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Back to school plans announced by Langley district

In-person classes to resume Monday, with plans for online learning if COVID-related closures happen
Langley schools will reopen Monday, Jan. 10, the school district said, with virtual learning plans in place, in case of closures due to COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)

Langley schools will reopen Monday, Jan. 10, the school district said, with virtual learning plans in place in case of closures due to COVID-19.

Superintendent Mal Gill said, in line with the provincial Education Ministry directives, the district has developed a Continuity of Learning Plan that would provide online learning, using the Microsoft TEAMS platform, in the event a school has to close.

“As part of the planning, teachers are connecting with students to re-establish the TEAMS online learning platform and are gathering information regarding potential technology needs,” Gill said.

“We have every intention to keep students in school, but as per Ministry directive, we want to ensure students are comfortable with the platform and ready to transition to online learning in the event of a school closure.”

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Gill said the plan is to open all schools to all students and staff for regular in-person instruction.

Schools were already opened during the first week of January to more than 700 students from essential service worker families, diverse learners, and those requiring additional support, Gill observed.

“As a district, we want to do our part in supporting public health efforts during this pandemic,” Gill said.

“Our staff have been working all week to update plans and implement measures.”

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Under the guidelines, if a student or staff member is sick and shows symptoms of COVID-19, staff will be sent home, and students will be isolated in a safe space and their parents or guardians will be called to pick up their child.

Schools can be closed for two COVID-related reasons; one, which is determined by Fraser Health Authority based on the case count “in, or related to, a school,” the other, what is termed a “functional closure” due to a lack of staff.

Gill noted the province confirmed on Friday, Jan. 7, that K-12 schools will be making use of rapid antigen tests in the next few weeks.

The district, Gill said, is waiting for further direction from the province regarding the distribution and the guidelines for use.

Ahead of Monday, the district is reminding students, staff and families to stay home when sick; conduct a daily health check (BC COVID-19 Thrive app), wear a mask (three-ply recommended); and practice proper hand hygiene.

“Let us all continue to work together, and adapt when needed, to help keep our schools safe,” Gill remarked.

“My hope is for a positive start to the new year and successful learning outcomes for all. “

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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