Trinity Western University postpones classes amidst COVID-19 pandemic. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley mother approaches school closures with distance learning and beach time

K-12 classes cancelled with post-secondary schools turning to online studies

Classes have been suspended for K to 12 schools in Langley, as well as for post secondary programs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Trinity Western University.

Premier John Horgan announced on Tuesday morning that classes would be suspended indefinitely to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Students were already on spring break at the time of the announcement, but their time off will be extended past the previous March 30th mark.

The news comes as the province has four deaths and more than 100 cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Gatherings of 50 or more people have been banned and health officials are telling people to stay in Canada. On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians to “stay home” if at all possible.

Lisa Drozda, a resident of Langley Township, had to abruptly cancel her family’s 16-day trip to Japan that was several years in the making as a result of the coronavirus.

She said she was able to get most of the flights, accommodations, and tours refunded, but said the cancellation is still certainly a disappointment.

“We want to try and get it going again in the next couple years – we had an international student who had stayed with us and we want to visit them and their family,” she said.

Now her two daughters – ages 10 and 12 – are without class and without spring break plans. Drozda said her family decided to self-isolate at a family-owned trailer in Parksville on Vancouver Island.

“We hopped on the ferry – stayed in our car of course – and have been socially isolating on the beach. It’s pretty good,” Drozda assured.

READ MORE: B.C. to suspend K-12 schools due to COVID-19

Her daughters have been keeping busy collecting shells and driftwood for painting projects. One daughter made Kraft Dinner for the first time the other night – turning the turbulent time into what she called a life skill session.

But as holiday time winds down, Drozda said her daughters will be getting an education, even if classes aren’t in session.

“I work part time and right now my husband is working from home. With distance learning, we’ll keep them up with that. I’ve bought curriculum books from Costco and they’ll read a few chapter books. I’m not too worried about it,” Drozda explained.

“My daughter has a speech project for school and I told her to just keep working on her speech because you never know when classes will start up again,” she added.

It’s a different story for other families who weren’t prepared for closures; with many public facilities shuttered and outings discouraged, some parents could be scrambling for more time off work to care for their kids after spring break ends.

Daycares are currently not closed, but Premier Horgan said in a Tuesday conference that it could likely change.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said that some schools will act as emergency child care spaces for kids of essential workers so health care and front line workers are not pulled away from responding to the novel coronavirus.

Post-secondary classes cancelled

Trinity Western University (TWU) announced that in-person classes would be suspended effective Tuesday, March 17, and replaced with online classes wherever possible for the next two weeks.

TWU’s facilities in Bellingham and Richmond have also suspended in-person classes, while daily chapel services offered by the christian university, will also be delivered online and via podcasts.

In an online statement, TWU assured students living in on-campus housing may choose to return home or to remain in residence – students who remain on campus will be well supported while the physical campus will remain open.

TWU additionally said they have rescheduled their upcoming spring graduation ceremony – set to be held on April 25— to now take place in combination with fall graduation on November 7.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) said, effective March 17, KPU will pause in-person instruction until further notice; except in the Faculty of Trades and Technology, and Horticulture Levels 1 and 4.

Alan Davis, president and vice chancellor of the post secondary school, said due to the technical and hands-on nature of those programs, in-person instruction will continue, but proper social distancing measures will be in effect in the classrooms, shops and labs.

All KPU campuses will remain open, including all libraries and services functioning at their regular hours.

“Dr. Florkowski and KPU Provost Dr. Sandy Vanderburgh have been working with our deans to develop a plan to transition from face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the semester,” Davis added in the statement.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Langley homebuilders nominated for 2020 HAVAN Awards

Categories range from extensive kitchen renovation projects to ‘Best Townhome’ designs

Aldergrove athlete now able to play as himself in favourite childhood video game

Joel Waterman was inducted into the popular FIFA 20 franchise in January

Langley chamber goes online for virtual conference

A meeting about HR and the coronavirus will be held via Zoom

VIDEO: Dog missing in Aldergrove since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Doorstep donation pick-up in Aldergrove seeks to quell food bank’s short supply

Early April initiative allows locals to do good while in self-isolation, thanks to Jodi Steeves

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

Update: Coquihalla re-opens, after incident requiring a medevac

DriveBC warns of continued delays and congestion

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

Most Read