(Black Press Media files)

157,000 students returned for part-time lessons at B.C.’s schools: education ministry

COVID-19 precautions mean classes remain small

More than 157,000 students returned to schools during the first week of in-class instruction in B.C. since March.

The province’s schools had been closed since mid-March amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reopening on Monday (June 1). With the first week completed, the education ministry said Sunday (June 7) that the 157,000 returning students represented 30 per cent of the province’s total student count.

READ MORE: B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Classes under COVID-19 rules are small in size, with 50 per cent capacity for kindergarten to Grade 5 students and 20 per cent for older ones. Younger students are on an alternating or half-time schedule, while older ones are at about one day a week. Children of essential workers and those who need extra support are able to attend school full-time.

In-class instruction remains optional for students during June. Officials have said that although classes will look different in September than they do in June, a hybrid model of some sort will likely remain in effect until a vaccine is available.

The return to schools is part of the B.C. government’s reopening plan, and is contingent on case counts remaining low. The province did not provide an update Saturday, but saw just one new case on Friday. As of the latest known numbers, there are 193 known cases of COVID-19 in B.C. In total, 2,632 have tested positive for the virus and 167 people have died.

READ MORE: B.C. records just one new COVID-19 case in last 24 hours


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