VICTORIA – British Columbia has postponed the start of the school year, initially scheduled for September 8, by two days in order to plan for a more gradual return to school.
Education Minister Rob Fleming said the delay will allow teachers and staff to fully prepare for public health measures. Staff will be in schools on September 8, but students will be welcomed into classrooms on the 10th. Additional guidance will be sent to schools next week to complete the reopening plan announced on July 29th.
The minister explained on Wednesday that this postponement had been decided after discussions with all the partners. “This is the best case scenario, I think, to continue to build trust and become familiar with the protocols in place.” The unions also gave their support to this decision on Wednesday.
The Minister acknowledged that some parents would not feel comfortable sending their children back to school; he recalled that decentralized learning centers would help those who have concerns.
The provincial government is spending $ 45.6 million on public health measures, including more frequent cleaning of the most frequently affected surfaces, an increased number of hand washing stations and masks. Students will be brought together in cohorts to reduce contact. In elementary schools, these groups will be capped at 60 students; it will be double in high school.
The Canadian Press
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