B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming washes up during a visit to a Victoria middle school for the reopening of part-time classroom instruction, June 2, 2020. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. prepares back-to-school plan for students in COVID-19

Districts will be refining preparations up to Sept. 8

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming says the province’s back-to-school plan for the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented Wednesday, but it won’t be final until the beginning of the new school year arrives Sept. 8.

Fleming has been criticized in the B.C. legislature for waiting, after other provinces set out their fall education plans. He first set the B.C. announcement for August, then moved it up to July 29, but warns that it won’t be finalized until the fall conditions of the pandemic are known.

“If there is a so-called second wave, or if there are perhaps regional outbreaks just as we plan to move forward with a return to in-class instruction, we have to prepare based on the circumstances of the virus and be able to nimbly move back,” Fleming said Tuesday.

Wednesday’s announcement is designed to “give certainty” for parents about in-class instruction, and conditions will be set out by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. B.C. has an advantage of a partial return to in-class instruction in June, and better control over the spread of the novel coronavirus than most places in North America.

Each of B.C’s 60 school districts will work with revised guidelines up to the day school is set to resume on Sept. 8, Fleming said. Wednesday’s announcement will be an update of the plan released May 15 to end the previous school year, with classroom instruction on alternating days for kindergarten to grade five and one day a week for grades six to 12.

Schools shut in March by a public health order while they were out for spring break, and online or home schooling was improvised for two months before the partial return to class.

RELATED: B.C. schools reopen in June with one-way halls

RELATED: Remote schools have extra COVID-19 challenges

B.C. Liberal education critic Dan Davies pressed Fleming in question period Tuesday, asking for assurances that personal protective equipment would be provided for teachers. Fleming said more than 90 per cent of teachers returned to school in June, and those with specific health needs were accommodated.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

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

Just Posted

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

Seabird Island COVID-19 ‘scare’ has passed, Chief states

Reaffirmation comes during Chief Harris’s weekly video address

Firefighters bring Sts’ailes FSR fire under control

Blaze held at bay after burning 15 hectares of land

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read