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School district plans for class suspensions

School District 60 says it is finalizing plans to ensure student learning continues this spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic. B.
sd60

School District 60 says it is finalizing plans to ensure student learning continues this spring amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

B.C Premier John Horgan announced March 17 the suspension of all in-class K-12 instruction until further notice, the latest in a number of sweeping measures being imposed to slow the spread of infection in the province.

Education Rob Fleming says all students will receive final marks, and every student eligible to graduate Grade 12 this year will graduate. All graduation assessments for Grade 10 and 11 students have been postponed.

"We have urged schools and school districts to plan now to ensure a continuity of learning," Fleming said.

SD60 Superintendent Stephen Petrucci says the school district has been developing plans over the last few weeks to ensure learning and operations continues.

The school district has "excellent technology infrastructure" in place for alternative means of instruction, such as virtual and online learning, he said.

"I have great confidence in the progressive nature of our school district," Petrucci said.

But, school districts are also waiting on more guidance from the province on what an online classroom should look like, and on the roles teachers, support staff, and school administrators will play during the suspension.

Full details on the plan for learning will be released next week, and Petrucci asked parents and students for patience.

"We really want to be thoughtful over the next week and half. There are so many unanswered questions," he said. "We are working behind the scenes daily on this issue."

It's too early to say if the school buildings themselves will be closed, Petrucci said.

The school district also has an operations plan to ensure the continuity of its operations, including its facilities and administration such as payroll and communications.

"Every district is required to have a pandemic plan. Our health and safety officer has been working on that and it's ready to go." 

The Peace River North Teachers Association could not be immediately reached for comment.

This is a developing story.

Click here to read more about the latest developments on COVID-19 in Fort St. John.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.