K-12 schools to re-open with in-class instruction this fall

As of July 29, 2020, the British Columbia Provincial Government announced that all K-12 schools will reopen in September 2020 with full-time in-class learning groups. A learning group is a group of students and staff who remain together for a period of time, such as a semester or quarter. Learning groups can be single classes, students with the same courses, or multiple classes that sometimes come together.

The recent announcement confirms that fall classes will begin at “Stage 2” of the Province’s five-stage K-12 education reopening plan.

The Province’s Five Stages for K-12 Education Plan (Stage 1 representing full classes back to normal) is a framework developed to transition from remote learning back to in-class, pre-COVID-19 classroom instruction.

The important highlights of Stage 2 include:

  • A learning group size of 60 for elementary and middle schools;
  • A learning group size of 120 for secondary schools;
  • Maximum instruction time possible within learning group limitations; and
  • Some self-directed learning where needed.

Each school has discretion to change its learning methods, on a case-by-case basis, as the needs of the students, capabilities of the school, and safety allows.

School districts and independent school associations are required to develop and submit a Stage 2 Restart Plan to the Ministry of Education for review before the 2020/21 school year begins. More information on the submission and approval timeline can be found here.

For more guidelines, review the updated COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact your Harris representative, a member of our Education Group, or any of the contacts listed to the right.

Note to our Readers: Information regarding COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. We are working to bring you up-to-date articles as the legal issues develop and to keep our previous posts updated. Given that the legal issues related to COVID-19 are constantly changing, if you are looking for legal advice or are dealing with an issue in relation to COVID-19, please contact your Harris lawyer or a member of our COVID-19 response team: Sari Wiens, Ilan BurkesNicole Toye or Jessica Fairbairn.

To read our most recent articles and other updates on COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.