North Okanagan parents surveyed on plans to send kids back to school

Restart plan includes June 1 back to school, part time, possibly full for essential workers

Not all students have to go back to school starting June 1. And the Vernon School District wants to know what parents plans are.

“SD 22 will be working with trustees, administrators, teachers, support staff and parents to develop our restart plan,” said Superintendent Joe Rogers in a letter to parents.

In-class instruction will begin on a part time basis June 1. The district will follow the Public Health and WorkSafeBC guidelines.

“To assist with planning, parents will receive a survey next week to indicate if they wish to have their child return to school part time. Parents may also choose to have their child continue to learn from home,” said Rogers.

The goal is to return to full-time classes in September 2020, provided it is safe to do so.

“British Columbians have worked hard to flatten our curve. As we move into the next phase of our pandemic plan after the May long weekend, the science shows us that were ready to bring students back to school safely on a gradual and part-time basis,” said Premier John Horgan. “This will be welcome news for many families who have struggled to adjust to remote and online learning, and for parents who are going back to work. At every step, we will move slowly and make health and safety our top priority. B.C. has done well under the guidance of our provincial health officials, and now is the time to take this next step together.”

To make sure schools are safe for students and staff, the number of students in school each day will be reduced, with most receiving in-class instruction part time. School districts will determine scheduling for classes and transportation arrangements. For kindergarten to Grade 5, this means most students will go to school half time (such as alternating days), while grades 6 to 12 will go to school about one day a week. Children of essential service workers and students needing additional supports will have the option to attend school full time. Families that decide not to send their children to class may continue learning from home.

“School is the place where kids learn how to connect with others and grow together, and its incredibly important for students who need extra support to get more time with their teachers and support workers,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “We’ve looked at what measures other jurisdictions are putting in place and were taking direction from our provincial health officials, so students, educators and staff know were taking every precaution to protect their health and safety.”

READ MORE: ‘It feels surreal’ Armstrong grad wins $80K UBC scholarship

READ MORE: COVID-19: Survey drives recovery support for North Okanagan businesses


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