Schools closed but parents have new education website

While in-person classes are suspended for now due to COVID-19, the B.C. school system remains open to continue to support students and families in a variety of ways, said Education Minister Rob Fleming.

In a news release Friday, Fleming, reminding parents they should not bring their children to school after spring break has ended on Monday, said new guidelines for school leaders and a new website are being introduced to support B.C.’s K-12 students.

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“This is a challenging time for families in B.C. as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it is vital students have a sense of routine and continued opportunities to learn while they are at home,” said Fleming.

“These guidelines will ensure the needs, health and safety of students are put first as school leaders actively plan to serve the unique needs of their communities.”

Fleming noted while teachers and schools will have primary responsibility for continuous learning, government has launched Keep Learning BC.

It’s a central place where families can find ideas for everyday educational activities, annotated links to free learning resources, as well as how to help children learn and how to ensure their well-being while they are at home.

Keep Learning BC is available at: http://www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning/

As far as continued learning, he said school leaders are actively working on plans, and families will hear from their school superintendent and/or school principal in the coming week with an update on their timelines.

Fleming also said essential frontline health-care workers, including those directly involved in patient care, who need urgent care for their school-aged child the week of March 30th are advised to contact their school principal as soon as possible to discuss care arrangements available during the first week back after spring break.

Other parents who are deemed an essential service worker and who may need child care for their school-age children can expect to hear from their school regarding care options by Friday, April 3rd.

Fleming also issued a joint letter with the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils noting that there are many students who will have challenges working online, so we’ve they’ve asked schools to look at a variety of approaches for continued learning that will fit individual needs and situations.

“Your school leaders are actively working on these plans and we anticipate they will be ready with more specific continued learning opportunities for your community in the coming weeks. You can expect to hear from your school principals shortly.  While primary responsibility for continued learning will come from teachers, we know many parents and guardians are asking for additional resources to help keep kids learning at home while plans are being put in place,” the letter notes.

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