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School year start date to be pushed back for B.C. students, unclear when in-class learning will begin

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Zussman, Richard
Publication Date: 
11 Aug 2020


B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming says the start of the school year will be pushed back from Sept. 8 for students but work is still being done to determine when kids will be in class.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Fleming says there needs to be time before students return for teachers, staff, and administrators to prepare together for the start of school.

“The idea is to get staff back together, whether it’s support staff, teachers and administrators, to finalize how the school operations are going to work, [undergo] a thorough review of the CDC health and safety guidelines and then start to accept students back later in the first week of school. Discussions are ongoing,” Fleming said.

When pressed Fleming was less clear on how long the start to school for students may last. There is work being done right now within the province’s working group to determine those details.

There will be a formal announcement from the province in about a week’s time around the timing of the start of school.

The BC Teachers Federation and B.C. Principals and Vice-Principals Association have been asking for the province to consider pushing back the start of the school year.

Historically students in elementary schools have returned to their previous year’s class for the first few days and that will not be happening this year.

Fleming says there is an advantage for staff to work in their learning groups to get familiar with new procedures including hand hygiene and other health and safety measures.

Schools will also be working on improving ventilation and removing desks in some places to ensure physical distancing in the classroom.