British Columbia

B.C. launches at-home education resource website

The province launched a new website called Keep Learning BC on Friday afternoon to outline how it plans to continue to deliver its curriculum to students virtually.

'Keep Learning BC' website went live Friday after complaints province was lagging behind

A new website is available for parents to look at over the weekend before most students return to instruction, at home, after spring break. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

B.C.'s Ministry of Education launched a new website called Keep Learning BC on Friday afternoon to outline how it plans to continue to deliver its curriculum to students virtually.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said the site is available for parents to look at over the weekend before most students return to instruction after spring break.

"It will have some good resources and suggestions for [what] learning opportunities are going to look like over the coming weeks and months," said Fleming. 

In the first week back, Fleming says teachers will want to check in on the "mental wellness" of their students. 

Teachers will initiate conversations with students about how they're dealing with all the information around COVID-19, after which they will shift the focus back to education. 

Education Minister Rob Fleming says some schools will remain open for children whose parents work in essential service industries, including health care. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

He says teachers will connect with students over the phone, through e-mail or with apps.

Fleming said he thinks the planning that his ministry has been doing is "very thoughtful, it's very thorough."

Fleming believes his ministry is ahead of Washington state and Alberta when it comes to developing an at-home education system while schools are closed.

However, B.C. parents have been critical of a lack of information from the government.

Alberta announced its plans for remote schooling on March 20, while Washington state issued its plan March 23. 

Fleming said his ministry has asked school districts to work with vulnerable student populations to ensure meal programs are delivered during the closure. He says some schools will remain open for children whose parents work in essential service industries, including health care.

"The school system has been tasked with making sure that we do provide some limited class capacity," he said.

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