Over 85% of BC's K-12 students returned to classroom in first week: minister

Sep 18 2020, 11:26 am

As the first full week of school comes to a close, the BC Ministry of Education said early attendance numbers show more than 85% of K-12 public school students returned for in-class learning.

“It’s been incredible to see so many students being able to connect with their teachers, support staff and classmates again, and that school districts developed remote options for other students across BC,” said Education Minister Rob Fleming.

In the summer, Fleming directed school districts to connect with families in their community to determine their return-to-school plans – and to confirm if they planned for their child to attend school classes.

As part of this, all school boards were given the authority to offer remote options to students within their districts, as well as the tools needed to increase their existing programs to meet any demand.

If a family needed alternative learning options, school districts were expected to work with families to provide remote options that would keep children connected to their school communities.

And while the Fleming is pleased to see the numbers, the president of the union representing BC teachers said a complaint has now been filed to the Labour Relations Board over the province’s back-to-school-plan.

In a letter to teachers, BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) President Teri Mooring, who knows many of her colleagues feel “unsafe,” states that the union “continues to push every available strategy to address the inequities of working conditions, the haphazard implementation of health and safety measures, and confusing changes in government messages and documents.”

In filing this application, Mooring says the hope is to “get the government to address the many communication, process, and health and safety problems of their restart plan. Our application seeks to enhance the enforcement measures to ensure school districts take all possible actions to keep teachers and students safe.”