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Central Okanagan school superintendent not surprised over class suspension from COVID-19

It now unclear as to when 24,000 students in the district will go back to school

  • Mar. 17, 2020 12:00 a.m.

The B.C. government has suspended school until further notice for all students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The March 17 decision means approximately 24,000 students at more than 40 Central Okanagan schools are now unsure as to when they will return to classes.

Superintendent Kevin Kaardal said School District 23 is currently in talks with the B.C. Ministry of Education to see how students could finish the school year if classes are suspended until next fall.

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“We might need to prioritize and see who receives what education services first. That might include making it a priority for students who need to complete graduation requirements,” said Kaardal.

“Over time, we will roll out specific education plans for students and we will be communicating that to parents.”

Educational programming could also be delivered to students online if the pandemic persists, according to Kaardal.

He said it’s too early to tell if district employees could be laid off if classes are suspended for the school year.

“We will be seeking more information from the B.C. Ministry of Education for expectation as to who we require to provide education services,” said Kaardal.

“If there would be employment changes in the district, we would be doing that through our local unions.”

Kaardal said parents should also be looking at backup plans like child care services for students if the COVID-19 pandemic lasts longer than spring break.

B.C. Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, said students who are currently on track to move onto their next grade or graduate will do so.

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