B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announces suspension of most classroom instruction, March 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

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

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

Salvation Army file photo
Salvation Army kettle drive begins Nov. 28

Hamper demand has accelerated this year

9th avenue pole moved
Hydro pole removed on 9th Avenue

The first major snowfall of the year delayed the removal and relocation… Continue reading

pinnacle pellet
Three injured at pellet plant fire

Pinnacle Pellet temporarily suspends operations

Masks are now mandatory in public places. (File image)
Police take “measured approach” to mandatory mask wearing

Fines can be levied for not complying with provincial order

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Most Read