With September upon us, BC students will be returning to school and returning to full-time, in-person learning after temporarily spending part of last year learning remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many teachers, parents, and students welcome the return to the classroom and to socialization, others are feeling anxious as COVID-19 cases continue to be high. The balancing act between physical safety and mental wellness is top of mind for many, so here are a few ways families – and teachers – can work together to prepare for a return to school.
The BC Government recently announced it’s back-to-school plan which includes:
As well, health authorities have the ability to introduce additional regional measures specific to individual schools or school districts in instances where community transmission rates are higher. While Doctors of BC believes these are good first steps toward keeping BC students safe, we encourage government to be more proactive and implement mandatory vaccinations for all individuals working in education (K-12 and post-secondary).
Last year, research by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) showed that remote learning had a significant impact on students, including interrupted learning, increased child stress, decreased connection, increased loneliness and mental and emotional health effects. Studies by both the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Fraser Health Authority showed that after resuming in-class learning, schools were not a significant source of COVID-19 transmission.
With many uncertainties still in existence, it’s normal for parents and students to feel some anxiety in the face of those unknowns. Here are a few steps parents can take with their younger children to prepare their return to school:
For more information on the BC Government’s back-to-school plan click here.