B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming visits a Victoria middle school as in-class instruction resumed, June 2, 2020. Masks will be required for halls, buses and common areas in September. (B.C. government)

COVID-19: Most secondary students in person at B.C. schools

Province approves 60 school district pandemic plans

The B.C. government has approved plans for all 60 school districts to welcome students back in September, with full in-person instruction for elementary and middle schools, and secondary schools where the ministry says the “vast majority” of students will attend every day.

Learning groups of up to 60 students are to stay together in the younger grades, with masks required for hallways, buses and other common areas of schools. Most secondary schools will use a quarter system rather than semesters. There will be four quarters with two courses each in the secondary year, to reduce the size of learning groups, and teachers may go from class to class rather than students.

The individual district plans are to be released Aug. 26, as school principals begin contacting families to share their local plans and confirm attendance. Sept. 8 and 9 are for staff orientation with students attending starting Sept. 10.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said he expects all school administrations to be flexible, and find out from parents if their children will be attending school or if they need a remote option.

Fleming released some details for Surrey, Saanich and Sea to Sky school districts as examples of the adaptations. For Surrey, B.C.’s largest district, classes from grade eight up begin at 8:30 a.m. In grade 10 and up, in-person instruction is offered in the morning with some online classes in the afternoon. In Saanich, middle schools are adopting an elementary school model where home room teachers present most of the curriculum. Sea to Sky, with a smaller student population, is offering full-time classroom for all grades including secondary.

School districts are staggering lunch and recess breaks to reduce student contact outside of learning groups, and high-touch areas of schools are to be cleaned twice a day.

The province has assembled two masks for each student and staff member in the province, but consistent with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s approach, masks are the last resort for infection control. Students don’t need to maintain two-metre physical distance within learning groups, but outside that, distance is the next strategy. Only when distance is not possible are masks to be used.

Fleming said federal funding announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday amounts to $242 million for B.C., to enhance existing efforts with additional ventilation, masks, barriers and additional custodians for cleaning schools and buses.

RELATED: Ottawa finds $2 billion for provincial school reopening

RELATED: Dr. Henry endorses ‘learning groups’ for B.C. schools


@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

Campbell River’s September Mountie of the Month is a very good boy

PDS Gator named Mountie of the Month for Sept. 2020

Photographer Eiko Jones delivered the 11th Annual Haig Brown lecture at Tidemark Theatre

Jones also screened his newly completed movie Heartbeat of the River at the event

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Float-plane crash near Oyster River leaves pilot injured

The plane crashed shortly after take-off from a private property and had no other passengers on board

Quadra Golf weathers global pandemic with ‘different’ season

General manager and head pro says, despite challenges, the non-profit has done okay this year

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Growing food sovereignty at Klemtu

Greenhouse and grow boxes help create circular food economy for Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

Most Read