(Black Press Media file photo)

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Students across B.C. will be welcomed back into the classroom on Sept. 10, the province has announced.

The original plan was for students to return on Sept. 8.

But in recent weeks, teachers and parents have voiced concern that staff would need more time to adjust classrooms and curriculum plans to meet the various COVID-19 guidelines set out by the province, including physical distancing and the implementation of “learning groups,” made up of a consistent group of staff and students in order to reduce the risk of infection transmission.

“Staff, students and parents need time to get familiar with all the new health and safety procedures that are designed to keep them safe and confident in their school settings,” Education Minister Rob Fleming said in a statement Wednesday (Aug. 12).

Students will be welcomed back to class for orientation by Sept. 10 and will use this time to get familiar with classrooms that will look different than they did before the pandemic.

Then, students will be assigned to their class, find out who is in their learning group, practise their new routines and familiarize themselves with how to safely move from the class to outdoor and common areas of the school.

Earlier this week, school districts were provided with readiness checklists to ensure they are updating their health and safety plans. Specific plans must be made publicly available on Aug. 26.

READ MORE: B.C. to roll out ‘learning groups’ as part of COVID-19 back-to-school plan

Since mid-July, when the province first announced its school restart plan, the BC Teachers’ Federation has been critical of the rollout, citing safety concerns for teachers.

In a June survey which gauged teachers’ feelings about the province’s hybrid system used to finish off the school year, the federation said that only 54 per cent of teachers reported proper health and safety measures were in place at their school, and only 51 per cent of teachers reported feeling safe.

“This return to school process has been openly described as flying by the seat of our pants by administration,” read one teacher’s submission describing their concerns about a rushed reopening, the survey results show.

Black Press Media has reached out to the BC Teachers’ Federation for further comment.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducation

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

RDN signs deal with Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to conduct waste audits

RDN working on mandatory waste-separation bylaw for industrial, commercial, institutional sectors

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to Nanaimo

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

Conservation officers free fawn stuck in fence in Nanaimo

Fawn was uninjured after getting caught in fence in Hammond Bay area Wednesday

Nanaimo resident wins human rights tribunal case over wheelchair accessibility at condo complex

Tribunal awards $35,000, says concerns weren’t addressed until human rights complaint had been lodged

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Nanaimo council gives school district permission to demolish Franklyn Street gym

Heritage alteration permit issued for unused, fire-damaged building

Arson suspected in fire that destroyed Nanaimo second-hand store

RCMP, Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigating early morning fire set at entrance of Townsite Road shop

Most Read