Education Minister Rob Fleming announced this afternoon that all K-12 safety plans have been approved. Most safety plans, which required input from CUPE locals, are now available for review on individual district web sites.
CUPE members will be returning to schools on September 8 for orientation on the safety plans. The plans will be monitored and adapted as needed to ensure safety for students and staff throughout the evolving situation of the pandemic. In addition to health and safety measures, the plans include:
- how learning groups will be organized;
- when masks are required;
- daily schedules for classes, lunch and recess;
- daily health assessment requirements;
- pick-up and drop off times;
- protocols for common areas;
- hand washing directions;
- orientation information.
School districts will contact all families to confirm if they are planning for their child to attend school classes in September, or if they need alternative learning options such as remote learning.
Minister Fleming talked about additional funding through the Province as well as the federal funding announced today. The government release notes that while schools may look different in different communities, all school districts are also required to follow operational guidelines developed by a provincial steering committee made up of parents, teachers, support workers, Indigenous rightsholders, school leaders and trustees. School districts were also required to consult local First Nations on the development of their plans.
“There is no better place than in-class learning. With these plans now in place, parents can feel confident about sending their children back to school and assured that strict health and safety measures are in place to protect students and staff.”
— Education Minister Rob Fleming
$2B in federal funding for K-12 Restart
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more than $2 billion in federal funding to help provinces and territories re-open schools safely. The money can be used to help adapt learning spaces, improve air ventilation, increase hand sanitation and hygiene, and buy additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. The funding is being allocated based on the number of children aged four to 18 years old in each province and territory, with a $2 million base amount for each jurisdiction. B.C. is allocated $242.4 million. According to a CBC report, Trudeau said that the money is meant only to top up provincial resources and comes with no strings attached.