B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announces suspension of most classroom instruction, March 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming announces suspension of most classroom instruction, March 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

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

‘Will allow us to test and gauge as we go,’ John Horgan says

After two months of online learning, B.C. parents are being offered the option of returning children to K-12 classrooms starting June 1 with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Premier John Horgan and Education Minister Rob Fleming announced the expansion of in-class education May 15, emphasizing that it is voluntary. Schools are already holding live teaching for children of essential workers, and expanding that will allow the province to “test and gauge as we go,” Horgan said.

The plan is to return to part-time in-class instruction for kindergarten to grade five (such as alternating days), and one day a week for grades six to 12. Fleming said existing class groups will be kept together as far as possible, with a combination of online and in-person instruction.

Fleming outlined the safety measures, including control of hallway traffic and congregating of students, and sanitizing doorknobs, washrooms and desks twice a day. The target for the spring phase is up to 20 per cent of the students back in school.

“It’s going to be very strict, and it needs to be,” Fleming said.

RELATED: B.C. schools expand video classes, lend out computers

RELATED: A look at B.C.’s phase-by-phase pandemic recovery plan

The plan includes staggered drop-offs, lunch and recess with increased time spent outside. School buses will be restricted to one student per seat, with barriers around drivers similar to transit buses.

School administrators are expected to contact families to arrange the return to school. The ministry says if parents haven’t heard from their school by May 22, they should contact the principal.

The education ministry reports that about 5,000 students are already going to school since B.C.’s pandemic restrictions came into effect in mid-March.

More licensed daycares are also being encouraged to reopen as the province enters its second phase of its pandemic restrictions, with additional businesses expected to start up in late May and more people going to work. About 2,600 daycares have received emergency provincial funding to help them stay open with reduced attendance by children of essential workers, and 1,400 others have had assistance for their fixed costs.


@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 speed humps the City of Salmon Arm installed on Okanagan Avenue behind city hall appear to be working, report city staff. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Speed humps near Salmon Arm’s Fletcher Park considered a success

City staff say traffic has slowed accordingly, visibility will improve when street light replaced

An Enderby restaurant and pub was shut down Sunday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2020 as a precaution after a guest reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. (Howard Johnson photo)
Enderby pub reopens after COVID-19 scare

After a guest reportedly tested positive for the virus, staff test results came back negative

As the deadline draws closer for the distribution of Christmas hampers, the Salvation Army in Salmon Arm is concerned that it has not received enough applications yet and people will be going without. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Time running out for people in Salmon Arm to apply for hampers

Salvation Army urges residents to make appointments right away to get help with food at Christmas

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 novel coronavirus vaccine candidate that’s ready for trial on monkeys at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand. (Mladen Antonov - AFP)
Interior Health reports 66 new COVID-19 infections

570 cases are active; 18 in hospital

The White Lake Fire Department tallied an impressive total from their annual food drive. (Contributed)
White Lake firefighters haul in impressive food bank donations

One-night food drive brought in more than 2,000 lbs for Sorrento food bank

(Google Maps)
Osoyoos Credit Union staff member tests positive for COVID-19

The credit union made the announcement Dec. 1

Alix Longland
Trauma resources ready for North Okanagan refugees

Family Resource Centre working with UBCO social work grad to reach out to local refugees

Elkhart Gas Station, located on Highway 97C about 60 kilometres west of Peachland, opened in November 2020. (Google maps)
The Okanagan Connector now has a gas station

The highway previously ran for over 117 kilometres without a place to fuel up

The Hughes’ Grinch was stolen from their front yard Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2020. The Santa suit the Grinch is wearing is 50 years old and has sentimental value. It was once worn by April Hughes’ dad. (Hughes photo)
Grinch stolen from Penticton home is ‘irreplaceable’

The Hughes have had a Christmas display for 25 years on Grandy Avenue in Penticton

Midway RCMP’s Cpl. Phil Peters spoke at Greenwood’s city council meeting Monday, Nov. 23. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
B.C. Mountie builds fire to warm suspect with hypothermia prior to rescue

Cpl. Phil Peters said the civilian helped police track, apprehend and eventually rescue the suspect

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Revelstoke COVID-19 cluster linked to non-essential travel: Horgan

There have been 46 cases of COVID-19 in the community

Students at Lavington Elementary crammed a car full of non-perishables for those in the community facing food insecurity. Spearheaded by teacher January Peebles (left), the donations were picked up by Give LUCK founder Myrika Godard, who works to connect donors with donees in the North Okanagan. (Give LUCK photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

Most Read