Staff at the Langley School District prepare to welcome about 6,200 students on June, 1, 2020 when in-class instruction is set to resume for the first time since it was suspended March 17, 2020. (Langley School District/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Nearly 6,200 Langley students set to return to school June 1

School district shared COVID-19 update during board meeting

Staff from Langley schools have been reaching out to parents to learn whether they’ll be sending their kids back to the classroom as the district prepares for in-class instruction starting Monday.

In a letter issued Friday, superintendent Gord Stewart told parents and students that individual sites will have their own “entry system set-up and will determine the best procedures to ensure safe arrival of students.”

READ MORE: ‘I don’t know how teachers do it’: a thank you to Langley essential workers

But earlier in the week Stewart along with assistant superintendents Barry Bunyan, Woody Bradford and Mal Gill provided an update during a board meeting on how the district is preparing to enter Stage 3 (return to school instruction plan) on June 1 since having in-class instruction suspended on March 17.

Stage 3 will see students in Kindergarten to Grade 5 return to the classroom for about two and half days each week, while Grade 6 to 12 students will be returning for one day each week.

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Kids of essential service workers and vulnerable students will continue to have the option to attend five days each week as they have since Stage 4 was implemented in April.

The ministry is working towards administrating Stage 1 which would see in-class instruction resume full time for all students.

After it was announced in mid May that in-class instruction for students would resume June 1 staff worked to contact families from May 19-22 to learn if parents were going to send their kids back to the classroom.

School staff were able to reach about 21,000 of the approximately 22,000 students in the district and learned about 6,200 students would be returning, including kids of essential service workers and vulnerable students who are already back at school.

Although only weeks remain in the 2019/2020 school year Stewart explained during the Tuesday night board meeting that having students return to the classroom part-time will help the Ministry of Education plan for September.

“I think they’re (ministry) try to see what they can learn over these three or four weeks in terms of how that will inform [them] given the [preparation for] fall,” he said while appearing on camera remotely for the meeting.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Langley schools host day care for children of essential service workers

In addition, staff learned about 300 students would be requiring transportation.

But Stewart estimates the district typically has about 1,500 to 1,800 students who ride the bus to school.

In order to maintain the required health and safety standards set out by the ministry custodians within the district have been redeployed to ensure all schools have someone available during the day and evening.

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Students taking the bus will also be directed to load and unload in a particular order.

Bunyan, who outlined the health and safety guidelines during Tuesday’s board meeting, said the measures set out by the district “exceed the ministry’s minimum cleaning requirements.”

“We are fully stocked with supplies to get us to the end of June – no problem,” he ensured.

Personal protective equipment will not be supplied by the district and is not mandated.

READ MORE: B.C. work, school restart can’t be rushed, John Horgan says

However, “daily health checks” for all staff and students will be completed as a series of questions.

“If anybody answers yes to any of these questions they will not be allowed to come to school,” explained Bunyan.

“We’re very, very confident that our schools will be safe,” he added.

And for those students planning to enrol in summer session registration will open May 25.

For more information about how the Langley School District is resuming in-class instruction visit www.sd35.bc.ca.


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