School garden where the kids harvested some potatoes. (Submitted/Houston Today)

Babine Elementary-Secondary’s back-to-school close to a normal school year

Masks, hand sanitizing and social distancing are the only new things

While most schools in the region had to go through making elaborate plans, divide students in cohorts and worry over social distancing, Babine Elementary-Secondary School’s back-to-school is almost looking like any other normal year, with a few small exceptions.

“Everything is going really well because we are below the 60 student limit for schools for a cohort, we are one single cohort, which means our required health and safety features are not quite as difficult to achieve as they would be at a bigger school. We are able to go along almost normally,” said Dylan Watt, the principal for the school, adding that the school had almost all its students back to in-class instruction with the exception of two or three students.

Currently, the school has a total enrollment of 32 to 33 students with almost 70 per cent enrollment coming from the reserve in Tachet. Almost 24 students travel every day to school from this reserve in the school bus.

“We have a 48-seat bus so each kid could have their own seat if they want but we are confining them in family groups. If they are not members of the same household, they have to sit in different seats,” said Watt.

Within the school premises, the staff and the students are following the usual social distancing rules, wearing masks wherever necessary, washing hands constantly.

“People have masks, any visitors also have to have masks and we all wear them if we are going to work closely with a student, point things out, give them a hand with something,” said Watt.

The students are urged to wash hands when they first enter the school, several times while they are in the school and once again before they leave the school. They also had a local paramedic come in to give a small demonstration on proper hand washing.

The school also has its students measure a one-hand distance when standing alongside their peers. This is especially strictly followed during the lunch queues where each student is asked to stand with their hand spread out just long enough to reach the person next to him/her and once they have the proper distance between them, they are asked to drop their hands and proceed to get their lunch.

“We are having a good start, we are being careful and we are just happy we dpn’t have all the restrictions of the bigger schools,” said Watt.

Since starting up, the school has participated in the Terry Fox Run and they also observed the Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30 where the staff and the teachers discuss with the kids the importance of the day and conduct several in-class activities around the day.

“We are back in school, we have pretty much most of our kids. We have done quite well that way and we are just glad to be back and we are glad we don’t have all of the hassles that some of our sister schools have,” said Watt.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


This little one got hold of a bucket full of apples during a school field trip to the Granisle garden to pick fruit. (Submitted/Houston Today)

Just Posted

The Dupras family has been regulars at the Babine River and have seen plentiful grizzlies over the years. (Jay Dupras photo/Lakes District News)
A family’s close encounter with a grizzly on Babine River bridge

Photo-enthusiasts let the bear access the bridge for photos putting others at risk

The Burns Lake RCMP is investigating the incident. (Phil McLachlan photo)
Fatal collision between a pedestrian and train near Burns Lake

Police say the investigation is still ongoing

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

(Wet'suwet'en Access Point on Gidimt'en Territory Facebook screenshot)
Ceremony a right at proposed CGL pipeline drill site: BC Union of Indian Chiefs

Indigenous land defenders cannot be criminalized and targeted, argues UBCIC

(File graphic)
Man dies in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh) after being taken into police custody

IIO and BC Corners Service conducting independent investigations

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

Most Read