Advertisement

B.C. delaying start of school until Jan. 10 for most K to 12 students

Click to play video: 'Back to school: Classes to start late in phased return due to COVID-19' Back to school: Classes to start late in phased return due to COVID-19
As COVID-19 cases surge, the B.C. government is delaying start of school until Jan. 10 for most K to 12 students. Richard Zussman reports – Dec 29, 2021

As COVID-19 cases surge across the province, the B.C. government has delayed the start of the school year for most students.

Children with special needs and children of health care workers will return on Jan. 3 or 4 as planned, but everyone else will go back on Jan. 10 — one week later than initially scheduled.

Teachers and school staff will be expected back in the classroom next week.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: BC to stagger reopening of schools amid Omicron surge' COVID-19: BC to stagger reopening of schools amid Omicron surge
COVID-19: BC to stagger reopening of schools amid Omicron surge – Dec 29, 2021

The delay will give the province time to better assess the impacts of the Omicron variant, and develop enhanced safety measures for a return to classrooms.

Story continues below advertisement

“As we know the pandemic is changing but the education system is nimble and strong. Our efforts are truly focused on minimizing disruption and absenteeism,” said B.C. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside in a Wednesday briefing.

“Taking a few extra days now we are setting our schools up for the best possible start.”

The measures will include staggered starts and other tools to allow for more effective contact tracing.

School staff will be required to host staff meetings virtually, and in-person assemblies and extra-curricular sports tournaments are on hold.

The province will not be offering virtual options for most students as the plan is to finish the school year with in-person learning.

Read more: Union calls for delayed return to class, priority booster shots for B.C. teachers

The union representing roughly 46,000 teachers in B.C. called on the province to delay the return and give priority access to booster shots to all school staff.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation president Teri Mooring told Global News she asked the government to move classes online until at least Jan. 10 in order to assess the impact of the Omicron variant on staff and students.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'B.C. teachers fear return to class could turn into superspreader event' B.C. teachers fear return to class could turn into superspreader event
B.C. teachers fear return to class could turn into superspreader event – Dec 28, 2021

Sponsored content