In the hot summer days of July, school is probably the last thing on the minds of our kids but as a former teacher and parent myself, I know that every household in B.C. is already starting to think about the coming school year. It goes without saying that this approaching school year is going to bring extra challenges. For one, we are not entirely sure what the upcoming year will look like yet. We know kids are returning part-time and that there will need to be additional physical distancing measures but the overall education plan is still very up-in-the-air.
This is nerve-wracking for many families, including mine. When and how our kids will return to school will determine a lot of things in our households — when we can return to work, what we will need to do to keep both our kids safe in classrooms and our family safe at home. It also raises the question of what resources will we need to keep our children learning to the best of their abilities during what will be an unconventional school-year.
Teachers, students, and parents have gone through great hardships these past few months. I would like to thank all our staff and parents that went to such great lengths to continue our children’s education under such challenging circumstances. Parents deserve every opportunity to plan for the school year ahead and every day government refuses to publicly release how learning will be delivered in September, is another day parents are left in the dark and cannot make these crucial decisions.
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After having more than four months to develop an economic recovery plan the government, so far, has only recently released a six-week online public opinion survey. We are less than 10 weeks away from the next school year, so why are families only getting a forum to discuss the upcoming year now?
Fortunately, people still recognize the power of a letter. After receiving letters from teachers
and families across B.C. over these past few weeks calling for this government to produce an education plan as soon as possible, I and my colleagues in the BC Liberal caucus reached out to Education Minister Rob Fleming to amplify these concerns. We also called on this government to publicly announce the fall school delivery plan no later than B.C. Day on August 3 rd 2020, to give families enough time to make the appropriate preparations for the upcoming school year.
For the sake of our children’s futures, we hope that this government will listen to families and give them the resources they deserve to properly prepare our kids for September.
A copy of our letter to Minister Fleming can be found on the BC Liberal caucus website: