Students to return to classrooms on September 10

Students will be back in schools on September 10, two days later than normal, to learn how to navigate in the classroom and school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff will be back at school right after Labour Day to meet with the health and safety committee to learn how new guidelines, created by the BC Centre for Disease Control and the provincial health officer, will work.

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"We can't sacrifice 18 months of education," said education minister Rob Fleming at a press briefing Wednesday morning. "We have to learn to do things safely during this pandemic."

On the first day students are back in classrooms, they will be assigned to their class and learning group, practise new routines and how to move safely within the school and school grounds.

On Tuesday, Fleming said there would be a delay for students returning, after several groups, including the BC Teachers’ Federation, balked at a full return on the first day.

“Previously students would come back into class, usually with their previous year's teachers, and wait a few days for school to be organized for the coming school year,” Fleming said in the legislature on Tuesday. “We can't do that in a pandemic. That would not be in compliance with the BCCDC guidelines.”

The BC Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association had also asked for a later start date so that staff could learn what their roles were within the school.

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