As promised, the government has released its back-to-school health and safety guidelines. We look forward to welcoming students back into schools on Tuesday, September 7. With health and safety as our main priority, we continue to work through the BC CDC guidelines and with the Ministry of Education to gather more details and information for staff and families. Here’s what we know:
Health and Safety Guidelines for all staff and students
- Complete the Daily Health Checklist before coming to school
- Stay home when sick
- K-12 staff, students in Grades 4-12 and visitors must wear masks while indoors, including at their desks and on school buses
- K-Grade 3 students are encouraged to wear masks
- Focus on washing or sanitizing hands
- Continued monitoring and enhancing building ventilation
- Continued cleaning and disinfecting
You can find more information about the new guidelines here:
The most important thing that we can do to protect children is to make sure the adults around them are vaccinated. According to public health officials, 90% of the new cases are amongst those who are not fully vaccinated.
Changes for the 2021/2022 School Year
- Students will no longer be organized into cohorts or learning groups
- Sports, events and extra-curricular activities will resume, in alignment with Public Health Orders
- Gatherings and events can occur
- Visitors and community use and rentals can resume
We are excited to welcome visitors back into our schools. Once again, we ask that you contact your school to make an appointment prior to visiting.
While we recognize that families and students are looking forward to September, we know that some people are still worried about what school will look like. We will continue to keep health and safety at the forefront while simultaneously offering the care and learning that SD62 families are accustomed to.
We are so proud of our students, staff and families for keeping our schools safe and healthy for everyone. Teamwork helped to keep our schools open last year, and it is teamwork that will keep our schools open and people healthy this year. We can’t wait to see you on September 7th!
Superintendent of Schools/CEO
Will SD62 require teachers and staff to be vaccinated?
This would be mandated by the local or provincial health authority, not SD62. We do know that educators and school staff are strong advocates for safe learning and working environments and we expect there would be high rates of vaccination among those groups.
Will physical distancing be required inside SD62 schools, buildings and buses?
Practicing physical distancing is no longer expected. However, there are several strategies that schools will use, such as:
- directing traffic flow with the use of arrows and posters inside schools;
- spreading people out in the available space, and ensure there is enough room to prevent unintentional physical contact; and
- encouraging everyone to respect others' personal space.
Will SD62 hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics in its schools?
Decisions regarding vaccine clinic sites are made by Island Health, not the school district.
How will school COVID-19 exposure be handled this year?
SD62 will work closely with Island Health. If your child has been exposed to COVID -19 you will continue to be notified by public health. The decision about who is notified about an exposure is solely up to Island Health, not the school district.
What sorts of ventilation are in SD62 schools, buildings and classrooms?
While equipment in schools and classrooms might vary, SD62 is required to ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed, operated, and maintained to Occupational Health and Safety and WorkSafeBC standards.