Classrooms around B.C., like this new middle school in Kelowna, are mostly empty as schools are under a health order to suspend most in-class instruction. (B.C. government)

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

As B.C. school districts begin providing in-school education for children of essential workers and those with special needs during the coronavirus pandemic, most parents are working out ways to proceed with home schooling.

The B.C. education ministry has added a new website called openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning that has guides and resources for parents. Its section on “everyday learning activities” was endorsed by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in her daily briefing March 30.

“So it is back to school in a virtual way for children in the province now,” Henry said. “We want and we need our children to continue to learn and to maintain those important social connections that they get through schooling, even though they’re apart.

“I encourage parents really to incorporate learning into everyday activities that you have these opportunities with your children now at home,” Henry said. “Things like writing emails, or texting or having virtual groups with your friends. Using the kitchen or the garden for science experiments, and using the new online resources for the education system to help out.”

Ministry suggestions for parents include writing daily letters to friends or relatives, similar to the daily messages teachers write to children about the day’s events. Food preparation is a popular option, as flour and sugar mills have stepped up production due to an increase in home baking.

“Have children search for recipes online, reading them to consider ingredients, preparation and difficulty,” says the everyday learning section. “Analyze ingredients in the house for nutrition, grams of protein, fibre, fat, sugar, calories, and develop a healthy food plan base on recommended daily allowances of each.”

RELATED: B.C. schools to connect with families by April 3

RELATED: Pay parking suspended at B.C. health care facilities

The education ministry recommends having children maintain their school routines as much as possible, including regular bedtimes, wake-up and getting dressed for school on weekdays.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said parents who are designated essential service workers should expect to hear from their schools by Friday, April 3 regarding child care options. Other parents should also be contacted this week by teachers.

“Schools will be doing their best to accommodate urgent child care needs while meeting the guidelines and directives of the provincial health officer,” Fleming said in a statement March 27.

“Since there are many students who will have challenges working online, schools have been directed to look at alternative approaches for continued learning that will fit with the individual needs and circumstances of their communities.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Valley board of education approves facility spending plan

Projects include roofing, sewage system upgrade, gym resurfacing

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Valley artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

Black Lives Matter events planned for Courtenay

Peaceful gatherings are scheduled for Simms Park Friday and Saturday

Arnott taking medical leave as Comox mayor

Coun. Ken Grant will step in a mayor for time being

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read