B.C. Education Minister Rob Fleming speaks in the legislature, Feb. 26, 2020. (Hansard TV)

COVID-19: B.C. schools expanding video classes, lending computers

20,000 teachers set up for Zoom, print materials distributed

Virtual dance and band practice are part of the efforts of B.C. school districts to reach students across the province with education help during the COVID-19 pandemic, education officials say.

The province has lent out 23,000 computers and has 20,000 teachers set up with Zoom video conferencing software to provide teaching, Education Minister Rob Fleming said April 28. For rural and remote communities, schools are being used for wifi access and printed materials or flash drives are being distributed.

Fleming said there is no date set for B.C. schools to reopen, and the plan is to “dial up” attendance at schools, starting with offering classroom instruction to essential retail and other workers as well as emergency and health workers with young children.

Hygiene and distancing procedures are being worked out, and a return to classrooms may not be ready before the traditional end of the school year, Fleming said. Summer school options are also being developed as health and education officials track efforts to control the novel coronavirus.

The Zoom program is available to teachers responsible for 275,000 students, and other technologies are being used with the help of ministry information technology staff to reach as far as possible. There are currently 550,000 students in K-12 education in B.C.

RELATED: Students collect clues to identify mystery reader

RELATED: Learning from home a challenge for young children

Stephanie Higginson, president of the B.C. School Trustees Association, said the challenge for her and other parents is to help their kids at home and not try to be their teachers as well.

“Please, don’t be too hard on yourselves,” Higginson advised parents. “What you do is good enough.”

Fleming said advice and resources continue to be added to B.C.’s Keep Learning website, which has had 300,000 unique views since it was launched at the end of March.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BREAKING: Fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland

The incident involving a motorcycle happened just before 4 p.m.

Interior Health region welcomes hundreds of babies amid pandemic

Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton welcomed a total of 561 babies between March 17 and May 24

COVID-19 closes Okanagan College summer camps

Popular Camp OC put on shelf from Salmon Arm to Penticton, and Revelstoke, until 2021

UPDATE: Penticton RCMP find no evidence of early morning gunshots

Loud blasts reported by several residents, RCMP say one person likened blasts to a car backfiring

COVID-19: SD67 approves budget reductions

Staff positions will be cut to balance budget

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Peachland recovery task force proposes larger patios

Several initiatives proposed by the Peachland COVID-19 recovery task force will go to council tonight

Tagging Suicide Hill in Vernon in lieu of grad party?

City councillor pitches idea to revive old tradition amid COVID-19 pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

North Okanagan campers trashing rules

Campers still pitching tents, and leaving garbage, despite sites not being open until June 1

Most Read