It looks like it's going to be a long summer for students in B.C. The province unveiled the details of its relaunch plan on Wednesday, May 6. According to their strategy, we can expect B.C. schools to reopen this September. Though, a whole lot of new rules will need to be followed by both students and staff.
In a report sent to Narcity, the government of B.C. clarified the details of how they're going to move forward with their school reopening plans.
This strategy includes both K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions.
The province closed all K-12 schools back on March 17 in order to fight the spread of COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 curve has flattened, however, the province is looking to undertake a multi-phase approach to opening back up again.
If the transmission rate of the disease remains low or goes into decline between the months of June and September, then the province will certainly implement the school reopenings.
However, multiple measures will have to be taken up by the schools to ensure everyone's safety and protection.
Firstly, the schools will have to carry out a "daily screening protocol" for all staff and students.
The schools have also been told to limit crowded situations inside the premises.
This includes ensuring smaller class sizes, increased space between desks, alternating attendance arrangements, and the wearing of masks for group activities and sports.
Students showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms are not to come into the premises or take part in any activities.
Plus, the schools are responsible for planning out remote or online learning methods over the summer, especially for high school students.
Post-secondary institutions have been given similar guidelines as to how they can welcome back students to campus.
Universities and colleges have also been told to balance online learning against the need for social interaction for learning and development.
Both K-12 and post-secondary institutions also have to encourage early arrival for international students and tell them to go into self-isolation for a period of 14 days before starting classes.
The government of B.C. mentioned in their statement that we must all commit 100% to this “new normal.”
The easing of restrictions doesn't mean it's a free-for-all; the goal, as stated by the government, is to go forward but also exercise "lift and suppress" cycles.
This means that some restrictions will be lifted and then reapplied in ways that keep check of the disease.