B.C. suspends in-class K-12 learning province-wide in response to COVID-19 crisis

‘The actions taken today are temporary. We will return to regular school life down the road.’

The province of B.C. announced Tuesday that they are suspending K-12 classroom learning indefinitely.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement during a press conference to discuss the plan for schools, as well as on economic measures being put in place to address the COVID-19 crisis.

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Horgan indicated that the decision to resume instruction will come in the future and will involve input from multiple parties, including district officials and other leaders.

All schools have been ordered to suspend in-class instruction province-wide, said Education Minister Rob Fleming. While most of the province's schools are on spring break, there are some independent schools still operating; those schools will need to cease operation immediately.

Teachers will be planning to prepare for continutity of learning when schools are due to resume following the current spring break period. However, it is not clear what that will look like. Those plans and decisions will be vary district by district, and details will be decided in the coming days. 

"Every student will receive a final mark and all students set to move to the next grade will do so," said Fleming. 

Additionally, every Grade 12 student on track to graduate will graduate, however no commencement ceremonies or related activities will take place.

"The decision to suspend in-class learning was not made lightly," said Fleming. "This is a very challenging time in B.C. and around the world."

Fleming urged parents to talk with their children about the decision made today, as well as for families to heed the urgings of public health officials and other leaders about social distancing, self-monitoring of illness and symptoms, and to be safe. 

Additonally, Fleming said that they do not have all the answers today about what education in the province will look like in the coming weeks, due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 crisis. 

"The actions taken today are temporary. We will return to regular school life down the road," added Fleming. 

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