Safe & Healthy Schools

Last Updated: May 15, 2020

On this page:

Restarting B.C.'s Schools

On May 15, Premier Horgan and Minister Fleming announced they are giving parents the choice to send their children back to school on a gradual and part-time basis, beginning on June 1.

On May 28, Minister Fleming and BCCPAC President Andrea Sinclair sent an open letter to parents and guardians of K – 12 students with more information on Stage 3 (PDF)

The June 1 optional return to school is part of BC's Education Restart Plan (PDF). This prepares students and teachers for a return to full-time classes planned for September, provided it is safe to return. 

Gradual Approach to Optional In-Class Instruction

A five-staged approach has been developed to operate schools. 

Depending on risk of transmission, for the remainder of the 2019/2020 school year:

  • For Kindergarten to Grade 5, this means most students will go to school half time (such as alternating days)
  • Grades 6-12 will go to school about one day a week
  • Children of essential service workers and students needing additional supports will have the option to attend school full time
  • Families that decide not to send their children to class may continue learning from home

Health & Safety Measures

The new health and safety guidelines for K-12 school settings (PDF) have been released by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). Staff and students (or their parents/guardians) must assess themselves daily for symptoms of COVID-19. If any student or staff member has even mild symptoms, arrangements will be made for that person to be returned home.

All schools and school districts will be required to implement strict provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC health and safety measures (see: Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 setting (PDF)) to reduce the risk COVID-19 transmission, including:

  • Desks spaced apart
  • Avoiding groups or gatherings of students in hallways or other common areas
  • Regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces like door knobs, toilet seats, keyboards and desks at least twice a day
    • Cleaning the school building at least once a day
  • Students, educators and staff will be required to clean their hands before entering school property
    • Hand-sanitizing and cleaning stations available, with well-stocked supplies
  • Staggered drop-offs, lunch and recess breaks, with increased outside time
  • One student per seat on school buses, unless children are from the same house
    • Consider installing a physical barrier between the driver and passengers (e.g. plexiglass) 
  • Students or employees should not share food or personal items like phones, pens or pencils
    • Clear protocols also need to be in place for the safe and healthy handling of all food items

Plans & Operations

Each school district and independent school must:

  • Have plans in place for each stage, ensuring they are ready to make changes if there is a risk of transmission, a second wave or a community outbreak
  • Have their return-to-class and safety plans approved by the ministry before moving to the next stage
  • Post their plan on each district’s websites for families to access

Education Resources for Parents

Keep Learning Website

Keep Learning helps parents and guardians support student learning at home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Continuity of Learning

Safe & Healthy Schools Resources 


Letters from the Ministry of Education (Updated May 28, 2020)

May 28, 2020

April 13, 2020

March 27, 2020

March 17, 2020


Handling Medical Conditions, Reactions & Pandemics

Ensure student safety by working with parents and guardians to tailor plans for students with specific medical needs. Also find out how to recognize key symptoms and learn what to do in an emergency.

Utilizing the mandated policies in place helps maximize the nutritional daily standards for students. Find out how to offer healthy food and drink options for selling or vending at your school.  

Guidelines at a Glance Brochure:

Complete Guidelines for Food and Drink Sales:


erase is all about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students