Dear Parents/Caregivers,

With one week under our belts, routines are starting to become established. Today, we met with staff to debrief our start-up schedules and protocols to discuss adjustments that will further streamline our work on-site with students and families. Some of these changes are noted in this week’s Shake, some will be addressed next week.

Aside from traffic flow patterns and parking, one of the biggest challenges that we have navigated in the opening week is daily health assessments for students – knowing when to keep kids at home or send them to school, and what to do when students don’t feel well at school. Last Friday, the BC Centre for Disease Control updated their Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings (pdf), and made some significant adjustments to the section on personal measures (p.15) and daily health checklist (p.23).

Yesterday, we sent a copy (yellow paper) of the Daily Health Checklist home with the youngest of each family for your reference. This checklist has an updated list of “key symptoms”, and a flow chart of guidance for parents to determine if your child should attend school or stay home, and when they may return to school when they feel well enough to do so. We encourage families to keep this checklist handy and review it when you are unsure about sending your child to school. Parents/Caregivers are more than welcome to dialogue with me or our office staff in confidence, if you have questions; however, you know your children best, and are primarily responsible for making this daily assessment and decision.

Once again, let grace abound in this! The last thing that we want is for children (or parents or staff, for that matter) to feel like they have done something wrong or that they are dangerous. Our children have experienced enough trauma in this season. Children will get runny noses and sore throats and tummy aches. “Most illness experienced in BC is not COVID-19, even if the symptoms are similar” (p.17). Let us comfort our little ones, give them time to recover, and welcome them back when their “symptoms have improved” and they “feel well enough” to return to school. It is good for them to be here.


Shane Nelson