Delayed school start-up in BC

I would like to see other options for the start-up of school. In my opinion a phased start up with smaller classes and an on-line option would be preferable.

Delayed school start-up

Interesting preferences: why include an on-line option? I’d be interested to know.

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Good question. I’d like to see the on-line option for students who are more independent. My daughter functioned very well in June staying at home and submitting her assignments using Moodle and e-mail. She attended the occasional Zoom meeting and it worked well for her. I’d like to see that option available again although it looks like it will not be. For students who need more support there could be regular classes.
I’m old. If my 17 year old brings Covid-19 home it will likely kill me, I have some respiratory issues.
I have written our MLA requesting the on-line option. Ms. Rice did not respond.

Thanks for the clarification: your preference is based on need rather than a want.

What concerns me are stories of parents of means, deciding to set up learning ‘pods’ and hiring unemployed teachers to teach small groups of children because they are uncomfortable how the government is handling the situation.

If we are truly ‘all in this together’ then, other than for demonstrated ‘need’, shouldn’t we all be demanding the same consistent expectations and safety requirements across all schools and all districts throughout the province? Yes, that means masks are not optional but required, social distancing required, proper sanitizing and cleaning procedures required all carried out to the same standard in each classroom.

School districts, administrators, teachers and support staff in the past have had leeway in making their own decisions: so you could walk into a school and see some employees with masks and others without, some social distancing while some not. That freedom of choice appears to be permitted by off-loading responsibility to local boards. (Which appears to be a large part of the current plan).

That freedom of choice doesn’t happen in many other facilities that focus on the health and wellbeing of others: why should it happen in schools? My fear is that the B.C. government (particularly the Ministry of Education) has blown it on this issue. It also concerned me greatly hearing Dr. Bonnie Henry stretching beyond her role and making comments about what happens in classrooms.

It seems to me that if there was strong leadership rather than decision making based on groups of anonymous committees there would be a stronger more convincing plan in place. Within that plan your needs should be able to be addressed as well as the needs of others (both of students with needs and all family members – immediate and extended) should be able to be met.

We have been exceptionally fortunate in this area to not have had an outbreak…hopefully with wise planning around a fundamental social institution (schools) our luck will continue to hold.

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Yes. I am also concerned about parents opting out of public education by hiring unemployed teachers and setting up private schooling for their children. I’m not in favour of that at all. I think public school teachers can continue to do great work by offering in person classes and online instruction, and use other strategies to keep our children safe. Existing resources will need to be deployed creatively and more money will need to be invested to safely teach our children. Smaller class sizes, more educational assistants, more teachers will be needed to adapt to Covid-19.

Wondering what’s happening with September start up for schools locally?
School District 52 has posted plans for the district as well as plans for each individual school on it’s website.

Yes. Thank you. That was announced yesterday on CBC Radio. I went to the School District 52 website and read their plan.
I do not agree with the government plan on how they’re starting up schools. I attempted to contact our MLA about this issue. Ms. Rice ignored my questions.

I’m not sure I feel that any precautions taken within schools will have a meaningful counter to the spread of covid-19. Instead, it might be much more effective for those that are considered high-risk to be more protective of themselves.

I say this because after several months of not going to grocery stores, restaurants, crowded places or gatherings, our entire family caught a cold from one 3 day trip to Calgary where we stayed at a friends place. I was on standby at the time and now awaiting a flight to leave the country for work, so limiting exposure to anything was priority one. If I have symptoms I don’t go to work, and neither does the family we visited - we’re colleagues.

This was the only trip out of town where we didn’t stay in our RV all year, and the family we stayed with had a common cold as it turns out - and we brought it home with us. So ask yourself how is it possible that a cold is making rounds in August in a city that has mandatory masks in public places, no school and restricted gathering sizes.

When school is back in a physical place, kids in that school are eventually going to get sick and they’re going to spread viruses and clearly covid might be one of them. The shitty thing is we left Calgary the moment it was clear their son was sick and within 48 hours we were also ALL sick. With covid-19 it sounds like that timeline may be several days longer.

What can schools do to prevent transmission of such a thing? I don’t understand how smaller classes or phased start-up will do anything. An online option might be the only tangible prevention method - but good luck with that in BC. Show me the light.

Just a tidbit - when we were back at home with two sick kids and neither parent had symptoms - neither of us were eligible for testing under BC’s guidelines. I waited 4 more days to say ‘hey i’m sick now, lets get tested’ and they booked us in a week after we returned.

Additionally I need another negative swab 96 hours prior to entering Dubai and again for Egypt and Saudi Arabia - yet BC will not test. Public Health actually recommended to travel to Alberta for a test or to Vancouver and pay $350 for a test at a private clinic… Essential travel for work and business is not considered essential in BC, and I can only assume that a public funded service like school is even lower on the list… The ministry was contacted considering this is for WORK and the test was still denied. If BC is not taking testing seriously, why would they take this matter seriously?

Alberta is testing all teachers before returning.

Ask me again in 2 or 3 weeks how it’s going :frowning: I’ve been shutting the door to my office and doing everything online. But dunno how classroom teachers will cope.

Seems to be a lot of fatalism going around. I dunno.

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I don’t mean to sound like - it’s eventually going to happen so just let it happen…

My point is that if you’re concerned about catching Covid and most every opportunity to catch it is already limited or removed - opening up new methods of contact can’t possibly do anything other than increase the likelihood of catching it. If that’s a concern - then self protection is going to be the only way to stop you from getting it.

I feel my example shows that two families who’ve basically kept to themselves for the year and have not gone to school or work for months ended up with colds. I would ask ‘how’, but obviously the kids are interacting with things, friends, whatever in the area around their home. Schools increase the density and likelihood of catching an infection. Disagree?

If someone catches a cold or shows signs otherwise reflective of covid, what is the protocol? Do all students isolate and get tested? If that happened even twice in a semester, would it be worth continuing?

Exactly. I expect teachers are living very stressful lives as they gear up for the first day of classes. I’m very grateful to be a retired teacher. I do hope things go well.

Don’t worry, I didn’t take it that way. That’s just how some people here are talking.

This is my morning. I’m in my wheelhouse, since I’m doing a lot of online learning, online presence, etc.

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Since it appears that SD 52 is not currently offering online learning…is it possible to register your child for online learning through another district?

Actual classrooms, results and consequences may differ from the Ministry of Education advertisements…parents beware.

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I received a robo call from SD 52 today about the school start-up. Orientation is next week on September 10-11. I think that the district will do the best they can given the hand that they’ve been dealt.
I am hoping for the best. Our MLA is MIA as we approach this unprecedented school opening. I’ve supported the NDP my entire voting life. I’m re-evaluating my options for the next provincial election (Green?).

As a parent with 2 highschool kids, my wife and I ( as well as the kids) are looking forward to this school calendar year.
There’ll still be a flu season where 20% of the students will be out of commission for a bit, hopefully they’ll ( we’ll?) Weather the storm and come out the otherside relarively unscathed.

I also have a 93 year old mother that I see ( and only see, haven’t hugged her since tjhe pandemic started) most days.

Many moving parts but feeling positive.

I applaud your optimism. So far I’ve had very good interactions with the high school. My daughter is starting grade 12. She gets her orientation on Thursday. Her first 5 weeks will be biology and she can do that at home on Moodle. Perfect.
The CHSS staff is making the best of a very strange and unprecedented situation. I’m happy with their efforts.
MY MLA is MIA which is typical behaviour.

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Did you check your mail ? Our MLA has sent out a letter and a colourful post card. Whoop dee doo.

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I received the letter, but, have not received the post card. Meh. The letter went straight into the recycling bin. I’m very disappointed in our MLA. Maybe I’ll cool off next year. I doubt it.