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As B.C. lays out roadmap for reopening, parents still left with questions about timeline for schools

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Summary

B.C. government unveiled its approach to reopening province, but parents still wondering what that means for students

Message so far is partial return to class in June, full return in September if coronavirus rates remain lower

Ministry of Education says its working with districts, teachers, public health to figure out future of classrooms

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – As we look forward to the gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions in B.C. in the coming weeks and months, parents are still wondering exactly what that means for students returning to in-class instruction at school.

The message so far is a partial return to class in June and a full return in September if coronavirus infection rates remain lower, with more details to be released in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, the province laid out the phases it envisions, starting with part-time, in-class instruction for K-5 students and access to part-time, in-class instruction for grades 6-12 as needed. In-class learning would be offered alongside remote, online learning for most students.

Eventually that transitions to full-time in-class learning for elementary students and part-time for secondary students, who will still have access to online resources.

After that, it’s a full return.

The Ministry of Education says its working with districts, teachers and public health to figure out what this will all look like in the classroom.

The North Vancouver School District is among those acknowledging parents have many questions and have dealt with a lot of change.

“I acknowledge that since the Minister of Education, under direction of the Provincial Health Officer, first announced the suspension of in-class instruction on March 17, 2020, we have all had to quickly adjust to a continuity of learning with new routines in our personal, school, and professional lives,” Superintendent Mark Pearmain says in an email to parents. “Now, as we are asked to start to return to a ‘new normal’, we undoubtedly will experience change once again, but it will be done in a measured and coordinated way.”

Noting he understands parents are wondering when each of the phases will be brought in, Pearmain adds more information would come.

“This plan will first and foremost prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and our school community,” he writes. “We will also continue to post updates on our District website.”

Along with school reopenings, the province announced reopening of non-essential businesses, sports camps, and even allowing small gatherings as part of its four-phase plan.

We are currently in the first phase, with the second expected to start in “mid-May” — or after the May long weekend.