The Chilliwack School District announced on May 19, 2020 that buses will be back to full operation along with the opening of schools to anyone who choses to attend, beginning June 1. (Image courtesy Creative Outlet)

In-class learning optional for students in Chilliwack

Teachers asked to provide instruction in class and online for duration of school year

Students will be welcomed back into Chilliwack classrooms beginning June 1, as the province continues to ease restrictions due to COVID-19.

A letter was sent out to families on May 19 from the school district, outlining what that will mean for local students. School will look different depending what grade a child is in, and what families decide to do.

Going back to the classroom is optional, and will be on a part-time basis. While return plans look slightly different around the province, in Chilliwack it will also include supplemental online learning.

It is based on the Ministry of Education’s Stage 3 Restart Plan and is broken down in the following ways.

Children in Kindergarten to Grade 5 will have the option of in-class learning twodays per week, supplemented with remote instruction on Fridays.

Children in Grades 6 to 12 will be offered remote learning, supplemented with up to 20 per cent in-class instruction, which could include tutorials, seminars and small group instruction, as examples of face-to-face learning.

READ MORE: ‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Children of essential workers (ages 5-12) will have the option to attend school five days per week, as is already being offered. Those who are already attending school at GW Graham will be transitioned to their usual schools on June 1.

The letter to Chilliwack families also states that students with disabilities or diverse abilities, as well as students needing additional supports, may be provided with extra opportunities.

Finally, families who decide not to send their children to class will continue learning at home. However, the letter, penned by Assistant Superintendent Rohan Arul-pragasam, says that the interaction with teachers online will decrease.

“It will be an unreasonable expectation for K-5 teachers to continue the same schedule for online learning,” he wrote. “Parents of students from K-5 choosing not to send their students to school for the month of June can expect their students’ learning to be supported one day a week through online platforms, with more information communicated to parents by their school before June 1.”

Buses will also be operational again, beginning June 1.

“I know you probably have many questions about the transition to part-time in class instruction as well as the design of the program,” Arul-pragasam wrote. “We will be working diligently on these plans over the next two weeks and please be assured that your school principal will be communicating with you the week of May 25. We will continue to update information on our district website to ensure clarity in communication.”

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. schools to begin part-time class instruction June 1


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