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

Abbotsford International Airshow opening 50-year-old time capsule

Bronze time capsule was put together to commemorate AIA as Canada’s National Airshow

Abbotsford’s UFV gym now without a sponsor

Partnership with Envision Financial ends, school seeking new organizations to partner with

Road washout affecting section of Highway No. 3 near Manning Park

Road maintenance crews are on the scene, with an almost two kilometre long stretch impacted

CBC Bearcats hire Rebecca Garner as women’s volleyball head coach

Abbotsford-based team hires former Bearcat, Briercrest star to lead program

Children’s author hopes public can grant father’s wish to see work in Abbotsford library

Dawn Doig’s father recently died from COVID-19 after staying at Worthington Pavilion

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Human Rights Tribunal denies church’s request to toss out White Rock Pride Society’s complaint

Star of the Sea and White Rock Pride Society to go to Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

B.C.’s Central Kootenay region declares state of emergency, issues evacuation orders

The evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read