(Westmont Montessori School)

Many parents and teachers across B.C. are struggling with a return to school plan riddled with gaps.

But one Montessori school on Vancouver Island has devised a plan to increase physical distancing options and reduce the risk of virus transmission when students return on September 10.

Westmont Montessory School in Metchosin has announced protocols that will allow students and teachers to utilize the school’s natural surroundings to expand the amount of space available.

“This year, learners will be organized into only 32-50 student groupings amongst
many indoor spaces that are larger than schools in their district,” said Magnus Hanton, Head of School at Westmont Montessori, in a statement.

“Moving forward, these spaces will be extended to outdoor educational spaces as well.”

For the coming year, the private school plans to expand their classrooms to outdoor spaces, including a large learning shelter, garden, meadow and forest area, as well as the beach at Witty’s Lagoon.

Westmont is also implementing direct outdoor drop-offs, implementing double janitorial cleaning schedules including mid-day, and adding more hand washing stations ahead of the 2020 school year.

For parents who would rather keep their children at home, the school has also built up an online learning platform.

“Building on our online learning pilot program from March, we have expanded our remote learning capabilities for the upcoming school year through the development of a Montessori materials lending library, a virtual learning platform with in classroom interaction, as well as teachers designated specifically to supporting remote learners,” added Hanton.

More information about the schools return plan can be found online.