Back to School Guide: What You Need to Know

With the school year quickly approaching, and rules and restrictions swiftly changing, it can be hard to keep up with all there is to know as you prepare your kids (and yourselves) for going back to school. To help, we’ve compiled a list of all you need to know, and some helpful links to resources that will keep you updated as you adjust to the “new normal” this fall.

Note: we will do our best to update this list as things change, be sure to check back regularly.

What a return to school will look like in September

For an update on the province’s plan to reopen schools, check out BC’s Back To School Plan on the Government of BC website.

Important dates:

Currently, the plan is to reopen schools this September, with teachers and staff returning on September 8 and 9 where they will meet with their school’s joint health and safety committees to receive instruction on how the updated BCCDC guidelines will work in their school. On September 10, students are to return to school for orientation (details will be shared directly by each school district), followed by full-time classroom instruction.

Learning groups:

A learning group is a cohort of classmates and teachers that will remain together throughout the school year, and who will only interact with each other. According to the Government of BC website, learning groups will be arranged as follows:

  • Elementary: 60
  • Middle: 60
  • Secondary: 120

Note: while it has been recommended to keep gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, schools do not apply as the order is geared towards irregular gatherings such as parties and celebrations.

For assemblies, concerts, and other gatherings, students will remain in their designated cohorts. Inter-school events and competitions (track meets, band concerts, etc) will not be allowed at this time.

Related: Create A Home Study Area That Will Motivate Your Kids To Learn

Health & safety measures:

According to the Government of BC website, every student and staff member will be given two masks at the start of school in September. Masks will be mandatory for middle and secondary school students when they are in high traffic areas such as on a school bus, or in the hallways. Wearing masks in the classroom will be optional.

Elementary students will not be required to wear a mask.

For more information on masks, visit this site.

Other health and safety measures will be applied in schools as well, including stricter cleaning strategies, a more controlled traffic flow throughout the schools, and firm protocols around illness in schools.

Where to buy locally-made reusable face masks for kids

Mabel’s Labels

Peekaboo Beans

Gogo Bags

Links to important resources:

BC’s Back To School Plan

COVID-19 and Children

Current List of BC Public Exposures

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