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

PHOTOS: Momma black bear and cubs spotted in Townsite

A momma black bear and her two cubs, spotted getting near The… Continue reading

Pay guarantee removed for some Kootenay on-call paramedics

Guarantee phased out as BCEHS introduces a new “scheduled on call” model

Home sales down, price correction coming: Realtor

There has been a 10 per cent drop in single family dwelling… Continue reading

Local photographer raises over $5,000 for Cranbrook Food Bank

Damien Vincent raised the money through his version of the Front Porch Family Photo project

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary rescinds all Grand Forks-area evacuation orders

Evacuation alerts for 1,136 Boundary properties remain in effect as officials monitor forecasts

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Nelson counsellor works online with university students in central Asia during pandemic

Robin Higgins is home from her job in Tajikistan because of COVID-19

Most Read