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Education Minister charts path for return to classes

BC Education Minister Rob Fleming is setting out a timeline that will eventually lead to students returning to school full-time.

Through a series of tweets late this afternoon, Fleming said the province is taking a five-stage approach to “safely increase in-class instruction already happening in B.C. schools.”

Right now we’re in stage four, meaning in-class learning for children of essential service workers and vulnerable students is being provided.

Currently, districts across the province are delivering education to almost 5,000 students, while remote and online learning continues for most students.

Stage 3 will only happen if the downward trend in COVID-19 cases continues. It will include in-class learning for students from K-5 on a part-time basis. In-class learning will be offered as needed for grades 6 – 12 on a part-time basis and remote and online learning continues to be available for students.

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Fleming said the province’s goal is to reach that stage by June.

Stage 2 provides in-class learning for all students in elementary school (K-7) on a full-time basis and in-class learning for secondary students (8-12) on a part-time basis.

Remote and online learning continues to be available for secondary students.

Stage 1 is a full return to in-class instruction.

Fleming’s final tweet says that at any stage, parents and caregivers will continue to choose whether to send their child to school.

“Health and safety protocols will continue to be in place to ensure schools remain a safe place for children, teachers and support staff,” Fleming said in the tweet.

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