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This week, students across BC are returning to schools for part-time in-class instruction.

Province-wide, BC Education Minister Rob Fleming believes approximately one-third of students have returned. Locally, SD58 Superintendent Steve McNiven believes that the number is slightly lower.

“I think we’re a bit lower than that,” began McNiven. “Based on what I’m seeing right now, I think we’re in that 25-30 per cent range. So not far off the third.”

Minister Fleming did state that he expects more students to return throughout June, something McNiven agreed with.

“We sent out a message yesterday reminding parents that if they change their mind and want to send their children to school, let us know, contact your school in advance so we can prepare. We would love seeing more numbers coming our way,” added McNiven.

For K-5 students, they're in-class for two-days per week, older kids are scheduled in for one day per week.

Unsurprisingly more elementary-aged students have returned here in the district, while province-wide grade-6 is the most attended year.

There are just three weeks left in the school year and that has McNiven planning for all possible scenarios for what next year may look like, including a hybrid model suggested by Fleming.

“We heard that too, we’re connecting with the province on a regular basis, trying to look ahead to September in relation to what stage we might be in. There is a possibility that the Minister mentioned that we could still be in stage three. I don’t think we’ll really know until the middle of August,” said McNiven.

McNiven had a simple message to convey to the parents, students, and staff of SD58.

“A big thank you to our staff, coming back into our schools and helping support the safety and the learning for our students. A real reminder to our parents that we want their students to be back in school if they’re comfortable doing that. It’s also okay if they aren’t ready. So, thank you to our staff and students, and stay safe,” concluded McNiven.


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