Students in B.C. head back to school on Sept. 10. (Shutterstock)

POLL: Do you think the province is taking all the necessary precautions in its plans for students to return to school?

B.C. students head back to class Sept. 10

  • Aug. 26, 2020 2:30 p.m.

The clock is ticking on students’ return to class in British Columbia. But instead of stocking up on notebooks and other supplies and making plans for school lunches, children and their parents are making preparations on how to best deal with the risks associated with COVID-19.

The province has delayed the return to public school classroom until Sept. 10 in order to give teachers more time to prepare for the “new normal” of schooling due to the ongoing pandemic.

ALSO READ: Return to school to be delayed, says B.C. Education Minister

In recent weeks, the BC Teachers’ Federation and vocal parents groups have called for the province to hit the brakes on returning to school, citing concerns on how physical distancing and other safety precautions will work. Greater Victoria teachers and other unions are calling for an expanded mandate for masks.

And when the first bell rings to usher in a new school year, the classrooms awaiting students could look much different.

ALSO READ: From masks to cohorting, a guide to back-to-school rules across the country

Students will be sorted into learning groups to reduce the number of people they come in contact with. For elementary and middle school students, groups will be no larger than 60 people. Secondary school groups will be capped at 120. Students and staff don’t need to maintain physical distancing within their learning group, but contact should be minimized. Outside the group, physical distancing is required. Students should be more spaced out in classrooms. The province is urging schools to stagger recess, lunch and class transition times and take students outside whenever possible.

Students and staff will not be required to wear masks in schools, but the province says it’s a “personal choice that will always be respected.” It says provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommends non-medical masks be worn by adults and older students when they are unable to physically distance like in hallways and on buses. Middle and high school students are asked to wear masks on buses. Students should be assigned seats, and a transparent barrier may be used to separate the driver.

Do you think everything possible is being done to make the return to school as safe as it can be? Take our poll and let us know what you think.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

New nurse practitioner-led medical clinic welcomes Victoria patients

Health Care on Yates expects to serve 6,800 new patients over the next three years

Central Saanich needs at least more than 500 additional daycare spaces

Report before Central Saanich says region faces a ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Metchosin inmate sentenced to 12 months in jail for escaping custody

Sentence to be served concurrent to a life sentence he was already serving

Sooke jumps on board to ban use of rat poison

City staff will educate residents on harmful effects of rodenticides

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read