B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming washes up during a visit to a Victoria middle school for the reopening of part-time classroom instruction, June 2, 2020. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. prepares back-to-school plan for students in COVID-19

Districts will be refining preparations up to Sept. 8

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming says the province’s back-to-school plan for the COVID-19 pandemic will be presented Wednesday, but it won’t be final until the beginning of the new school year arrives Sept. 8.

Fleming has been criticized in the B.C. legislature for waiting, after other provinces set out their fall education plans. He first set the B.C. announcement for August, then moved it up to July 29, but warns that it won’t be finalized until the fall conditions of the pandemic are known.

“If there is a so-called second wave, or if there are perhaps regional outbreaks just as we plan to move forward with a return to in-class instruction, we have to prepare based on the circumstances of the virus and be able to nimbly move back,” Fleming said Tuesday.

Wednesday’s announcement is designed to “give certainty” for parents about in-class instruction, and conditions will be set out by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. B.C. has an advantage of a partial return to in-class instruction in June, and better control over the spread of the novel coronavirus than most places in North America.

Each of B.C’s 60 school districts will work with revised guidelines up to the day school is set to resume on Sept. 8, Fleming said. Wednesday’s announcement will be an update of the plan released May 15 to end the previous school year, with classroom instruction on alternating days for kindergarten to grade five and one day a week for grades six to 12.

Schools shut in March by a public health order while they were out for spring break, and online or home schooling was improvised for two months before the partial return to class.

RELATED: B.C. schools reopen in June with one-way halls

RELATED: Remote schools have extra COVID-19 challenges

B.C. Liberal education critic Dan Davies pressed Fleming in question period Tuesday, asking for assurances that personal protective equipment would be provided for teachers. Fleming said more than 90 per cent of teachers returned to school in June, and those with specific health needs were accommodated.


@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

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

BC Liberal Party candidate for the North Coast Roy Jones Jr. will hold virtual face-to-face meetings for North Coast communities on Oct. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
BC Liberal Candidate Roy Jones Jr, will meet constituents virtually

Face to face conversations will be held on Oct. 18 for North Coast communities

Kelly Lynn Whitney has been acclaimed as the successful candidate on Oct. 16, in the Village of Port Clements by Election. Seen in photos Kelly Whitney-Gould is pictured putting finishing touches on “Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk.” (Kelly Whitney-Gould/Submitted photo)
Kelly Lynn Whitney acclaimed in By Election

Village of Port Clements By Election success

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

The BC Ferries vessel the Queen of Oak Bay. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Buy a boat,’ Horgan advises anti-maskers on BC Ferries

NDP leader John Horgan talks COVID-19 misinformation

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Most Read