Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

B.C. schools to have ‘full re-launch in September’

Empty classroom. (via File photo)

B.C.’s public sector and post-secondary could see a “full re-launch in September,” B.C.’s deputy minister of health said this afternoon (May 6).

Stephen Brown said schools could return to initially limited operations with guidelines incorporating core hygiene and gathering rules.

There could also be a partial return for K-12 and a mix of online and in-class for post-secondary facilities in September.

But, said Health Minister Adrian Dix, the Ministry of Education will address details off what openings might look like in coming days.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said school districts would have to determine how best to implement policies in their areas.

Brown, Dix and Henry presented the information to a technical briefing and news conference.

B.C.’s COVID-19 Go-Forward ... by BIV on Scribd

Brown said Minister of Education Rob Fleming is working on the details “to ensure students and staff are safe and stay well.”

But, stressed Henry, not all classroom instruction ended in the lockdown period.

In-class instruction had remained for some students, including those of essential workers, Henry said.

She said that could expand in June with a greater expansion in September.

Among issues schools will be looking at, Brown said, include:

  • Routine daily screening protocol for all staff and students
  • Routine and frequent cleaning
  • Smaller class sizes, increased space between desks, alternating attendance arrangements, frequent hand washing, wearing non-medical masks for group activities and sports, and limiting group sizes
  • Clear policies for children, youth and staff who have symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19, with any coughing or sneezing not attending school or taking part in extracurricular activities and sports
  • Planning over the summer for increased use of remote online learning, especially for high school children
  • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students for both public system and post-secondary institutions

Brown said similar cleaning rules and attendance restrictions would apply to post-secondary institutions.

Henry said she sees no utility in taking students’ temperatures as they arrive at school each day.

Rather, she said, students would be asked how they are feeling.

“It’s about a health-symptom screening that we all need to do,” Henry said.