VICTORIA -- With spring break coming to an end, many parents are wondering what to do with their children who are still at home during COVID-19 school closures.

The B.C. Ministry of Education says it is working with all school districts and independent school authorities to help them develop plans to support ongoing learning for children while schools are temporarily shuttered.

The school districts of Saanich, Sooke and Victoria are three such districts that have already begun planning.

All three districts have experience in offering online learning programs but the Victoria school district says there are many considerations for different grade levels and important considerations around staffing before rolling it out on such a large scale.

In a letter sent out to parents, Saanich says its Continuity of Learning Plan will focus on:

  • core curriculum learning objectives;
  • a reasonable amount of time for each child to work on their learning every week;
  • a limit to the amount of technology or materials being required at home;
  • enhancing access for teachers to a variety of e-resources to aid them in their lesson delivery

The Cowichan Valley School District is still working on its plan for continued learning over the closure.

“It will all be explored and developed in a way that everyone can manage,” says Cowichan board chair Candace Spilsbury.

“It’s really a challenging but very exciting time for us as we are really reinventing education. I think it will have a long term impact.”

“I think that teachers have a really good understanding of what students currently own in terms of technology, like most of the older students for sure have their cellphones and that’s the primary source of information and assignment completion," she says.

Spilsbury says the board realizes some students have more to be concerned about.

"The real stress come from students in Grade 12 and we want to give them special attention and to make sure they have graduation requirements," says Spilsbury.

The Education ministry says parents will be hearing from their school superintendents and principals in the coming week with an update on local planning.

The ministry will also be making an update later this week for parents and students in K-12 classes.