(Education Minister Rob Fleming speaking outside Monterey Middle School in Oak Bay on June 2/BC Gov News)

Around one-third of all K-12 students across B.C. returned to classrooms for the first day of voluntary, partial in-class instruction on June 1.

Speaking from outside Monterey Middle School in Oak Bay, the province’s Minister of Education announced that approximately 60,000 students returned to classrooms on Monday, along with 90 per cent of teachers who returned to provide hybrid online and in-class instruction.

At the high end, nearly half of all Grade 6 students took advantage of the reopening to return to school on Monday, while only 14.5 per cent of Grade 12 students went back to their classrooms.

As announced earlier, Kindergarten to Grade 5 students can attend classes on a half-time or alternating schedule basis and can be in school at 50 per cent of building capacity.

Meanwhile Grade 6 – 12 students can attend in-person classes at 20 per cent capacity, or approximately one day a week.

When at home, students will continue their curriculums online.

See also: K-12 students can start returning to classrooms in B.C. on June 1 on voluntary basis

According to Minister Fleming, this hybrid model of schooling will stay in place until a vaccine is available in the fight against COVID-19.

This means students can expect the same part-in-class, part-online learning model when they resume school in September.

Schools are using measures like staggering lunch times, recess, and controlled hallway flow to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in common areas.

All schools are following strict health and safety guidelines put in place by Dr. Bonnie Henry and the BCCDC. These include the requirement for everyone to clean their hands upon entering the school building.

Staff, students, and parents must also do a self assessment daily for symptoms of COVID-19, influenza, or common cold.

At this time, the decision to send students to school is voluntary and entirely dependent on individual families.