Two-thirds of Richmond students opt out of partial June return

More than two-thirds of Richmond families have indicated they won’t be sending their children to school in June for a partial return of classes.

The Ministry of Education is allowing students in kindergarten to Grade 5 to return half-time to classrooms and those in Grades 6 to 12 to return 20 per cent, or one day a week.

With 88 per cent of families responding so far to a survey put out by the Richmond School District last week, 64 per cent said they won’t send their kids back in June, while 36 per cent said they would.

Scott Robinson, superintendent of the Richmond School District, said the response rate was “unheard of.”

Schools will be set up into two parts – one for instruction for those who attend in-person and one for those teachers teaching students who are still at home.

Students who choose to go back to school might attend their regular classroom, or they might have a different teacher and be in mixed classes.

Secondary students, who are allowed to go back 20 per cent, will have instruction on a “tutorial basis,” Robinson explained, whereby students can sign up for assistance with teachers up to one day a week.

At the end of April, there were about 50 students at Richmond schools; this number was up to 600 this week.

“What it’s allowed us to do is to test drive some protocols as we prepare for the broader return of students next week,” Robinson said.

Since schools were ordered closed to in-class instruction in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers have been giving remote instruction to their students. Some students, children of essential workers and vulnerable students, have been back in schools for more than a month.

More communication is expected to be sent to parents on Wednesday, with part-time classroom instruction starting on June 1.

“On Monday, we’ll get started and we’ll see how it goes,” Robinson said.

Students are expected to be back full-time in September.

© Richmond News