Thursday September 3, 2020 ~ VANCOUVER, BC [11:30 am]
by Mary P Brooke, editor | Island Social Trends
Today in Vancouver Premier John Horgan said that a canvass of parents by way of school districts around BC shows that about 80 percent of students will be returning to in-class learning in September.
No doubt there is eagerness among children to be back with their friends and peers in class, and for many teachers to reunite with the in-person learning process.
However, as the period of a few weeks in June 2020 where about 36% of students around BC returned to classrooms on a voluntary basis as the pandemic lockdown was lifted (oft-mentioned by Premier and Education Minister) readily points out, the base line of families served are those of essential workers.
Children of essential workers (including health care, frontline retail, truckers and manufacturing) and students with learning vulnerabilities were given in-class education throughout the pandemic after spring break, without interruption.
Where families have the option to work from home or have time to guide or teach their children at home (supporting remote learning delivered by the school district or undertaking actual homeschooling), obviously at least 20% of families are already choosing that option. Many parents and families had a taste of that option in March through June, the success of which largely depends on a range of factors including time availability, space/setup in the home, technology (including computer hardware/software and Internet access), and lifestyle inclination.
With September and the cooler fall months comes the annual flu season, and this year along with that the challenges of the COVID-19 virus which is expected to probably reach high-impact as a ‘second wave’.
Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry has said several times that the impact of COVID-19 within schools will essentially reflect the level of COVID-19 spread in the general community.
This afternoon Education Minister Rob Fleming will address media about the $242 million received from the federal government as earmarked for education.