B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming speaks in the legislature, Feb. 26, 2020. (Hansard TV)

COVID-19: B.C. schools expanding video classes, lending computers

20,000 teachers set up for Zoom, print materials distributed

Virtual dance and band practice are part of the efforts of B.C. school districts to reach students across the province with education help during the COVID-19 pandemic, education officials say.

The province has lent out 23,000 computers and has 20,000 teachers set up with Zoom video conferencing software to provide teaching, Education Minister Rob Fleming said April 28. For rural and remote communities, schools are being used for wifi access and printed materials or flash drives are being distributed.

Fleming said there is no date set for B.C. schools to reopen, and the plan is to “dial up” attendance at schools, starting with offering classroom instruction to essential retail and other workers as well as emergency and health workers with young children.

Hygiene and distancing procedures are being worked out, and a return to classrooms may not be ready before the traditional end of the school year, Fleming said. Summer school options are also being developed as health and education officials track efforts to control the novel coronavirus.

The Zoom program is available to teachers responsible for 275,000 students, and other technologies are being used with the help of ministry information technology staff to reach as far as possible. There are currently 550,000 students in K-12 education in B.C.

RELATED: Students collect clues to identify mystery reader

RELATED: Learning from home a challenge for young children

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, said the challenge for her and other parents is to help their kids at home and not try to be their teachers as well.

“Please, don’t be too hard on yourselves,” Higginson advised parents. “What you do is good enough.”

Fleming said advice and resources continue to be added to B.C.’s Keep Learning website, which has had 300,000 unique views since it was launched at the end of March.


@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

Haida Gwaii libraries launch new ‘takeout’ curbside pickup service

As of June 5, cardholders can once again access physical copies of books, DVDs and more

Blacktail Haida Gwaii working to reopen with new covered patio

Chef-owner Edi Szasz hopes to reopen on June 25, the one-year anniversary of the restaurant

Skidegate daycare staff recognized for creative care during COVID-19

Staff have been using social media to share isolation activities, read stories and sing songs

Village of Queen Charlotte approves business facade improvement grants

Applications from Gather, dental clinic, A Level Up approved, leaving about $14,000 up for grabs

Recycling services in Queen Charlotte, Port Clements expanding next week

Residential plastics will be accepted again, but most residential transfer stations remain closed

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read