsbury, chairwoman of the board.

“We are pleased to be able to work with community partners to develop a support system for essential-services workers with children.”

The school district asked parents to complete a survey to identify essential-service workers who needed supervision of their children in order to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT PLANNING HOW THEY’LL TEACH KIDS DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES

Face-to-face instruction in schools was suspended by the province on March 16, and some essential-services workers have been scrambling to find alternate care for their children.

Spilsbury said the district, and partners, are happy to mobilize to help fill that need.

Based on the survey results, this week, eight elementary schools will start having some students on site to provide this essential-services support.

The essential-services support will be open Monday to Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., for children aged five to 12 (Kindergarten to and including Grade 7) at the schools.

If anyone in the community is an essential-services worker and still requires childcare for their school-aged child, they are being advised to contact their school principal.

Essential-services workers with children up to five years of age can find child care in the community through Clements Centre Child Care Resource and Referral at 250-746-4135 Ext. 231, or cbarclay@celementscentre.org.

“With the introduction of this educational-services support, the school district is working hard to support students, families and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Spilsbury said.

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