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Jun 17
B.C. gov't anticipates 'near-normal return' for students in September

Full-time in-class instruction and the elimination of cohorts are on the horizon for the 2021-22 school year as the Ministry of Education announced Thursday an anticipated "near-normal return" to school life for students, parents, teachers and staff in September with its K-12 Recovery Plan.

"Our students, parents and staff have waited a long time for this moment, and we are excited to see a return to a more normal way of life in our classrooms, our schools and our communities," said Surrey Board of Education Chair Laurie Larsen. "It is because of their hard work, effort and vigilance throughout the past year that the province is able to make this announcement today, and we thank you for your dedication to the health and safety of everyone in our schools."

As the B.C. Restart Plan continues to unfold amid high vaccination rates and low school-based transmissions, the provincial government announced that students across the province can expect to learn in classrooms full time and no longer be grouped into cohorts.

Guidance on mask usage in school settings will be determined later this summer, in alignment with broader provincial direction for the fall and winter. Students will still be required to practice frequent hand hygiene, complete daily health checks and stay home if they are feeling sick. Public health teams and school health officers will continue to monitor and track COVID-19 cases in schools and the community, and provide support and guidance with the return in the fall.

In the summer, the provincial K-12 education steering committee, the Ministry and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) will review and finalize school safety plans for the fall. The current Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings will be replaced by updated guidelines in August.

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