(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

‘We don’t have a date’: Some B.C. kids might return to school before summer, but focus is on fall

Children of essential workers will be prioritized, Dr. Henry said

Although the province’s focus is on the next school year, some students could return to classrooms before summer starts, Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday (April 27).

Henry said health officials have been working with the education ministry to come up with a plan, but said specific dates were unlikely to be unveiled this week.

“We don’t have a date,” the provincial health officer said. “The decision has not been made about how much, and what, will happen in the near term.”

Henry’s comments came as Quebec announced its Montreal-area elementary schools and daycares will re-open on May 19, with those outside the greater Montreal area set to open a week earlier, on May 11.

In-class instruction, especially for younger students who cannot stay home alone, will need to be in place before parents go back to work, Henry said.

“I expect there will be some children coming back to school before the end of this session,” she said, even if in-person school is for children of essential workers only.

Henry said there would be challenges around physical distancing in schools in the fall, when B.C. is expecting a second wave of COVID-19. She did not rule out face masks altogether.

“It is something we can consider in our circumstances… particularly where you cannot maintain the physical distancing.”

However, no matter how late, and if, school re-starts this year, Henry said the province is not looking at classes over the summer.

Plans for the fall are being made, Henry said, and could include distance learning and “small scale” in-person classes.

READ MORE: Quebec to open schools in May; Ontario unveils plan to re-open economy

READ MORE: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools indefinitely due to COVID-19

READ MORE: Preliminary talks underway for ‘potentially’ reopening schools, pending OK from B.C.’s top doc

READ MORE: Home becomes school and workplace as students switch to online learning


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

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

Just Posted

The Nisga’a Lisims Government has extended its state of local emergency. (File photo)
Nisga’a state of local emergency extended, vaccines delayed

There are 21 active COVID-19 cases in the Nisga’a Valley Health Authority

Administering naloxone to a person experiencing a benzo-related overdose event won’t help. Naloxone is used to neutralize opioids. (Jenna Hauck/The Progress file photo)
Northern Health warning drug users of potential benzo contamination

The drug does not respond to naloxone, and is being included in street drugs

Terrace continues to have a high rate of COVID-19 infections per 100,000 people, according to this map which shows data from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9. (BC Centre for Disease Control)
Terrace, Nisga’a regions continue to have high rate of COVID-19 cases

Two more exposure notices posted for Terrace schools

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Most Read