Classrooms around B.C., like this new middle school in Kelowna, are mostly empty as schools are under a health order to suspend most in-class instruction. (B.C. government)

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

As B.C. school districts begin providing in-school education for children of essential workers and those with special needs during the coronavirus pandemic, most parents are working out ways to proceed with home schooling.

The B.C. education ministry has added a new website called openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning that has guides and resources for parents. Its section on “everyday learning activities” was endorsed by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in her daily briefing March 30.

“So it is back to school in a virtual way for children in the province now,” Henry said. “We want and we need our children to continue to learn and to maintain those important social connections that they get through schooling, even though they’re apart.

“I encourage parents really to incorporate learning into everyday activities that you have these opportunities with your children now at home,” Henry said. “Things like writing emails, or texting or having virtual groups with your friends. Using the kitchen or the garden for science experiments, and using the new online resources for the education system to help out.”

Ministry suggestions for parents include writing daily letters to friends or relatives, similar to the daily messages teachers write to children about the day’s events. Food preparation is a popular option, as flour and sugar mills have stepped up production due to an increase in home baking.

“Have children search for recipes online, reading them to consider ingredients, preparation and difficulty,” says the everyday learning section. “Analyze ingredients in the house for nutrition, grams of protein, fibre, fat, sugar, calories, and develop a healthy food plan base on recommended daily allowances of each.”

RELATED: B.C. schools to connect with families by April 3

RELATED: Pay parking suspended at B.C. health care facilities

The education ministry recommends having children maintain their school routines as much as possible, including regular bedtimes, wake-up and getting dressed for school on weekdays.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said parents who are designated essential service workers should expect to hear from their schools by Friday, April 3 regarding child care options. Other parents should also be contacted this week by teachers.

“Schools will be doing their best to accommodate urgent child care needs while meeting the guidelines and directives of the provincial health officer,” Fleming said in a statement March 27.

“Since there are many students who will have challenges working online, schools have been directed to look at alternative approaches for continued learning that will fit with the individual needs and circumstances of their communities.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

Ellis Ross (left), BC Liberal party, celebrated with his wife, Tracey after being named the preliminary winner of the 2020 snap provincial election.
Ross presumptive Skeena winner in snap B.C. election

Election outcome will not be official until mail-in ballots are counted

Voting has officially closed throughout B.C. for the 2020 snap provincial election. (Clare Rayment)
Map of Skeena polling stations

Watch the updates on the map below as polling stations are counted throughout Skeena riding

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

Tyrell Giroux was arrested by Williams Lake RCMP on Sunday, Oct. 25. (Facebook video screenshot)
Tsilhqot’in leaders call for suspension of officers seen in controversial Williams Lake arrest

Disturbing video demands an immediate, independent investigation, says TNG

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Most Read