B.C. to announce back to school plans in 3 weeks
VICTORIA -- Families with school-age students in B.C. can expect to hear in about three weeks what the upcoming school year will look like.
That was the message Wednesday from Rob Fleming, the province’s Education Minister.
Fleming was responding to criticisms from Liberal MLA Jas Johal, who pointed out that other provinces already have education plans in place — or dates for when those plans will be announced.
Johal said Wednesday that the B.C. government owed parents the same certainty so that they can make plans for childcare and employment in the fall.
“Look, they have plans already in place in Ontario and Quebec and Saskatchewan. I’m not sure why we can’t do that here,” said Johal.
Fleming told reporters Wednesday that parents can expect concrete details on an education plan in B.C. by the end of July or early August.
He also said the goal was to get children in Kindergarten through Grade 7 back to a ‘full restart’.
What that full restart will look like isn’t certain, but a steering committee has been working on plans for that over the past few weeks. Fleming intimated that for the younger kids, it may involve being back in the classroom five days a week.
“That is the goal, to have school instruction five days a week,” he said.
It’s still not certain what those hours for a full return to the classroom would be, and it will be subject to monitoring of the pandemic.
There was less clarity about what school will look like in the fall for students in Grades 8 through 12.
Those details are expected to be announced as well in three weeks, said Fleming.