More than 157,000 B.C. students were back in classrooms last week
Nearly 30 per cent of B.C. schoolchildren received in-class instruction last week as the B.C. government reopened schools for the first time since classes were suspended two months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools opened last Monday on a part-time and optional basis for students in kindergarten through Grade 12, while online learning also continues for the final four weeks of the year.
Under the B.C. school restart plan, students in kindergarten to Grade 5 are able to go to school half time (such as alternating days), while those in grades 6 to 12 can attend classes one day a week.
In total more than 157,000 students were back in classrooms.
“B.C. is fortunate to be in a position where we can welcome students and staff back to schools in greater numbers under the guidance of public health experts who have put in stringent and thorough health and safety measures that make it safe to do so,” Education Minister Rob Fleming said in a news release. “The opportunity for part-time in-class instruction between teachers, support staff and students has been welcomed by families who have exercised that choice.
“And those connections have been valuable for a significant number of B.C. families. We value the collaborative approach with school districts, education unions, principals and vice-principals, parent organizations and WorkSafeBC all working together to keep schools safe for students and staff, now and into the future.”
Fleming said last week that 90 per cent of B.C. teachers were also back in schools, with the remaining 10 per cent directing online classes.
He said the partial return for the final four weeks of this school year will allow staff to prepare for the fall, and they will spend summer fine tuning how it will work.
The minister expects students to still be learning through a combination of both in-class and online instruction when the 2020-21 school year starts up in September and until the pandemic is over.
To ensure physical distancing, schedules have been staggered, desks have been moved away from each other and hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the schools.
Recess and lunch breaks are also being staggered as are student drop-offs by parents, who are not allowed inside the schools.
Original link: https://vancouversun.com/news/covid-19-nearly-30-per-cent-of-b-c-students-back-in-classrooms