BC has suspended K-12 classes indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean students are getting a longer spring break.
According to Angus Wilson, superintendent of the Mission School District, once spring break ends, the educational process will continue.
“As per the Ministry of Education’s letter, schools are not closed after spring break, but face-to-face classes are suspended. What that means is that students will be continuing to receive an education,” Wilson said.
However, the details of how they receive it is still being worked out
Wilson said they are “in new territory” as far as what this means and how it will all look, noting that a kindergarten class and a woodworking class are going to be different.
“There will be an educational program for students; it just won’t be the same as what they have been familiar with.”
When asked if he meant it would be a form of home schooling, Wilson said “most likely” but there will be exceptions as they try to find a way to support essential service personnel, health care and emergency services.
“You can’t be a doctor or a firefighter if you are at home with your child. We have to work out some details with that,” he said.
What he does know for sure is that students will not be returning to class when spring break ends. Further information will be sent to parents when it is available.
“This isn’t going to be for just one week. At the same time, it’s not forever.”
The province announced the class cancellations earlier this week at a time when B.C. had seven deaths and at least 185 cases of COVID-19.
Gatherings of 50 or more people have been banned and health officials are telling people to stay in Canada. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians to “stay home” if at all possible. The province declared a public health emergency just hours after announcing the suspension of classes.
“This is a crisis situation. There’s no making that sound any better,” Horgan said. He said a decision on when classes return will be made in the future.
Education Minister Rob Fleming said all students who are currently on track to move onto the next grade, or to graduate, will do so and the province is working with post-secondary institutions.
Arrangements will also be made to help provide school meals for at-risk students, he noted.