The following is a list of questions and answers about COVID 19 protocols at BVCS next year. These protocols follow the Ministry of Education information released on August 24th.
Q: Are masks required this year?
A: Non-medical masks are required to be worn inside the school by all adults and all students in grade 4-12 for the start of the school year. The non-medical mask guidance is expected to be reviewed by the Ministry of Education later this fall with the intention that wearing a mask will eventually transition to a personal choice. Mask use in school for students in grades K-3 is based on personal or family/caregivers’ choice. Mask exceptions are possible for persons who cannot tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons. Parents should contact the principal if this is true of your child, even if you already did so last year.
Q: What about the playground use before and after school and lineups before school?
A: Our playground will be open for student use before and after school again with an emphasis on respecting personal space of others. Elementary students will line up at their entry door when the bell rings.
Q: Are there learning cohorts (groups)?
A: Students are not required to be in learning groups and they can interact with any students from outside their learning group or class.
Q: Will learning continue?
A: Absolutely. We will be continuing on with our school programming, including music, art, PE, field trips, shop, etc.
Q: What will happen if there is a COVID-19 exposure at school?
A: If a potential exposure at a school is identified, Northern Health will work with our school to understand who may have been exposed and determine what actions should be taken, including identifying if other students or staff have been exposed. Northern Health will consider vaccination status when investigating school exposures. Staff and students who are not fully immunized and are identified as close contacts are more likely to be asked to self-isolate than those who are fully immunized. Further information can be found on the Northern Health and BCCDC websites.
Q: What Covid-19 safety protocols will remain in place?
A: Safety continues to be a priority for us and thus we will continue with these protocols:
- Hand hygiene and cleaning – every time a student enters/exits the building, after using the washroom and after sneezing/coughing students will be required to wash/sanitize their hands. Every room will have hand sanitizer/disinfectant readily available.
- Respiratory etiquette – will be taught and expected to be followed (cover cough and sneeze with arm with inside of arm.
- Daily Health Check (https://www.k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca/healthcheck?execution=e1s1) is required to be completed by all staff and all students before they come to school each day.
- Enhanced cleaning each day of commonly touched surfaces.
Q: What about physical distancing?
A: Students will be spread out as much as possible in classrooms and assemblies while still taking into consideration best practices for student learning and engagement. The emphasis will be on respecting personal space and avoiding physical contact.
Q: Are parents/guardians allowed in the building this year?
A: Parents and guardians should enter the building through the front entrance, wear a mask, confirm they did a daily health check and sign in at the front office.
Q: Will parents/guardians be allowed to volunteer in classrooms and on field trips this year?
A: Yes! We look forward to seeing our volunteer parents and guardians back in the school this year, we missed you last year! All volunteers will be required to sign in at the front office, do a health check and wear a mask while in the building. Volunteering needs will be arranged by teachers or Admin. Parents can drive for field trips again this year provided that they follow the field trip driver guidelines and wear a mask.
Q: Will BVCS have assemblies, gatherings, BBQs and special events?
A: Yes, we will have assemblies in schools again for the 2021-2022 school year. We are looking forward to working on a safe plan to start our community events again this year.
Q: What about sports?
A: Intra- and inter-school sports programs and activities (e.g. intramurals, sports team practices, games), can happen provided guidelines around hand hygiene and masking are followed. We are looking forward to resuming our athletic program this fall!
Q: How can I support the staff at BVCS?
A: There has been much change for staff, students and parents over the past 18 months and we ask for everyone’s prayer, support and grace as we transition and learn again.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.