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Schools Open, First Time In A Year #549456
04/13/21 04:35 AM
04/13/21 04:35 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Ministry of Education Update: Phased-in Return to Face-to-Face Instruction

Following the approval of Cabinet for the Ministry of Education to proceed with the phased-in return to face-to-face instruction, schools across the country have begun the process of preparing to have students back on campus. Since the announcement was made on March 24th, 211 schools have applied to be part of the phased-in return.

To date, 61 schools have applied to return on April 12th and 161 schools have applied to return on May 10th. Fifty-five of those schools have been visited by their district education centers (DEC), who have verified the schools’ readiness for approval to be granted to them. These verification visits from the DECs are ongoing to ensure that all schools are ready for the safe return of teachers and students. The remaining six schools in this first group will be returning in May for various reasons.

Schools will have varied approaches. Schedules will differ and so will the groups of students who will be coming back for shorter periods of time. All managements and administrations have been asked to be mindful of economic constraints and to not place unnecessary demands on students and their families. The Ministry of Education is working with the approved schools to put in place the requisite school bus runs and school feeding programs so that, step by step, the needs of all students can be addressed as best as possible.

Returning to face-to-face instruction, whether in April or May, is optional for schools. Schools are being given the opportunity to put into action their Learning Continuity Plans and to begin assessing students to bridge academic gaps. Teachers are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. These efforts are in preparation for a return to the classroom for all schools for the coming academic year 2021-2022.

Kindly click the link below for the list of approved schools.


Schools Across the Country Reopen for Face to Face Learning
Dozens of students were back in the traditional classroom today as part of the phased reopening of schools.

Re: Schools Open, First Time In A Year [Re: Marty] #549459
04/13/21 04:52 AM
04/13/21 04:52 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Schools Open, First Time In A Year

Principals and teachers are dusting off desks that haven't been used in over a year as they prepare to reopen their classroom.

The Ministry of Education had deemed it safe enough for schools to begin phasing in face-to-face learning, with an option to begin either today or in May. They prepared a checklist with requirements that schools had to meet and those that got approved are getting ready to welcome back students.

Courtney Menzies spoke to the administrators of two Belize City high schools and has this story.

Schools have finally reopened for face to face learning after over a year - but things are very different this time. Most schools will be utilizing blended learning and have ensured that social distance and sanitization are mandatory on their compounds.

One school that was more than ready was Anglican Cathedral College, and today the principal told us what their lesson plan looked like.

Ismael Requena, Principal, ACC
"Today we dedicated, or we are dedicating this week, to the completion of SBA's so fourth formers we are concerned about, so our focus are fourth formers. So our fourth formers were called to come in this morning and this morning is history and social studies. But a lot of our students are so eager to come so we had quite a number of students this morning, which we embraced, we didn't turn them back."

"Come Monday, the 19th, all fourth formers will then report to classes. We have divided them into deacons and acolytes and the deacons will come Monday and Tuesday to do face to face. Wednesday you do online classes. And then Thursday and Friday the acolytes come in and then we do that shift over again."

"On the 10th of May, the same way with the fourth formers, first through to third will report to classes so by the end of June we should have tested this and know exactly what it is we need to do to reopen August fully."

Principal Requena explained that the main reason for reopening today is the ensure that the students can get a higher quality education than they would have been receiving online. One teacher says he can see the difference with the classes he has been teaching today.

Radui Reyes, Teacher, ACC
"We are right now discussing what is called the historical essay, this is the history SBA, it is an argumentative essay that the students have to develop. Obviously, we started from first term with it but the online modality has its short comings when it comes to particularly SBA because it's a very skilled based type of activity."

"I'm very happy to have them in class, I can sense it from them, students are students, they will behave normally, and that's what I like about them because they're not behaving any other way then normal but I can see within that that they are happy to be back."

"As I'm teaching right now or explain a certain component I can see the "ah-ha" moment for some of them, I can see them saying "yeah, I get it now."

And the students were eager to return to their classrooms after a year of online classes.

Courtney Menzies:
"Were you excited to come back to class today?"

Perla Ack, Student, ACC
"Yes ma'am."

Courtney Menzies:

Perla Ack, Student, ACC
"Because I can have better interaction with the teacher face-to-face."

Courtney Menzies:
"So do you feel you will learn better in the classroom than online?"

Perla Ack, Student, ACC
"Yes definitely."

Courtney Menzies:
"How has the past year been like having to do online classes?"

Perla Ack, Student, ACC
"It was kind of difficult because we had to be on time, had to turn on your camera, and sometimes be very alert during the classes."

Elton Perez, Student, ACC
"On the first day you come back to school, you're happy to see your friends and everybody you missed when you're at home all by yourself and you feel good. The other reason I like come back to school is because I could ask more question for the teacher to be more clear on what the teacher is teaching."

Courtney Menzies:
"How has your experience been over the past year doing online classes?"

Elton Perez, Student, ACC
"It has been bad, not really bad but difficult, because once you know you have to get up but you love being in your bed you just don't want to come out and, you know, then for the second reason, you have issues with internet and either your internet is dropping or your device is shutting off by itself."

While over 50 schools have been approved for reopening, many are waiting until later this week or next week to reopen.

That's the case for Gwen Lizarraga High School, who will be reopening next Monday. But their school buildings are prepped for the returning students.

The acting vice principal explain their own reasoning for reopening their doors.

Miss Middleton, Acting Vice Principal, Gwen Liz
"We have decided to phase in to face to face for fourth formers and our firdst form students. Our second and third formers will remain online or they will continue to do paper based assessment. One of the reason we decided to start first with our fourth formers is because the school year for them will finish next month and when we did an analysis of the first semester grades, we realized that a lot of our fourth formers did not do too well so one of the reason we decided to phase them in first is because we want to make sure we have that contact with them so that we can push them to finish fourth form real good."

So while classrooms stood empty today - next week, these distanced desks will be filled with students - getting face to face instruction for the first time in over a year.

According to a release from MOE, 61 schools in total have applied to reopen today, and 161 have applied to return on May 10th. Only 55 of that former number were approved, and the other 6 will reopen in May. That's 22 in the Belize District. 12 In the Cayo district. Four in Corozal, 4 in Orange Walk, 6 in the Stann creek District, and 8 in Toledo.

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