Seven Oaks takes on the challenge of COVID-19


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This article was published 08/01/2021 (878 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

With the second wave of COVID-19 in full fury, the Seven Oaks School Division is rising to the challenges to provide a safe and productive space for all of its students and staff.

On Jan. 4, all Manitoba schools officially reopened following the holiday break. However, all students in Manitoba were instructed to stay home until Jan. 15 and receive remote instruction. This was a planned provincial health order — aimed at stemming the tide of COVID-19 infections.

School divisions are working in tandem with the provincial government. Teachers and students are using education technologies such as laptop computers, iPads and smartphones to facilitate remote learning.

Supplied photo by Sara Neufeld Students interact in a Seven Oaks School Division classroom adapted to take COVID-19 safety measures into consideration.

“Our staff have been incredible, creative and dedicated, adapting to new and evolving circumstances throughout the pandemic. IT staff have been invaluable in supporting remote learning and lending devices to students who need them,” said superintendent Brian O’Leary.

The remote learning order is likely to be extended for another two weeks but, when students do return to the classroom, some students will take turns learning at school or from home in order to encourage safe social distancing.

Since last spring, the 26 schools of  Seven Oaks School Division have employed a hybrid approach to remote and in-class learning.

Measures were implemented to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections in schools, including: masks, physical distancing, staying at home when symptomatic, hand washing and enhanced cleaning, limiting activities like singing and playing wind instruments, getting outdoors more, using Plexiglas panels and furniture to separate students, reducing class sizes and keeping students in tight small groups so they only interact with a limited number of students.

“In Seven Oaks, we know that the biggest impact in a child learning is the day-to-day and minute-by-minute interaction they have with a caring and skilled adult,” said Matt Henderson, assistant superintendent of the school division.

Derek Dabee is a member of the board of trustees of Seven Oaks School Division and a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at

Derek Dabee

Derek Dabee
The Maples community correspondent

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.

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