School District 69 (Qualicum) is gearing up to plan what September will look like in area schools.
The district is set to have a plan in place some time next week. It comes after Education Minister Rob Fleming announced that most students would be returning to class come September. Specifics of the overall plan will not come until later – once they can better predict the state of COVID-19 come the school year. So far, it’s been announced that students will be divided into bubbles, with each bubble having a maximum number of 60 children for the elementary school level and 120 for high school.
However, not everyone endorsed Wednesday’s announcement.
Fleming was called out by the provincial Liberal party for a lack of certainty given to parents, as well as a lack of direction for districts.
“Dr. Bonnie Henry and health officials are doing excellent work to ensure students and staff are safe, but NDP Education Minister Rob Fleming’s decision to download responsibility onto school districts is just creating more uncertainty for parents, students, and teachers,” said Dan Davies, BC Liberal Education Critic in a July 29 press release. “We found out a few details today but school districts won’t be able to finalize actual plans until Aug. 26 — that’s still only a week before classes are supposed to return. Normally we would agree with the Minister’s suggestion to ‘rely on our distance learning resources,’ except he slashed $12 million from Independent Distributed Learning school budgets earlier this year so I’m not sure what resources the Minister is referring to.”
The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation also spoke to the issue. A release from the BCTF said that, “President Teri Mooring said the plan needs more time and a lot more work if it’s going to be successful and keep everyone safe.”
— NEWS staff