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)

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

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
Abbotsford care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Trustees Darrell Furgason (right) and Barry Neufeld at a January 2019 board meeting. (Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack trustee responds to teachers’ call for censure

Furgason: ‘Unions exist to make demands from an employer for their members’

Morning mist clears over the Hope Slough at Camp River Road on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Sunny skies in the forecast for Chilliwack and Abbotsford

Rain and wind expected Sunday night through Monday morning, then clear skies

Ashley Durance, seen here on Nov. 25, 2020 with her four-year-old daughter Hazel, recently released The Adventures of Mabel Mouse. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack cancer patient writes children’s book inspired by daughter with medical complexities

Ashley Durance released ‘The Adventures of Mabel Mouse’ the day before her daughter’s fourth birthday

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
BREAKING: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Most Read