B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announces suspension of most classroom instruction, March 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: B.C. schools to begin part-time class instruction June 1

‘Will allow us to test and gauge as we go,’ John Horgan says

After two months of online learning, B.C. parents are being offered the option of returning children to K-12 classrooms starting June 1 with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming announced the expansion of in-class education May 15, emphasizing that it is voluntary. Schools are already holding live teaching for children of essential workers, and expanding that will allow the province to “test and gauge as we go,” Horgan said.

The plan is to return to part-time in-class instruction for kindergarten to grade five (such as alternating days), and one day a week for grades six to 12. Fleming said existing class groups will be kept together as far as possible, with a combination of online and in-person instruction.

Fleming outlined the safety measures, including control of hallway traffic and congregating of students, and sanitizing doorknobs, washrooms and desks twice a day. The target for the spring phase is up to 20 per cent of the students back in school.

“It’s going to be very strict, and it needs to be,” Fleming said.

RELATED: B.C. schools expand video classes, lend out computers

RELATED: A look at B.C.’s phase-by-phase pandemic recovery plan

The plan includes staggered drop-offs, lunch and recess with increased time spent outside. School buses will be restricted to one student per seat, with barriers around drivers similar to transit buses.

School administrators are expected to contact families to arrange the return to school. The ministry says if parents haven’t heard from their school by May 22, they should contact the principal.

The education ministry reports that about 5,000 students are already going to school since B.C.’s pandemic restrictions came into effect in mid-March.

More licensed daycares are also being encouraged to reopen as the province enters its second phase of its pandemic restrictions, with additional businesses expected to start up in late May and more people going to work. About 2,600 daycares have received emergency provincial funding to help them stay open with reduced attendance by children of essential workers, and 1,400 others have had assistance for their fixed costs.


@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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read