On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 B.C.’s Ministry of Education announced most students will be returning to in-class instruction starting September. Langley School District is working to implement a local back-to-school plan to be made available by Aug. 26. (Government of BC photo)

Langley School District working to localize B.C.’s back-to-school plan

Superintendent Gord Stewart says the district will release its restart plan by Aug. 26

Langley School District says it’s working on a local back-to-school plan after British Columbia’s Ministry of Education announced Wednesday most students will be returning to in-class instruction in September.

In a letter posted online, Langley superintendent Gord Stewart says the district will release its restart plan by Aug. 26.

“There is the potential for adjusted schedules for students (Grades K-12) and timetable changes (secondary) in order to meet the new guidelines,” Stewart writes. “A significant focus will be on ensuring we meet health and safety guidelines for our students and staff while providing the best education possible.”

On Wednesday, the province announced it would be moving to Stage 2 of B.C.’s Education Restart Plan, which has been updated since it was first presented.

Stage 2 now means students will be in organized into learning groups. Elementary and middle school students will be in group sizes of 60, while secondary students in groups of 120 kids.

“The classroom is an essential part of a child’s social, academic and mental development, and that’s why we are working hard to ensure students can safely spend the next school year with their teachers and classmates,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education.

“We were the only jurisdiction in Canada that brought students back into the classroom provincewide before the end of the school year and this has given us valuable information that we are using to develop our plans, ensuring health and safety at schools remain paramount,” he added.

To reduce the risk of transmission learning groups will be organized in a consistent group of staff and students on the advice of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We know how important it is for children to be back in school – to both support their emotional and mental health and their ability to socialize and to learn,” Henry said. “We’ve put a lot of thoughtful work and consideration into re-opening schools this fall and in making sure we’re supporting children in ways that keep them, the people who teach them and our communities safe.”

Each individual school district will be responsible for implementing a health and safety measures following updated guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

To support schools the province is investing $45.6 million to ensure increased cleaning, hand-hygiene stations and the availability of masks on request.

Additionally, staff and students (or their parents/guardians) will be required to assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19.

Visit the Langley School District’s COVID-19 online here: sd35.bc.ca/news-events/district-board-news/ministry-updates-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19, or the province online: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/covid-19-return-to-school.


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