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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

NDP candidate Babchuk a fixture in local politics since 2005

School trustee, city councillor and regional district chair sets sights on being North Island MLA

Sointula elementary school gets funding for new playground

Funding for the new playground comes from the provincial government’s Playground Equipment Program.

Facey nominated as BC Liberal candidate for the North Island riding

Liberal candidate Norm Facey has a background in forestry and manufacturing.

Some north Island forest service roads to get a minor facelift with COVID-19 recovery funding

Side Bay access road no longer ‘up in the bureaucratic air’ thanks to temporary budget increase

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read