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Lower Mainland back-to-school plans by district

Last Updated Sep 18, 2020 at 2:43 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)

School districts around the Lower Mainland have posted approved back-to-school plans for September

Most students are expected to be in class Sept. 10

Find each Lower Mainland school districts' plans below

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A full return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic means parents and guardians are sending their kids off to a whole new classroom reality, while school districts are laying out what that will really look like.

Following the back-to-school plan update from the province, school districts have been breaking down their safety plans ahead of student orientations.

Enhanced cleaning procedures, physical distancing protocols, and mask rules are ubiquitous in the districts’ plans, but so is an emphasis on flexibility because policies could change along with public health orders.

Starting Sept. 8, schools will be opening back up as teachers head in and start preparing for hundreds of thousands of students to return Sept. 10 for their two-day orientations on COVID-19 procedures and expectations. There are some exceptions for daycare options for children of essential workers.

Districts will be moving into Stage 2 of B.C.’s school plan. Students are expected to be in class full-time.

Approved safety plans and information for individual districts for public schools in the Lower Mainland are as follows:

Abbotsford 34:

Abbotsford has released its full plan for the school year, and the district had a survey for parents to gather feedback. There are four options for parents to choose from by Sept. 4. The district’s FAQ page offers more information on its transition plan. For any further questions, Abbotsford suggests reaching out to the school.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Burnaby 41:

Burnaby has listed expectations heading into the fall semester in a letter from Superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen where she outlines the different learning options. Guidelines for elementary and secondary students have been posted. The district also offers further information on its coronavirus page.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

Chilliwack 33:

Chilliwack students will be welcomed back to class Sept 10, two days later than initially planned. Kindergarteners will start their gradual entry the same day and be back full-time Sept. 23. The district’s fall restart plan outlines expectations for all grade levels, as well as additional information on school protocols.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

Conseil scolaire francophone 93:

The CSL, like other districts, will be opening to faculty on Sept. 8 with students beginning orientation two days later. But the school will be offering daycare for children of essential workers ages five to 12 the same day teachers return until Sept. 11. Watch Superintendent Michel St-Amant’s update here. Parents will be offered full-time classroom learning or full-time distance learning with more information on distance education coming soon. Otherwise, school principals will be in contact with more specifics. A survey went out on learning models but has since closed.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Coquitlam 43:

Covering off the Tri-Cities, as wells as the villages of Anmore and Belcarra, Superintendent Patricia Gartland outlined basic guidelines for elementary, middle, and secondary school students. She explained detailed plans will be released in the next few weeks. Several protocols are outlines in Gartland’s initial letter, which includes encouraging outdoor learning. More information can be found on the district’s FAQ page.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

Delta 37:

Guidelines for elementary and secondary school, as well as general health messages, have been released. An update says parents choosing Home Quest and homeschooling options are making a full-year commitment to those programs, meaning those students can’t return to the physical classroom until September 2021. But parents can transition to the Home Quest program later in September. Any parents unsure of which learning option they want are told to keep their children enrolled for in-class learning while they decide.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

Langley 35:

Health and safety plans for Langley have been released, with a message from Superintendent Gord Stewart and startup guidelines for K-12 students returning in September. Langley is offering a transition support model for students who need at-home support before heading back to class.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows 42:

The restart plan for School District 42 shows how learning groups will be managed in elementary and secondary schools. Superintendent Sylvia Russell addresses some concerns raised by parents in letters to families of students in elementary and secondary schools.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Mission 75:

Mission’s guiding principles are posted in its restart plan, which includes more information on learning groups and how they apply to elementary, middle, and high schools. Additional safety guidelines during the pandemic are also available. COVID-19 information will be updated here.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

New Westminster 40:

For information heading back to schools in New West, the district’s plan has been posted. Superintendent Karim Hachlaf also discussed scheduling changes for students in the finalized plan. 

(Last updated Sept. 2)

North Vancouver 44:

North Vancouver’s approved plan has been posted. Superintendent Mark Pearmain goes over some of the details in a letter to parents and guardians. The district has more on back-to-school safety in a video. A virtual townhall meeting about the restart will be held Sept. 9 with Pearmain.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Richmond 38:

Details and fact sheets for Richmond’s school plan are available. The district also offers guidance on supporting children through stressful circumstances. More information can be found on the district’s FAQ page. 

(Last updated Sept. 2)

Surrey 36:

B.C.’s largest school district’s plan to welcome back more than 70,000 students is up, and the district has a COVID-19 page with additional information. In a video message, Superintendent Jordan Tinney announced two blended options for elementary and secondary school students. This will include online learning and provides an opportunity for students to transition back into the classroom at a slower pace. More information can be found on the district’s FAQ sheet.

(Last updated Sept. 4)

Vancouver 39:

Changes to health and safety procedures in Vancouver schools are included in an online document, as well as a video. COVID-19 updates are archived on the district’s website. After surveying parents, Vancouver will be offering a temporary learn from home transition option that will be announced later this week. Feedback on learning groups was gathered in September. A breakdown of the four options can be found here.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

West Vancouver 45:

The district’s COVID-19 plan includes a checklist of safety precautions for students and staff heading back to school. More on West Vancouver’s turn to school can be found here. Superintendent Chris Kennedy discussed some of the plans in a video in August.

(Last updated Sept. 3)

Provincial information

Click here for more provincial guidance on school programs. An overview of the safe return to school was sent out in August.

Meanwhile, the federal government announced $2 billion in funding so provinces can ensure students return to school safely. B.C.’s $241 million will be distributed to districts on a per-pupil basis and it’s up to the districts to determined how best to use it for the safe return to school.

(Last updated Sept. 3)