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Many parents worry about back-to-school amid coronavirus as districts gauge attendance

Last Updated May 21, 2020 at 6:04 am PDT

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Many parents have concerns as school districts across B.C. prepare to welcome some students back to class in June

Students will be allowed back on an optional, part-time basis starting June 1

A number of parents say they won't be sending their kids back to school, saying it's too soon

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Many parents have concerns as school districts across B.C. are reaching out to them to ask whether or not they will be sending their children to class for in-person instruction starting June 1.

The in-class instruction is voluntary and will be part-time for the final few weeks of the school year, as districts continue to try and stem the spread of COVID-19.

In letters, surveys, and questionnaires, there are re-assurances social distancing and sanitizing measures are being taken into account to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but what that will look like, precisely, is still not clear for many districts.

Online comments left for NEWS 1130 and in some parent Facebook groups show a lot of worry, with many people wondering why their kids and teachers need to be rushed into a dry run ahead of a September opening, considering it too much of a risk.

“Too much uncertainty. Just ask the teachers!” on person writes.

“My kids are not going to school in June. Their safety is way more important than going to school for one month. Mr. Horgan one less vote,” another comments.

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Many express support for teachers who will need to balance in-class instruction under strict new protocols and home-based learning, which will remain available, while others say their children are looking forward to returning to school.

“The schools and teachers are doing a phenomenal job considering the circumstances! My kids are so excited to be going back to school,” Shauna says on Facebook.

Come June 1, students who do head back to school will notice it looks a little different from what they’re used to. In addition to enhanced cleaning measures, school districts are taking other steps such as spacing desks apart, requiring students and staff to clean hands before entering school property, staggered drop offs and start times, and physical distancing on buses.

“Each school district, each school for that matter, will have different configurations of how they’ll operate in June and that will inform how we prepare for September,” Premier John Horgan said Wednesday, adding he understands parents have concerns.