Students back in school Sept. 10

B.C. students will be welcomed back to class starting Sept. 10, the province says.

It’s part of an orientation week to give students and staff time to familiarize themselves with health and safety measures being put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus disease COVID-19.

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"Schools are going to look different in September," Education Minister Rob Fleming said in a statement. "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."

School staff will meet with their respective health and safety committees on Sept. 8 to review health and safety protocols, and finalize plans and lessons for their learning groups.

Students will be back in school Sept. 10 to be assigned to their class, find out who is in their learning group, practice their new routines, and familiarize themselves with how to safely move from the class to outdoor and common areas of the school, the province said.

Most students will return to the classroom when schools re-open. Students will be organized into “learning groups” of 60 students in elementary schools and 120 students in secondary schools.

School districts have been given until Aug. 26 to finalize their respective return plans.

School District 60 Superintendent Stephen Petrucci says planning continues, and that he’s confident the district will be able to draft a plan in line with the province’s expectations.

Most elementary students are already grouped and learning under a cohort model, he said. The challenge, he said, will be to extend that to the middle and secondary students, particularly when it comes to course selection and core courses for grades 8 through 12.

Plans for busing are being developed, and the district expects a slice of of new funding to hire more janitors and custodians and buy more sanitization stations.

“The key piece here is all of the safety guidelines we saw in the spring will continue,” Petrucci said. “We are confident that we can plan and open up our schools.”

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

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