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Learning Options
Learning Options

Preparing and supporting students as they return to school

September is a time when students across our district return to their schools after summer break. This year is by no means 'business as usual' but we are looking forward to welcoming our students back – whether that's face-to-face in physical classrooms or virtually through our new Surrey Blended Transition Model.

To support our staff and families in navigating through the options available, and better understand the key drivers behind these programs, Superintendent Dr. Jordan Tinney developed a presentation (also posted below).

The presentation covers the following areas:

Ministry of Education directions

The Ministry of Education tasked all districts to:

How our district responded to these directions and parent concerns

Our district developed a restart plan for elementary and secondary schools that kept cohort sizes below the recommended limits and followed all public health guidelines to limit contact between cohorts.

The district also conducted a parent survey to identify parent concerns and their intentions for September. While the vast majority told us that they planned to send their child back to school, 13% told us that their child would not be returning in September, and more than half of all respondents were looking for something different than what was presented in our restart plan.

The district began developing another option for families to respond to their needs, mitigate impact to district resources, and find a way to get these students back in classrooms.

What options do parents and families have?

In response to the pandemic and parent concerns expressed through our surveys, families in the Surrey School District can now register for the following options for September:


  • Full-time in-class instruction: This option has students safely returning to full-time in-class instruction with set cohorts/learning groups and physical distancing.

  • Surrey Blended: Elementary Transition Program: This blended learning option is a combination of online and face-to-face learning through your local school, with a goal of gradually increasing face-to-face instruction. It is available to all K-7 students in the district.


  • Full-time in-class instruction: This option has students safely returning to full-time in-class instruction with set cohorts/learning groups and physical distancing. Students in Grades 8 and 9 will attend school full time while students in Grades 10-12 will participate in a blended model with both online and face-to-face learning.

  • Surrey Blended: Secondary Transition Program: This learning option offers flexibility for families that are planning to not return to school in September. School staff will work with individual families on plans for transition which may include a delayed start or reduced attendance, with a gradual transition back to full-time in-class instruction.  School staff may also discuss options related to online learning through the district's online learning school, Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL) or possibly their local school.

  • Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL): The Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning offers distributed learning courses for secondary students. Students should discuss their educational program and graduation options with their local high school before withdrawing from any courses or registering at SAIL. Grade 8 & 9 students need to contact their local high school if they are interested in online learning. Grade 10, 11, 12 students can contact SAIL directly but should work with their local high school before withdrawing from any courses.

Next steps

We are attempting to meet the needs of our community in these unusual times. These transition programs will provide additional choice and flexibility to our core offerings. While it will take some time to adjust and create these options to their full instructional design, we anticipate transition programs to be fully operational by September 21, with an orientation for registered families during the week of September 14.

Students in the face-to-face program will receive orientation on September 10 and 11, and will begin regular instruction on September 14.

Further details and schedule information will come from your child's school. If you have questions or require further clarification, you are also asked to contact your school directly.

ALSO SEE: BC Ministry of Education's Back-to-School Factsheet.

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Elementary and Secondary fact sheets (click on images to enlarge)

Elementary school restart plan 2020-21.JPGSecondary school restart plan 2020-21.jpg

Elementary transition.JPGSecondary transition.JPG