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HomeNewsUPDATE: Students to return to class September 10th for orientation

UPDATE: Students to return to class September 10th for orientation

UPDATE (11:00 am – August 12, 2020):

While the B.C. Government announced Tuesday the school year would be pushed back, it’s only being pushed back a couple of days, to give students a staff a few more days to familiarize themselves with the new COVID-19 guidelines.

“Schools are going to look different in September,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. Minister of Education. “Staff, students and parents need time to get familiar with all the new health and safety procedures that are designed to keep them safe and confident in their school settings.”

The B.C. Government said all school staff will return on September 8th to meet with their school’s joint health and safety committee. At that time, they will be updated on guidelines and protocols co-developed with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

“This will also allow time for educators and staff to adjust to their new routines, finalize plans for learning groups, review health and safety protocols, and confirm lesson plans that align with the new normal in schools,” said the B.C. Government.

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A few days later, on September 10th, all students will be welcomed back for orientation. The orientation will allow students to be assigned to their class, find out who is in their smaller learning group, and to practise the routines which will come into effect at the school.

“Health and safety of teachers, staff and students is leading the work being done by the K-12 education restart steering committee and working groups with membership from all education partners and health experts. These groups are also working to create detailed operational guidelines, which will be available by August 17th to support school districts with their restart plans.”

The operational guidelines will include guidance on the following:

  • implementing the updated health and safety protocols;
  • ensuring kids who require extra support are prioritized and have the services they need;
  • supporting the mental health and wellness of students who may be experiencing additional challenges because of the pandemic;
  • ensuring fewer contacts and a safe workplace for those who interact with more than one learning group – such as specialists, teachers on call, educational assistants, cafeteria staff or bus drivers;
  • supporting hybrid instruction with a blend of in-person learning and remote learning for dense urban secondary schools with large student populations;
  • minimizing physical contact within learning groups; and
  • ensuring before- and after-school child care on school grounds allows kids to stay within their learning groups as much as possible.

“By working collaboratively with leaders in our education system, we are making sure students and staff are safe, ready and welcome when they return to school in September,” said Fleming.


ORIGINAL STORY (9:50 am – August 12, 2020):

While school was originally set to begin September 8th for most K-12 students, the B.C. Government is now saying the start of school will be pushed back.

Rob Fleming, B.C. Education Minister spoke to reporters on Tuesday to make the surprise announcement.

“We’re working through the steering committee that is composed of all of the K-12 stakeholders to have a coordinated approach on returning to school, in recognition that starting up school safely in a pandemic year requires some additional scheduling, logistical concerns and operations,” said Fleming.

“Really the idea is to get staff back together, whether its support staff, teachers, and administrators, to finalize how the school operations are going to work, a thorough review of the BC Centre for Disease Control guidelines, and then to accept students back later in the first week of school.”

School was originally slated to return starting September 8th, but it’s unclear at this time how long school will be pushed back.

When school was first announced to return, the B.C. Government also announced that $45.6 million would support school districts and independent schools as they adhere to the new COVID-19 guidelines from the BCCDC.

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