Friday July 8, 2022 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc. | Island Social Trends
“What people should be most proud of is that we kept schools open. It wasn’t easy but we did it,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix today about the first two years of the COVID pandemic in BC.
Dix notes there are public health and community benefits “that are incalculable” by keeping schools open.
Yes, students in BC missed a few weeks after spring break in 2020, but otherwise the system was kept open.
Adaptations by school districts:
School districts were asked to adapt their delivery of education in smaller cohorts, to restrict cross-traffic of people in hallways and assemblies, and to hold activities outdoors where required.
Remote learning was provided in the early part of the pandemic in 2020 by many school districts, which added a significant load for teachers, but they pulled it off.
In SD62 Sooke School District, a unique octo-schedule (one class of eight at a time) in secondary schools allowed students to be in small class sizes for short periods of time at school, with other assignments done at home. For many students this was actually advantageous, reporting that it allowed them to focus more and learning more deeply on one subject at a time.
Parents given leeway:
Generally speaking, parents and caregivers were given leeway to adapt to pandemic-related circumstances.
Vaccines made the difference:
Vaccines began to roll out in BC in mid-2021. Return to class in January 2022 was a bit below average attendance numbers. By spring 2022 attendance related to the pandemic was a non-issue.
===== ABOUT THE WRITER:
Mary P Brooke has been reporting on SD62 since 2014 at the board and committee level, as well as education in BC more broadly. She is the founder and editor of Island Social Trends (formerly West Shore Voice News and Sooke Voice News).
During the first two years of the COVID pandemic she reported daily on the science, the data, and the socioeconomic impacts of the pandemic. COVID coverage continues.