A third of B.C. students return to part-time, in-class instruction

Education Minister Rob Fleming said approximately 60,000 students have returned to some in-class instruction across 60 school districts

About a third of British Columbian students returned to school this week with about a month left in the school year.

According to the provincial government, 60,000 elementary, middle and secondary school students are participating in the province's gradual introduction of part-time, in-class instruction.

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“We hope that the June restart is part of something that will help us have an even stronger start to school in September," said Minister of Education Rob Fleming.

But classrooms and schools don't look normal, he said. 

Elementary schools across the province are restricted to welcoming back up to 50% of their student population on a given day. To date, Fleming says between 30% and 35% of students in Kindergarten through Grade 5 have returned. Middle schools and high schools, meanwhile, can only welcome up to 20% of their students back per day.

The restrictions – intended to support physical distancing at B.C. schools – mean a secondary student who has returned to school will only receive up to one day of in-class instruction per week.

“We’re going to keep the density of kids in schools at a very low, gradual level, no matter what," said Fleming. He added that 90% of teachers have returned to schools.

As for what the new school year will look like, Fleming said a hybrid of in-class and online learning is likely.

hwoodin@biv.com

@hayleywoodin

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