Advertisement

30% of B.C. students returned to class part-time last week, says education ministry

A teacher wearing protective face mask as she teaches close to pupils at a primary school in Morges, Switzerland, Monday, May 11, 2020.
A teacher wearing protective face mask as she teaches close to pupils at a primary school in Morges, Switzerland, Monday, May 11, 2020. Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP

British Columbia’s Ministry of Education says more than 157,000 kids, accounting for about 30 per cent of the province’s K-12 student population, went back to school part time last week.

The province launched a return to optional, part-time, in-class instruction on June 1.

READ MORE: Here’s how B.C. plans to reopen schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Most students hadn’t been back to school since before spring break in March.

“B.C. is fortunate to be in a position where we can welcome students and staff back to schools in greater numbers under the guidance of public health experts who have put in stringent and thorough health and safety measures that make it safe to do so,” Health Minister Rob Fleming said in a media release.

Story continues below advertisement
Coronavirus outbreak: Back to school plans
Coronavirus outbreak: Back to school plans

Under the part-time program, children from kindergarten to Grade 5 can go back to class half time, while kids Grade 6 to Grade 12 can return one day per week.

Class capacity for the younger group can reach up to 50 per cent, while the older group is limited to 20 per cent.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — B.C. parents weigh risks as classrooms reopen June 1

Children of essential workers are permitted to attend school full time.

School districts have also implemented a variety of new protocols, including staggered pickup and drop-off times, staggered lunches and breaks, increased handwashing, and physical distancing markers on the ground.

Families are allowed to remove their children from school at any time, while those who wish to return their kids to school are asked to contact administrators with as much lead time as possible.

Story continues below advertisement