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BC’s relaunch plan estimates students will return to classes in the fall

Students from BC schools will gradually return to classes as part of a five-stage approach, with expectations for regular class instruction to begin in September, according to the government’s ‘restart plan’ announced by Premier John Horgan late Wednesday afternoon.

Since March, BC school systems have had to adapt to teach the majority of students remotely, but about 300 vulnerable students and around 4,700 children of essential workers have already returned for in-class learning. That’s the fourth phase of the province’s relaunch plan.

“We know there is no substitute for in-class instruction — and an important step toward our recovery is getting kids back into the classroom, so parents can get back into the workplace,” reads the restart plan.

"This will not be a return to normal. With weeks left in the school year, we anticipate many kids will not return to the classroom until September."

The Ministry of Education says they have been working with health officials and all 60 elementary and secondary school districts in the province to bring students back to schools.

Over the next several months, students will begin returning on a part-time basis, until schools are able to fully resume in-class learning.

<who>Photo Credit: BC Government</who>

When classes return, all schools, including universities, will be expected to adhere to more stringent health and safety guidelines to meet a “new normal”:

  • Routine daily screening for all staff and students.
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning.
  • Clear policy for children, youth and staff who have symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19, with any coughing or sneezing not coming into school or taking part in extracurricular activities and sports.
  • Increased online learning for highschool and university students
  • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students.

Elementary and secondary schools are also expected to reduce class sizes, and wear non-medical masks in certain situations.

Schools, universities and the provincial government are expected to release more information in the coming days.

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