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B.C. parents encouraged to get informed about back-to-school plans

Rob Fleming, B.C.'s Education Minister. (via Flickr/Province of B.C.)

Saying "there's no better place that in-class learning," B.C.'s Education Minister says parents should feel "confident" about sending their kids back to school in two weeks.

As mandated by Minister Rob Fleming, each of the province's 60 school districts have now posted their back to school plans for all students from K-12.

"With these plans now in place, parents can feel confident about sending their children back to school and assured that strict health and safety measures are in place to protect students and staff," said Fleming during a news conference Wednesday.

"I know that some families will continue to have medical or health concerns, and my expectation is that school districts will be flexible and work with families to provide remote options that keep children connected to their school community."

Each district is communicating those plans directly with parents.

Districts also have the flexibility to find specific options that work for families, including authority to offer remote options within their district.

SD57 - Prince George plans are available online via its website, which will also be sent out to parents and guardians.

This includes practicing social distancing when out of a learning group and wearing masks in high-traffic areas like buses and common areas.

Learning groups, as announced earlier this month by the province, will be a maximum of 60 in each elementary-school cohort and 120 in a secondary cohort and these are set to remain consistent in most areas of the school for a single semester, quarter or term.

These numbers could be reduced however, if B.C. decided to move schools into Stage Three or Four of its plan should COVID-19 be spread.

SD57 says students must stay home if they’re feeling sick or experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19, influenza or the common cold in order to reduce any potential spread.

Students are being reminded as well to keep hands to themselves and no close greetings like hugs, handshakes and high-fives.

Outside visitors must make an appointment with the school before coming inside, where they must also sign in and provide their information.

The district adds thorough cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted with its enhanced safety protocols, including disinfecting all frequently touched surfaces twice a day.

- with files from Wayne Moore, Castanet