Key Elements of this Plan:
Masks required for staff, visitors and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Everyone staying home when sick and using K-12 Health Check app to guide them
Handwashing and respiratory hygiene
Physical Spacing/personal space
Students dropped off and picked up outside
Classroom windows open when weather permits
Taking the learning outside as much as possible
Maintaining a fun, safe, welcoming and engaging learning environment
Schools are no longer required to maintain a COVID Safety Plan but must instead transition to a Communicable Disease Prevention Plan. This prevention plan focuses on reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, and includes both on-going measures (hand hygiene, cleaning) and additional measure to be implemented as advised by public health.
Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in schools and communities. Public health strongly encourages all eligible students and staff to be fully vaccinated (i.e., receive 2 doses) to protect themselves and those around them, including those who are not eligible to be vaccinated. People over the age of 12 who are not vaccinated are at a higher risk of getting and spreading COVID-19, with age the greatest factor of individual risk severe illness. Most COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are now among unvaccinated adults.
Personal Protection Equipment:
Students in Kindergarten-12 are required to wear masks in all indoors spaces and on the bus.
All K-12 staff are required to wear a non-medical mask at all times while in school and on buses.
Supporting students with disabilities/diverse abilities may require staff providing support services to be in close physical proximity or in physical contact with a student. When staff are working with a student indoors, and the service cannot be provided from behind a barrier, staff are required to wear a non-medical mask, a face covering or a face shield (in which case a non-medical mask should be worn in addition to the face shield).
Additional personal protective equipment is not required beyond that used as part of the personal care routine normally encountered in their regular course of work (e.g., gloves for toileting).
When working with students where seeing facial expressions and/or lip movement is important, and the service cannot be provided from behind a barrier, options include having the staff member wear a mask with a transparent section to enable visualization of the mouth.
All visitors must wear a non-medical mask when they are inside the school.
Exceptions to Mask Mandate for Staff, Students and Visitors:
The guidance outlined above regarding mask requirements does not apply to staff, students and visitors in the following circumstances:
to a person who cannot tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons;
to a person who is unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
if the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
if the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (e.g. playing a wind instrument, engaging in high-intensity physical activity, etc.);
if a person is eating or drinking;
if a person is behind a barrier; or
while providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability (including but not limited to a hearing impairment) where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements is important
No student should be prevented from attending or fully participating in school if they are not wearing a mask.
If an activity cannot be implemented in line with this guidance, it should be adapted or another activity should be selected.
Physical Distancing and Spare Arrangement:
Learning cohorts and 2m physical distancing are no longer required for the K-12 setting, but there are a number of strategies that can be considered to create space between people.
Students and staff should respect others’ personal space.
Use visual supports, signage, prompts, video modelling, etc. as necessary
Use available space to spread people out, both in learning environments and for gatherings and events, where possible.
Ensuring there is enough space available to prevent involuntary physical contact between people
Avoid crowding at pick-up and drop-off times, particularly at entry and exit areas. Each class will have their own entrance and exit doors
Take students outside more often, where and when possible
Manage flow of people in common areas (hallways, coat hooks and cubbies, etc.) using floor markings
Hand Hygiene (taught and reinforced):
Rigorous hand washing with soap is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness
Diligent handwashing for at least 20 seconds will be taught and reinforced using the hand washing song (song video link)
Handwashing will be conducted frequently throughout the day:
Upon entry to the school
Before and after breaks and eating
After using the washroom
Before and after using frequently touched shared equipment (computers, Centres toys, etc.)
Before and after using an indoor learning space that is used by multiple classes with shared equipment (Library, Gymnasium)
After sneezing or coughing into hands
Whenever hands are visibly dirty.
Soap and water will be used most often but hand sanitzer will be available where there is no sink
Soap and water must be used when hands are visibly soiled.
Cough or sneeze into elbow, sleeve or a tissue.
Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene.
Stay Home When Sick:
Parents must assess their children daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, Covid-19, and other infections or respiratory disease before sending them to school. If children have symptoms, even mild ones, they must not attend school. Parents are advised to use the K-12 Health Check app to guide health checks.
Staff and other adults visiting the school must self-assess daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, and other infections or respiratory disease before coming to work. They must not come to into the school with symptoms. Staff and visiting adults must sign the COVID-19 health check form when they enter the school.
If students develop symptoms at school, they will be moved to the isolation area near the office where there is a separate bathroom. The student’s parents will be contacted to pick the student up and will be advised to use the K-12 Health Check app, to call 811 or to consult a medical practitioner. The student will be required to wear a mask while waiting for parents to pick them up.
Staff who develop symptoms at school will leave work immediately and seek medical advice or consult the BCCDC “When to get tested” website.
When staff, student or other adult can return to school depends on the type of symptoms they experienced (as identified in the K-12 Health Check app or the BCCDC “When to get tested website”), if a COVID-19 test is recommended and the type of illness they had (eg. COVID-19 or other illness). See the 19 Symptoms, Testing and Return to School for more information.
School Gatherings and Events
School gatherings and events (including inter-school events) can occur in line with those permitted as per relevant local, regional, provincial and federal public health recommendations and Orders.
Respect student and staff comfort levels regarding personal space.
Use space available to spread people out, respecting room occupancy limits, and ensuring there is enough space available to prevent involuntary physical contact between attendees.
Bus driver and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 must wear a mask at all times while on the bus. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are encouraged to wear masks on the bus.
Masks must be put on before loading the bus.
Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for common cold, influenza, COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school. If a child is sick they must not take the bus or go to school.
Students should clean their hands before and after taking the bus.
Adults and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 must wear a mask during music classes, including while singing.
Students can temporarily remove a mask to play an instrument that cannot be played while wearing a mask (eg, wind instruments).
Physical and Health Education/Outdoor Programs:
Teachers will spread out students within the available space, and will plan outdoor activities and programs as much as possible
Staff and students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear masks during PHE when they are indoors and a barrier is not present.
Students are not required to wear masks during high intensity physical activities (eg. basketball, soccer); mask use during these activities will be left to the students’ personal choice. Staff are encouraged to move high-intensity sport activities outdoors whenever possible.
For low intensity activities (eg. Yoga, walking) students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 are required to wear masks when they are indoors and a barrier is not present.
Students should be encouraged to practice proper hand hygiene before and after participating in physical activity and equipment use.
School Sports and Extra Curricular Activities
Staff and students will stay on the right hand side of the hallways and stairwells.
Traffic flow patterns are indicated with floor markings.
Teachers will teach and practice traffic flow in common spaces.
If a teacher sees another class moving through the hallway, he/she will hold class back until the hallway is clear.
Teachers will remind their students to put their shoes, backpacks and coats on their hooks or in their cubby in order to keep the hallways clear.
Drop off and Pick up:
Students arriving at school by bus will enter the building using their assigned door.
Students arriving at school by private vehicle should be dropped off between 8:00 am to 8:13, should use the rainbow crosswalk to exit the parking lot and should enter the school through their assigned door.
Students will sanitize and/or wash their hands upon school entry and exit.
Students who arrive “late” will enter through the main entrance, will sanitize their hands and check in at the office before going to class.
Parents will pick up and drop off students outside and not enter the building unless necessary.
Parents and other adults who enter the building will sanitize their hands before checking in at the office. Parents who enter the building must wear a mask and confirm that they have conducted a daily health check.
Each class will be assigned a door for entering and exiting the building.
Kindergarten door for the K class
Covered play area door for Ms. Kerrigan’s class (same as last year)
The door at the far end of the school above the covered play area for Kaz’s class (same as last year)
The front door for Mr. MacQueen’s class (note this is a change from last year)
The back door near the music room for Mr. Lightfoot’s class (same as last year).
The back door near the staff parking for Ms. Moffat’s class
Where necessary, classes will stagger access to cubbies and coat hooks in hallways to avoid crowding
Parents or Visitors Entering the Building:
As much as possible, parents will pick up and drop off students outside and not come into the building unless necessary.
If a parent or other adult needs to enter the building, they will enter through the main entrance, sanitize their hands and check in at the office before proceeding.
All visitors to the school will need sign in to confirm they have completed the requirements of the daily health check when they come into the office. These records will be retained for 45 days for contact tracing purposes.
Adults must wear a mask while they are in the building
Visitors are encouraged to make appointments to visit the school.
Regular cleaning and disinfecting will be essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19 from areas that may be contaminated. The following protocols mitigate the risks and potential exposure to the virus:
General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises to occur once/24 hour period.
Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces (eg. door knobs, hand rails, etc.) to occur once/24 hour period.
Visibly dirty surfaces to be cleaned and disinfected.
Garbage containers to be emptied daily.
All schools have upgraded the HVAC filters to MERV 13
Where possible, open windows and doors when weather permits; this will not negatively impact the HVAC system