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Returning to classrooms safely and with confidence

INSIDE: Mother daughter talk Easy ways to keep your immune system strong Choose only the best to teach you to drive with Wallace Driving School FOCUS ON THE STUDENT: How Westmont School navigates Covid-19 HORTICULTURE: A growing industry at the Pacific Horticulture College Customize every aspect of you music lessons The right fit for back to school shoes at New Balance

2 AUGUST 18, 2020 — bAck To School

TimeS coloniST

monK office

One-Stop Supplies at Monk Office

Email or drop off school supply list(s) at your nearest Monk Office store and their team members will do the shopping for you! Take advantage of the FREE in-store “Pick & Pack”.

Pick AnD PAck PRoGRAm mAkeS ShoPPinG QUick AnD conVenienT.


chool supply shopping can be as easy as a quick email. To help busy parents avoid the crowds this summer, Monk Office is once again offering their free Pick and Pack program up until September 12. CEO Caitlin McKenzie says Pick and Pack allows families more flexibility when it comes to shopping for their list of school supplies. “We know that the Back to School season will be a bit different this year,” says McKenzie, “so we wanted to offer a solution that lets parents skip the lineups and not have to worry about spending too much time out shopping.” No more navigating the aisles looking for a special binder or specific

type of pen. Email or call your closest Monk Office store with your supply lists, and they will do the work for you! Busy summer? Just let Monk know you would like to pick up, and a bag filled with everything for the school will be waiting at your nearest store. Contactless pick-up available. Plus, this year Monk is giving back! Shop by September 12 to help raise funds to provide George Jay Elementary students with the supplies they need for a successful year. Wherever your schooling takes place this year, the team at Monk Office with you a great learning year ahead! Phone: 1.800-735-3433 monk.ca

scHool District 63

Back to School


he outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 left no aspect of life untouched, and education was no exception. The short-term effects of stay-at-home measures were felt immediately by millions of students across the globe On Aug. 5, B.C. released reopening guidelines for the province’s postsecondary institutions, with “Go Forward” as the official guideline source. The document provides the basic steps that institutions should follow to help reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

Students who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes students attending school from abroad. Schools will continue to be cleaned more frequently, including classrooms and high touch areas like door knobs, toilet seats, keyboards and desks. Other changes include organizing students into learning groups, increased spacing between students in classrooms, more individual and smaller group activities, and limitations on assemblies and large gatherings.

scHools are in stage 2 In September 2020, all schools will reopen in Stage 2 of the Five Stages Framework for K-12 Education. Stage 2 is a full return to in-class instruction for all students for the maximum time possible within learning group limits. Parents will be contacted by their school or school district/authority to confirm the educational program options available. Visit your school and district websites for information updates.

Wearing masKs Students and staff are not required to wear masks in schools. Wearing a mask is a personal choice that will always be respected. The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) advise that masks are not recommended for use by young children. In young children, masks can be irritating and can lead to increased touching of the face and eyes For older students and staff, non-medical masks will be provided upon request for use in situations where the person is interacting with someone from outside of their learning group and cannot maintain physical distance for an extended period of time. This includes riding the bus to school where a student may be sitting next to a person outside of their household or learning group. www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/educationtraining/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school

instruction metHoD The 2020/21 school year will look different for students, teachers and parents. Most K-12 students will have access to full-time, in-class instruction, and schools will be ready to welcome them back. Self-directed learning supplements will include in-class instruction, if required.


bAck To School — AUGUST 18, 2020 3

Billings oVulation

Mother daughter talk The billinGS oVUlATion meThoD ® iS The knowleDGe oF heR boDY ThAT eVeRY womAn oUGhT To hAVe.


n tribal Africa, mothers told teenage daughters, in fertility rituals, that the cervical secretion they may already have noticed, was the sign of fertility – that nature wanted them to conceive during these few days. Dr. Billings explained in 1953 that with the application of four simple guidelines, determining the beginning and end of the fertile pattern in either long or short cycles, women would know, every evening, whether conception is possible or not BEFORE sexual contact. If a girl is old enough to become pregnant, she is entitled to this knowledge to make informed choices! “The Billings Method” is available in BC libraries. infobillings@shaw.ca (WHO 98.5% 1978) billings.life


2621 Douglas Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 4M2

Editor: Jenus Friesen To advertise in the next issue of Back to School, contact: Simone Fibiger Phone: 250-380-5358 sfibiger@timescolonist.com

Our students are actively engaged in the new curriculum, assisted with new technology and tools that make learning fun, relevant and future focussed. The future is being taught today in Saanich public schools.

Registration for elementary students (Kindergarten to Gr 5) happens at the Saanich School District offices • Please email : inquiries@saanichschools.ca for more information


Publisher: Dave Obee

Our schools, like our world, have changed over the years – today Saanich schools have opened new doors of learning not possible just a few short years ago. Our innovative learning opportunities of new courses, programs and academies engage the learner like never before allowing them to follow an incredible array of new interests and passions.

New Student Registration

TUeSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2020

Director of Advertising: Peter Baillie

Saanich Schools — Opening the Door to Opportunity

Registration for middle and secondary students happens at • Middle schools (Gr 6-8): North Saanich, Bayside, Royal Oak

The Billings Ovulation Method® The knowledge of her body that every young woman ought to have! Island instructor: infobillings@shaw.ca Vancouver: woombbc@gmail.com Schools: www.teenstar.org


• Secondary schools (Gr 9-12): Claremont, Parkland, Stelly’s, SIDES, ILC

How to Register • Visit the Saanich School District website for complete registration information including school locations and contact information: www.sd63.bc.ca/parents-andstudents/registration • Our website indicates what documents you will need to bring with you to complete the registration process. Please ensure you have them when you arrive. • Registration is closed on Labour Day Monday.

4 AUGUST 18, 2020 — bAck To School

TimeS coloniST

Returning to classrooms safely and with confidence

toP tiPs for at-home learning

No one is certain what this school year will look like. But one thing parents, students and teachers can do is make sure they’re prepared to face any obstacle.


ealth and safety will play a large and important role when returning to school this year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. rememBer to Practice gooD HYgiene Now is a perfect time to stress good hand-washing skills. At home, remind little ones to practice handwashing for at least 20 seconds each time. They can sing ‘happy birthday’ or another song verse that lasts 20 seconds to make it fun and memorable. While it may be difficult to teach kids not to touch their face, consistent reminders are a good way to help them remember as best they can. When they’re back in the classroom, they’ll take these lessons with them. PHYsicallY Distance WHen PossiBle Teaching kids that they have to stand two metres apart from each other is difficult, especially when they have friends they haven’t seen in months. Explaining that everyone is

keeping their distance to keep their friends and families safe is key to helping young kids understand. Give them an example to visualize what two metres looks like, like a hockey stick or the height of a door. This way, when they return to classrooms, they’ll understand the guideline. Be eQuiPPeD WitH tHe rigHt suPPlies Students will need many unexpected essentials on their back-to-school list this year. In addition to a new backpack and pencil case, facemasks, hand sanitizers and cleaning supplies will also be on the shopping list. Make facemask shopping fun by choosing a trendy design that kids will be excited to sport. Equip them with multiple hand sanitizers so when one gets lost, they have quick access to another. Some stationary shops have taken a bit of the work out of deciding the right health and safety items for back-to-school with school kits that include supplies like trendy facemasks and useful hand sanitizers. –MC


lthough kids are slowly returning to school this fall, learning doesn’t have to be restricted to the classroom. In fact, a survey completed in the spring found that parents were spending two to three hours a day of educational time with their children. Whether your kids are heading back to classes or staying home for virtual school this semester, check out these helpful tips for integrating independent learning and maintaining the positive habits established through physical distancing: create a routine. Make sure you create an after-school routine to ensure your child is finishing their homework and not completely turning off their brain. It’s up to you and your family to find what schedule works best for you, but make sure you’re also dedicating some time for play and fun every night. Design a dedicated space. One way to help your child focus on work at home is to create a specific area meant only for learning. Kids associate rooms in the home with certain activities, like the kitchen for eating and the bedroom for sleeping. By making an area for work, you help prep your child mentally for focusing on learning. use PlaY tHrougH learning tools. Who says learning can’t be fun? Using educational computer programs, games and toys can help kids learn through play and expand their minds outside of school time. For example, the Osmo Genius Starter Kit uses tablets to merge tactile exploration with technology, allowing your child to explore STEAM topics in an engaging way. KeeP tHem motiVateD. You can encourage your child by making learning fun and meaningful to them. Help them explore their interests with a little guidance to support their natural curiosity and creativity. For example, if your child shows interest in dinosaurs, share facts and history along with a fun activity like a Jurassic Park movie. With these tips, you can help set your kids up for success this school year. –MC


Easy ways to keep your immune system strong • increase Your intaKe of fruits anD VegetaBles Fruits and vegetables supply the powerhouse antioxidants that are essential for protecting a body against free radicals. Free radicals may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Serve fruits and/or vegetables with every meal to ensure you’re getting enough antioxidant-rich foods. • consume fiBre anD fermenteD fooDs Fibre can help feed the gut microbiome, which is linked to a robust immune system. The microbiome also may prevent harmful pathogens from entering the body through the digestive tract. Data also suggests that eating more fermented foods can further strengthen and populate healthy bacteria in the gut.


• eXercise regularlY Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, advises the American Heart Association. Thirty minutes of exercise each day can go a long way toward keeping the body healthy. Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells. These antibodies and white blood cells circulate rapidly, so they may detect illnesses earlier than they would if you do not exercise. Body temperature also rises during exercise, which could naturally prevent bacteria from growing.

• get aDeQuate sleeP Doctors believe sleep and immunity are closely tied. A study of 164 healthy adults published by the National Institutes of Health found those who slept fewer than six hours each night were more likely to catch a cold than people who slept for more than six hours. Aim for adequate rest each night to keep your body in top form.

• trY to minimiZe stress According to Simply Psychology, when people are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, making people more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone ‘corticosteroid’ can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system. Limiting stress through meditation and breathing exercises, or trying to remove stressors from one’s life, may help. A healthy immune system is vital to fending off or recovering from illness. –MC

he immune system is a powerful component of the human body. The immune system recognizes when viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders enter or compromise the body, and then takes action to prevent illnesses from taking over. The average person can help his or her immune system do its job more effectively by making the immune system as strong as it can be. Harvard Medical School says that diet, exercise, age and psychological stress may affect immune system response. Certain lifestyle choices can promote a strong immune system.

bAck To School — AUGUST 18, 2020 5

Wallace DriVing scHool

Choose only the best to teach you


riving lessons are a lifetime investment. What other deathdefying service can you buy that will last a lifetime? Parents, grandparents and others make good co-pilots, but for a complete driver education experience, a Graduated Licensing (GLC) approved course from driving school is the best option. Only about 50 of the almost 700 provincially approved driving schools carry the GLC qualification. Wallace Driving School is one of the 50 offering this course. Parents are more than willing to buy the best sports equipment, clothing options and other related accessories for their teens. They insist on the best dental and medical care for their kids. They would never personally attempt a root canal or a complicated medical procedure on their teen. Yet many would attempt to

teach a skill which is more life-threatening than the two STEVE WALLACE above mentioned activities. Motor vehicle crashes are not only the leading cause of untimely death for teens, but also exceed all other forms of accidental death combined. Wallace Driving School offers full courses and individual driving lesson instruction. Students get to choose their instructor, the time of day and day of the week for their one-on-one lessons. Pick-up and drop-off are at the student’s convenience, whether at home, school, work or other customer chosen locations. Lessons can be booked online, by phone or in person. Patience is our virtue, choose only the best to teach you. wallacedrivingschool.com

6 AUGUST 18, 2020 — back to school

Times Colonist

Pacific Horticulture College

Horticulture: A Growing Industry


By Laura Biggs, College Director he year 2020 has certainly been interesting, to say the least. The circumstances of this year have proven challenging in many ways, but have also provided the opportunity for reflection and new directions. Amidst the concern and uncertainty, a clear trend has emerged: a growing interest in plants and gardening. At the Pacific Horticulture College

(PHC), we have been training people for careers working with plants since 1987. We are fortunate to have small class sizes and a beautiful outdoor classroom at the Gardens at HCP. We have also shifted our program delivery to a blended format, teaching theoretical components online and practical components in small groups. This allows us to safely continue providing horticulture education, and in doing so, training individuals to work in a growing sector while also encouraging environmental stewardship of green space.

The PHC offers a variety of full-time and part-time training options for each apprenticeship level in the provincial Landscape Horticulturist trades program. Our training provides you with the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, instructors, staff, volunteers, and industry partners who share your passion for plants. In addition, the experienced instructors and recently revised curriculum provide you with a productive and enjoyable learning experience, preparing you for a variety of career options in the ever-growing field of horticulture.

Upcoming programs include Level 3 and 4 apprenticeship training over the winter months and the 10-month Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program starting in early 2021. These programs will have limited class sizes to ensure everyone’s health and safety, so contact us soon if you’re interested! To learn more about how PHC can help you grow your career in horticulture, contact us at: collegeadmin@hcp.ca or: 250-479-3210. Also visit: hcp.ca for details on program options, application information and tuition fees. hcp.ca

Custom Music lessons







Students Decide On: • Price • Scheduling • Location • Teacher by music style

• Music style • Learning pace

IN-HOME LESSONS AVAILABLE info@custommusiclessons.com www.custommusiclessons.com

(250) 419-9727

Customize every aspect of your music lessons


very student learns differently, and Custom Music wants to make their lessons the most enjoyable, rewarding and uplifting experience they can be. Students can customize every aspect of their music lessons to suit their needs. They decide on the price, location, including in-home lessons and lessons in every area of the city, music style, learning pace, scheduling, the teacher’s approach and their teacher’s age and style. If a student needs to reschedule, it’s no problem. Custom Music won’t charge extra for make-up lessons and they will offer to move lessons to a new permanent time slot if needed. Custom Music teachers are experienced, lifelong musicians,

and many of them are recording artists. Custom Music is third generation going back to the Hall Fairfield Music Centre in the 1920s, and then the Arcade Music Centre from the 1950s, and now to them. Register any time by calling: 250-419-9727. custommusiclessons.com


Back to school — AUGUST 18, 2020 7

Westmont Montessori School

Focus on the Student: How Westmont School Navigates Covid-19.

ideal environment for both academic and practical experience pursuits. The balance of choice and structure inspires and empowers students to develop self-responsibility. During the school’s transition to remote learning, Westmont students were able to apply the fundamentals of the Montessori method at home. Building on the success of the remote learning pilot, Westmont has expanded its remote learning capabilities for the 2020/21 year through the development of a Montessori material lending library, virtual learning platform, and teachers dedicated specifically to supporting remote learners. The goal is to have all students engaged with their learning, peers, and teachers when they cannot be in the classroom.

Westmont does not waver in its guiding principle to deliver a safe, physical and emotional, learning environment for its students. Being an independent school, Westmont is able to deliver the Ministry of Education guidelines and curriculum in their own unique way. Starting with the Early Years (pre-school) program and continuing through High School, Westmont believes in honoring each student’s individuality, and providing creative outlets for students to lead themselves through their educational journey. Westmont is currently accepting applications to all programs and invites you to take a virtual tour or inquire for more information at our website, west-mont.ca/fall2020.

“We chose Westmont because we wanted to provide a diverse learning experience for our daughter. During the pandemic, Westmont and its teachers were able to continue to harness these learning experiences, inspiring my daughter to continue to learn during a time that was not easy for her to understand.” - Katie Sewell, Westmont parent


s with the rest of the world, Westmont Montessori School has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the uncertainty, the staff, parents and students showed remarkable resilience during the months of online learning. Almost six months later, the school has had time to reflect on the learnings, develop clear protocols and further enhance the campus’s outdoor facilities and online programs to welcome students full-time in September. Nestled in the quaint community of Metchosin, Westmont`s sprawling 10-acre campus is rich with opportunities for students to access fresh air and safely physically distance inside with large classroom spaces and students. Students of all ages benefit from nature-based learning through outdoor classroom shelters, large learning garden and a sports field. With direct access to the seashore park, Witty’s Lagoon Regional

Park, hiking and beach trips are regular weekly activities. To prepare for the 2020/21 year, Westmont has reviewed feedback from parents, the BCCDC and provincial regulations, and other educational institutions. After careful consideration, acknowledging the campus’s large physical classroom spaces, small student population, and abundant outdoor space, Westmont is confident to be able to welcome students, full-time, in September. To help foster a diverse education, the Montessori method requires the active personal pursuit of many different experiences: physical, social, emotional and cognitive. Students are encouraged to learn by doing, which makes Westmont School an

“Learning is easy if you feel safe.”

- Danny, Westmont Montessori Teacher and former student

8 AUGUST 18, 2020 — bAck To School

TimeS coloniST

neW Balance


The right fit for back to school shoes when YoU bUY new ShoeS FoR YoUR kiDS, TheY ShoUlD Feel GooD FRom The momenT TheY PUT Them on.



SHOES 99 $




New Balance Victoria 1205 Government Street (Corner of View Street)


Tel 250 382 9327 Toll-Free 1 877 882 9327 newbalancevictoria.com

s parents, we want nothing but health and happiness for our children. We worry about getting their teeth and eyes checked, but rarely do we pay attention to their developing feet. Children’s feet are not fully formed until they’re in their late teens. Shoes that don’t fit properly can prevent natural growth, cause discomfort, adversely affect your child’s walking development and lead to health problems. When you buy new shoes for your kids, they should feel good from the moment they put them on. For athletic shoe company New Balance, being a kid doesn’t mean you have to compromise fit, comfort and support because you are not ready for adult sized footwear. Multiple width fittings, sizes, removable insoles and supportive heel counters are basic New Balance standards that help ensure proper fit and support for your kids. Whether your child’s feet are average, wide or narrow, New Balance offers the fit selection to ensure your kids have shoes to get them comfortably through a busy day. When it comes to shoes for school, there are two features to consider. First, kid’s indoor footwear for pre-school and grade school usually needs to be nonmarking. The second feature most often requested by schools is Velcro closures. Be sure to clarify what specific requests your child’s school may have regarding indoor footwear before you make your purchase.

fitting tiPs for cHilDren’s sHoes • Young children’s feet can grow as much as two full sizes in one year. Make sure you have a thumb’s width of empty space at the end of the shoe beyond their longest toe to allow for growth. Your child should be able to comfortably wiggle their toes inside their shoes. • With shoes laced up, check the space between the two rows of eyelets. They should be one to two finger widths apart, and fairly parallel to each other. A distance greater than two finger widths may indicate a shoe that is too narrow. A distance less than one finger width may indicate the shoe is too wide. • Always get your kids to untie and open up the laces when putting on or taking off their shoes to prevent damage to the supportive heel counter. Get your kids in the habit of using their hands and not their feet to take off their shoes. • Avoid hand-me-down shoes. Once a shoe has formed to a child’s foot, it might not fit another child’s foot properly and could adversely affect walking development. • Have your child’s feet measured every time they get new shoes to get the correct size. Too big and it can cause blisters, too small and it can impede growth. If your child is experiencing a diagnosed foot problem, it is beneficial to get a more precise fit to their current size, not allowing a lot of extra room for growth. A shoe that is a bit big does not always provide the support needed to aid properly in recovery. newbalance.com

Profile for Times Colonist

Back to School  

A special section of the Times Colonist

Back to School  

A special section of the Times Colonist

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