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Return to school in B.C. will require flexibility: premier

Last Updated Jul 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm PDT

FILE - A classroom sits empty. (UNSPLASH/Rubén Rodriguez)
Summary

Premier John Horgan understands parents' anxiety about the province's plans for school in the fall

Premier Horgan confirms more details about returing to school expected later this week

School plans will be adapted week to week, region to region, premier says

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — Premier John Horgan understands parents’ anxiety about the province’s plans for school in the fall, and said Monday to expect a certain amount of flexibility.

He confirmed more details about schooling are expected later this week.

“I absolutely understand the challenges that families are facing right now. This is unprecedented for all of us. We’ve never gone into a summer of a pandemic, we’ve never come out of a summer of a pandemic, so we’re doing our level best to make sure we’re listening, being attentive to the needs of the broader community within the K-to-12 system, and I’m not surprised there’s anxiety,” said Horgan at a funding announcement for new student housing at the University of Victoria.

“In major urban centres, there’s going to be a focus on similar approaches. But in rural British Columbia, whether you are in Kamloops or Smithers or Dawson Creek, we’re going to have differet approaches n those communities,” he added.

Horgan said the pandemic evolving, and so will school plans.

They will be adapted week to week, region to region, depending on the different circumstances of cases and staffing, he said.

Horgan pointed out the province has drawn on experiences from the graduated return to school in B.C. in May and June, and elsewhere, including Europe.

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“We have 60 school districts in British Columbia. All of them have different needs. There’s not going to be a cookie-cutter approach to this,” he said.

Horgan was asked about teachers being hesitant to return to classrooms and whether there’s enough protective equipment available ot them.

“Certainly, we’ll be doing whatever we can to work with school districts who would be responsible for the workplace, not the province,” he said.

“We’ll do whatever we can to support districts across the province.”