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Premier @jjhorgan, Ed min @Rob_Fleming & MCFD Min @KatrinaCBurnaby speaking about what's next with schools and childcare in a few min.
While I wait, what are you going to do with your kids?
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Premier @jjhorgan saying they are starting June 1 for students to have option to return to school on a part-time basis.
This he says will allow smoother full return in Sept.
Says this is by *choice* no pressure to attend.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Objective and top priority to make sure schools are safe- @jjhorgan
It is voluntary he says but believes it will be positive.
This, as all aspects of easing restrictions, he says is not the flick of a switch but gradual, safe and based on science
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Ed Min @Rob_Fleming says the closure of schools hardest on kids who have a hard time learning at home or for whom school is their safe haven.
This is not returning to before - classes will look very different that they did before the virus.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Looking to other places in the world who have safely reopened schools, @Rob_Fleming says - relying on science and med advice of PHO Henry.
Says standards will be the same across the province.
So far 5000+ students in schools
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Will need to limit number of kids in schools -
most will go only part time, staggering days, lunch and recess times
For K-5 kids will go half time - 50% or less of normal at a time
6-12 likely only a day a week in June - less 20% than before
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Buses will be one child per seat - except from same family.
Plexiglass protector for drivers.
@Rob_Fleming says it will be safe - it has to be.
Also stepping up mental health support because this is / has been a stressful time for everyone incl kids.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Parents will get info from their kid's school before May 22 -- if you haven't heard by then, @Rob_Fleming says, call your principal
Asking parents to follow schedule provided.
Also says parents need to do health assessments of kid's each school day.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Addition to the agenda PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry.
She says school pause was necessary but now shifting back to schools and reopening childcare is top of list as is doing it safely - so ppl have confidence safety is top of mind.
Reminding: Stay home if sick.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
A thoughtful and measured approach is being taken - this includes detailed plans if someone becomes ill.
Reminding parents making decisions what to do with their children whether with daycare or school -- they need to do what is right for their family.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
During pandemic childcare min @KatrinaCBurnaby says 2600 centres have stayed open.
She says like schools, daycares will need to take additional precautions:
more separate activities when indoors, outdoor as much as possible.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
The choice to open and to return to childcare @KatrinaCBurnaby reminds are by choice and they will continue to support both those that choose to open and those that don't and to ensure spaces for parents not sending kids back will have their space held.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q-Will teachers be required to do inclass & virtual learning and will kids get same teacher they had before?
@Rob_Fleming says these details are being worked on now - classes will stay with teacher where possible - there will be a few exceptions.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Expect kids to be learning together on line and in class, @Rob_Fleming says.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q will kids get something - a gift - for sticking through this challenge
@Rob_Fleming says they want to recognize that kids who are graduating this year won't get the big party they would without a pandemic. working to support families/kids
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - prepping kids wanting to to university?
@Rob_Fleming assured kids wouldn't be penalized for being in a pandemic. working with post secondary leaders re transcripts - generous consideration for everyone wanting to graduate and move on
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Cont - @Rob_Fleming says school guidance counsellors have been working hard to keep in contact with kids to ensure they are on track.
The one day a week allowed in June will allow for more in-person prep time.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - how to deal with teachers shortages - more if they stay home sick?
going to have district principals fill in roles in some rural areas, ToCs are stepping up.
Q will there be inequities between districts
@Rob_Fleming says working to ensure equality
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - what regions are we looking to as models for this return?
Denmark is one that is most interesting & instructive looking at a new normal @Rob_Fleming says - also NZ and some other scandanavian countries.
Greatest influence is Dr Henry, @CDCofBC
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - teachers/ECE/support staff will be accommodated sick or have pre-existing conditions?
Yes - @Rob_Fleming says
@KatrinaCBurnaby says centres must decide what's best for them. financial supports remain in place if they decide not to open/return
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q-will teachers/school support/ECE be tested like front line workers?
Dr Henry - No value in regularly testing without symptoms but will be monitoring very closely. They are prioritized if symptomatic.
People must also prioritize staying away if sick
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q-consideration to extending school year into July? If not many kids return do you anticipate layoffs?
@Rob_Fleming working on summer school plans not extending school year.
layoffs... next
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
re potential Layoffs - @Rob_Fleming says he knows there are some challenges with less int'l students... but there will also be increases in domestic enrollment - will know by sept retirements, enrollment growth.
So that's not a no.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - what have you heard from parents - are they planning sending kids back?
@Rob_Fleming there are diverse reactions - tried to make sure something for every comfort levet.
(this is what I have so far in my very informal poll so far)
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q - Some teachers are concerned returning isn't safe. Are you giving them an out by saying they can stay home if they have "the sniffles?"
@Rob_Fleming People who are showing symptoms of illness - no matter what their job should stay home.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Q will school play areas reopen?
Dr Henry says absolutely some areas will be open to allow outdoor learning & playing but unlikely all apparatuses will be. Still looking at what's possible while ensuring kids maintaining distance.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Heading into the long weekend @jjhorgan says please don't load up your winnebego and head out on the road. There will be other long weekends to travel - this is not it. This is the weekend to enjoy what your local community has to offer.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
Here's a link to the provincial guidelines for schools to open up more broadly again.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
And here are some of the specific details of safety protocols for those returning to BC classrooms in June.
#bcpoli #covid19 @NEWS1130
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