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

Uncertainty continues to surround completion date of upgrades to Sidney’s Reay Creek area

A spokesperson for federal government could not offer a new completion date

Oak Bay police seek suspect who broke into liquor store on Cadboro Bay Road

The incident happened at 2:50 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17

MISSING: VicPD seeks 33-year-old man last heard from in August

Scott Grier could have been travelling in Alberta, police say

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Vancouver’s shuttered aquarium searching for financial solution amid pandemic

The aquarium needs about $1 million a month to cover its costs

B.C., Alberta sending nearly 300 fire personnel by Friday to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Some 230 firefighters, most from British Columbia but including a number from Alberta, will be deployed Friday

B.C. to begin publicly listing COVID-19 school exposure events

Move follows weeks of criticism from parents, the public

Most Read