Dear Parents and Caregivers,
This morning, the Ministry of Education released “enhanced” safety measures for BC schools. The Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings has been updated based on revised public health guidance for K-12 schools from the BC Centre for Disease Control, and in consultation and collaboration with all education sector partners and Indigenous rights holders through a provincial steering committee. Key updates include:
- A requirement that high school students and K-12 staff wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including when they are with their learning groups, except when (a) sitting or standing at their seat or workstation in a classroom; (b) there is a barrier in place; or (c) they are eating or drinking.
- Updated guidelines for physical education and music classes.
- Updated protocols regarding staff interactions and shared spaces.
- Stronger encouragements to reduce crowding and gathering, and prolonged, close face-to-face contact.
Our leadership team and Occupational Health and Safety Committee will be reviewing enhanced measures announced today and working on a draft update of our school’s Health and Safety Plan over the next number of days. All schools are required to have updated plans for their school communities on or before February 26th. We will share our updated plans with staff, students, and parents/caregivers as soon as possible and provide opportunity for feedback prior to formal Board approval.
We continue to be committed to our overall approach to “Give Space and Clean with Care”. Staying home when you are sick, physical distancing where possible, hand-washing and cleaning surfaces remain our primary measures for reducing transmission. Eating well, regular exercise, and getting enough sleep continue to be crucial for promoting strong immune systems. And, above all let us remember: “Our Hope is in the Lord”!
May the Maker of heaven and earth show mercy and give us strength and courage in these challenging times!