BEFORE CHRIST. schools will reopen part-time in June, on an optional basis

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A caretaker cleans a classroom at Vancouver’s Eric Hamber High School on March 23, 2020. British Columbia presented a plan to reopen schools in June for part-time elective courses, effective June 2020.

JONATHAN HAYWARD / The Canadian Press

British Columbia presented a plan to reopen schools in June for part-time electives, more than two months after the province suspended classroom instruction for most students in Kindergarten to 12.

Class hours and breaks will be staggered, and kindergarten to grade 5 students will not return for more than half of their regular teaching time. Students in grades 6 to 12 will likely have classes offered one day a week, so that there will be no more than 20% of students in school at one time.

“This step will pave the way for a cleaner and smoother reintroduction of full-time courses in September,” said Prime Minister John Horgan on Friday.

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Details will be worked out by each of the province’s 60 school districts as well as independent schools next week. Each school will need to produce a plan, based on instructions from the provincial health worker, to ensure that students are distributed to maintain physical distance and to provide additional cleaning and additional hand washing stations.

In a typical school, students enter individually through a single door, where they must wash their hands. They will have to stay two meters apart, inside and outside on the school grounds. Corridors and other common areas will have directional signs to avoid congestion. Students will keep their personal items in a bag or backpack, with no access to lockers. Playground equipment will likely remain out of bounds, and students will be encouraged to avoid hugs or handshakes. Classes can be held outdoors when possible.

Students, teachers and support staff will need to stay home if they have symptoms of a cold, flu, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease.

“Whether you think these are allergies, a cold, sniffles – this is the time you need to stay at home,” said Bonnie Henry, provincial health worker.

Dr. Henry said the test in June is important for building confidence that schools can reopen completely next September.

For this year’s promotion, she said, this will be an opportunity to say goodbye. “You are truly unique, graduating in the midst of a global pandemic is something that has not been seen in over 100 years,” she said. “So I encourage you to take advantage of it and know that it is done in a safe way. “

Education Minister Rob Fleming said the reopening plan is prudent. “It’s going to be very strict and it has to be,” he said. “Schools will be very different before the pandemic. “

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Classroom instruction was suspended in mid-March for all except the children of essential service workers, with no other alternative. Most of the students tried to take the courses through distance learning, but Fleming said on Friday that the experience was not comparable to classroom instruction.

“School is a place where children learn to connect with others. It’s a place where they grow up as people. And not having these places to learn and grow has been particularly difficult for children who need additional support, or for children who find school to be their refuge in their lives. “

He acknowledged that many students are experiencing difficulties with the distance learning system offered since March. “There are a lot of students who will benefit significantly from a partial return to school, who are struggling with the online learning environment.”

British Columbia Public School Teachers Union Calls for Personal Protective Equipment to be Provided to Those Who Want to Wear a Mask, and Ensures Teachers Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19, the Disease Caused by the New coronavirus, protect yourself.

In addition, the BC Teachers ‘Federation, in a series of social media posts, has stated that it expects school districts to ensure that teachers’ workloads do not increase while their teachers members are trying to deliver classroom and online courses. The union did not return a request for an interview on time.

Fleming said most of the students should go back to their familiar teachers, but it’s not guaranteed. He also stressed that the June courses are not compulsory. “Families who want to can continue to teach their families at home. And for families who choose to return to school part-time on June 1, distance learning continues for them when they are not in class. “

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The changes are taking place in British Columbia. is taking steps to reopen the economy, allowing restaurants and some other services to resume on May 19. Because it will mean more parents looking for child care, the province also released new guidelines Friday to allow more child care options for preschoolers.

The province has subsidized 2,600 daycare operators to help ensure essential workers can continue to work during the pandemic. Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care, said the new rules should allow for more space. Daycares will need to disinfect very sensitive areas frequently and have a plan to distribute children to minimize physical contact.

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