B.C.’s education minister confirmed Tuesday the province is working towards bringing more kids back to B.C. classrooms under the COVID-19 pandemic, but that it’s too early to provide a timeline.
“Right now, we are working with other ministries and our education partners to develop plans for a number of possible scenarios, including resuming some in-class instruction in a controlled and measured way for the future,” Rob Fleming told a news conference.
“Ministry staff are tracking other jurisdictions to understand the protocols for a controlled return for in class instruction.“
The province has been grappling with how a possible return to school will look.
On Monday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she “expects” more kids to return before the end of the school year.
About 2,300 children of essential workers are currently attending B.C. public schools. Normally, there are about 550,000 students.
Officials will monitor how other countries, such as New Zealand, bring their kids back to school on Wednesday.
“This will allow us to create an evidence-based plan to help control the spread of COVID-19 when the conditions are appropriate,” Fleming said.
“We will return to normal school life in British Columbia down the road. And that road will be shorter and sooner if we continue to act together and act now.”
He reiterated that school staff and faculty will not be forced to wear personal protective equipment in the classroom, and that measures, such as increased cleaning and greater access to hand washing and sanitizing, are coming.
As for parents who are struggling to both work from home and teach their children, BC School Trustees Association president Stephanie Higginson said don’t be too hard on yourself.
”What you’re doing is good enough,” she said. “Thank you for your peer patience and adaptability at this time.”
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