With BC students set to return to the classroom on September 10, schools across the province are preparing to welcome them back amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adhering to the provincial government guidelines, schools are now busy putting new measures in place meant to help protect teachers, students, and staff.
At Hastings Elementary school, this means new signage, desk configurations, and outdoor learning areas, among other things. And with just over a week to go until kids are back, here are some of the measures the East Vancouver school has put in place.
Spacing in classrooms
Separated classroom supplies
Classroom hand-washing stations
Covered drinking fountains
Outdoor learning areas
In late August, the Vancouver School Board revealed a back-to-school plan for elementary students that included pandemic precautions such as eating lunch in classrooms and mandatory masks outside the learning cohort.
Students will be required to wear masks in hallways and other areas where they can’t physically distance starting in Grade 6. They won’t need to mask up when they’re with their learning group, however — which is a group of up to 60 students and staff.
Students will either eat lunch in their classroom or outside. Common lunchrooms where students from different grades mix will remain closed in September. Students will either eat lunch outside or in their classrooms.
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The BC government has also said it won’t be necessary for students in a learning group to all be in the same class, “but they will be able to interact and connect with each other as a consistent group during breaks, in common areas like the gym, library, or at the playground.”
In addition, staff and students (or their parents/guardians) must also assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19, the province said. If any student or staff member has even mild symptoms, arrangements will be made for that person to return home.