COVID-19 update: What happens after Spring Break?
As you no doubt already know, all in-school classes across BC are suspended at
the direction of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. This is absolutely
the right decision to help keep teachers, students, school staff, and all our
families safe in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BCTF is already hard at work with the Ministry of Education to get more
information as decisions are made to develop some frameworks, and do some initial
planning based on the science and in the public interest. There is a high level
of co-operation between government and the BCTF, and it’s important that right
now, with public schools on Spring Break, that the Federation take this time to
work together with government to help make wise decisions that will keep
everyone safe and help flatten the curve of viral spread.
All teachers in the province, regardless of different school calendars are on
Spring Break, some as of tomorrow. Everyone should take this time to spend with
family and loved ones, and to keep each other safe and healthy. There is no
expectation that teachers are working on plans for returning to work. There
will be time provided for collaborative planning upon your return from the break.
There will be no rush.
As events unfold and plans develop, we will be communicating with you as
promptly as possible and as often as needed. For now, we are respectfully
requesting that members try to be patient, avoid speculation, and only share
Here’s what we know today.
- No matter what day Spring Break is set to end in your school district,
in-person classes will not resume after the various breaks. Again, this is
absolutely the right decision to help protect all of us in the education
- Teachers will return to work after Spring Break. No one knows exactly what
that will look like, but there is time to sort that out by working
co-operatively with Ministry and district representatives.
- We have confirmed that contract teachers will not lose pay. Information
specific to TTOCs will be out as soon as we get further information from the
federal government on changes to make it easier and quicker to access
- The Ministry of Education will clarify what happens to grades, assessments,
and graduation. The Minister of Education stated that all students on track for
graduation will graduate. Details around all these issues are being examined
and information will be sent when it is available. The Ministry staff are also
working with the post-secondary sector to make admissions for Grade 12
graduates go as smoothly as possible.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. Of course, you still have lots
of questions. We do too.
Please be assured that your Federation is doing
all it can to support you, advocate for you, and keep you informed.
In these uncertain times don’t forget that in order to help others, teachers
need to take care of themselves. We have your backs.