SD48 Safety Plan for COVID-19 Exposure Control
- Maintain a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and staff.
- Provide the services needed to support the children of our essential workers (ESWs).
- Support vulnerable students who may need special assistance.
- Provide continuity of educational opportunity for all students.
- BC’s Restart Plan (Phases 1 to 4)
- BC's Back to School Plan
- K-12 Education Restart Plan (BC Five-Stage Framework)
Each school/site is expected to meet as a School/Site Occupational Health and Safety Committee to write a site-specific plan fully aligned with the guidelines within this plan. All School/Site Occupational Health and Safety Plans must be submitted to the district (email@example.com) for approval. The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has developed a COVID-19 School Health & Safety Checklist that can support these safety plan reviews. Based on reviews of provincial school-based exposures, the following key areas should be reviewed before February 26, 2021:
- Prevent crowding at all times (e.g. start and end of day).
- Avoid close face-to-face contact whenever possible.
- Assign staff to a specific cohort whenever possible.
- Stagger break times whenever possible (e.g. recess/lunch/class transition).
- Ensure that the use of masks does not reduce or replace practicing physical distancing and other prevention measures, for both students and staff.
- Ensure prevention measures are in place in staff-only areas (e.g. lunch rooms).
- Ensure physical activity and music class are delivered in line with the guidance in this document.
Risk Assessment:Transmission of COVID-19
The following risk assessment information is based on the best evidence currently available from the BCCDC. (BCCDC COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings). This site will be updated as new information becomes available.
The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads in several ways, including through droplets when a person coughs or sneezes, and from touching a contaminated surface before touching the face. Higher risk situations require adequate protocols to address the risk. The risk of person-to-person transmission is increased the closer people are to one another, the amount of time people are near one another, and the number of people near one another. Physical distancing measures help mitigate this risk. The risk of surface transmission is increased when many people contact the same surface, and when those contacts happen in short intervals of time. Effective cleaning and hygiene practices help reduce the risk.
- COVID-19 virus has a very low transmission rate in children(ages 0 to 19)
- In B.C., less than 1% of children tested have been COVID-19 positive.
- Most children are not at high risk for COVID-19 transmission.
- Children under 10 comprise a smaller proportion of the total confirmed child cases compared to children between the ages of 10 and 19.
- Based on published literature to date, the majority of cases in children are the result of household transmission by droplet spread from a symptomatic adult family member with COVID-19. Even in family clusters, adults appear to be the primary drivers of transmission.
- Children under one year of age, and those who are immunocompromised or have pre-existing pulmonary conditions are at a higher risk of more severe illness from COVID-19.
- Children who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 can still receive in-person instruction. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to consult with their health-care provider to determine their child’s level of risk.
- Children typically have much milder symptoms of COVID-19, if any. They often present with low-grade fever and a dry cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms are more common in children than with adults over the course of disease, while skin changes are less common in children than with adults.
- While COVID-19 impacts adults more than children, most adults infected with COVID-19 will have mild symptoms that do not require care outside of the home.
- Some adults with specific health circumstances are at an increased risk for more severe outcomes, including individuals:
- aged 65 and over;
- with compromised immune systems; or,
- with underlying medical conditions.
- There is limited evidence of confirmed transmission within school settings. This is partially due to wide-spread school closures worldwide at the onset of the pandemic to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- In documented cases, there was typically minimal spread beyond the index case though isolated outbreaks have been reported.
- Children do not appear to be the primary drivers of COVID-19 spread in schools or in community settings.
- Schools and childcare facility closures can have significant mental health and socioeconomic impacts on families and children, especially those most vulnerable.
- Prevention measures and mitigation strategies involving children must be commensurate with risk.
Infection Prevention and Exposure Measures for Communicable Disease
The PHO has provided the following Infection Prevention Framework for Infection Prevention and Exposure Measures for Communicable Disease. This SD48 Safety Plan for COVID-19 Exposure Control uses this framework to describe the safety planning expectations for everyone in the school district.
Public Health Measures
Public Health Measures include Orders from the PHO, improved testing, and contact tracing. All SD48 schools and sites are expected to follow the directions of the PHO, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the MOE), BCCD, and WorkSafeBC for the BC K-12 Education sector.
The PHO oversees active testing of people with COVID-19 symptoms. Should a member of our school district community, working or learning in one of our schools, identified by VCH as testing positive for COVID-19, the protocols within Board Policy 303: Communicable Diseases will be followed and all direction will be taken from VCH.
VCH will determine if that person was at school during their infectious period. They will then contact the school principal and Director of Instruction: Learning Services to request contact information and to provide further direction and to activate contact tracing through information gathering. The school principal and Director of Instruction will follow all directions and gather the necessary information within our schools. The school principal and Director of Instruction will then provide the requested information to VCH. VCH then follows up by making direct contact with those people who were identified as having enough contact to potentially have been exposed and will provide them with specific directions. We want to reassure you that if your child may have been one of these people, you will be contacted. It is expected that every member of the school community and all parents will closely follow any direction provided to them by VCH.
Within SD48 Board Policy 303, the Board acknowledges that information regarding communicable diseases can be of particular concern and interest to students, parents, staff, and the community. However, all personal health information will be treated as strictly confidential. As outlined in the Public Health Act, communicable disease information may be shared in general terms with staff, students, or parents when it is determined by the School Medical Health Officer that such information sharing is warranted for the protection of the public. As such, we will not be sending home or posting information about a positive indication of COVID or an exposure to COVID unless directed to do so by VCH. If requested to do this by VCH, we will ensure all information is complete and accurate and will continue to protect the privacy of anyone involved.
It is also critically important that all members of the school district community and the parents of our students respect the privacy rights of every individual. This means that individual members of our school community and/or parents must not provide any public statements or communications about potential or confirmed COVID-19 cases, unless directed to do so by VCH.
We ask that everyone refrain from speculating or commenting on anyone’s absences. There are a variety of reasons anytime why someone may be away from school, and with the safety guidelines asking everyone to stay home if they are symptomatic at all, we can anticipate many more absences than usual. Schools are having these important discussions and we ask that you have them at home too.
Our district and school safety plans are designed through Public Health’s, Hierarchy for Infection Prevention and Exposure Measures for Communicable Disease. We have created highly controlled environments in our school settings by using multiple exposure prevention measures and supporting important contact tracing methodology. Thank you for your continued support of our safety planning and your time in reading this important information.
The PHO order on mass gatherings does not apply to schools, as events are defined in the order as an irregular gathering, like a party or celebration. District and school sites are considered controlled environments. Information on Learning Group Cohorts established for in-class instruction can be found below under Administrative Measures. For all other gatherings in the school district the PHO Order must be followed. For example, the Board of Education will limit in person attendance at Public Board meetings to fewer than 50 people. The remaining attendees will be advised to join the Board through the posted online methodology.
- signage is posted at entrances outlining expectations for entry, hand washing, and physical distancing expectations;
- floor markings and posters are used to address traffic flow throughout the school;
- barriers or markers are installed in places where physical distance cannot regularly be maintained (e.g. front reception desk where visitors check in);
- recess, breaks, lunch, and class transition times are staggered to provide a greater amount of space for everyone;
- additional areas are provided for staff to take breaks, including outdoors;
- strategies are created that prevent crowding at pick-up and drop-off times; and,
- guidelines, as well as appropriate signage and communication plans, are created for the appropriate use of school property before and after school and during recesses/lunch breaks.
- parents, caregivers, and other visitors remain outside of the school to drop off their children;
- all inquiries or requests to schools are done through phone or email;
- approved external visits to the school are prioritized to those adults supporting activities that are of benefit to student learning and wellbeing (e.g. teacher candidates, mental health clinicians, immunizers, meal program volunteers, etc.);
- when adult visitors are approved to enter the school, additional signage and floor markings indicate how the visitor is to proceed and that the visitor is placed on the school contact list for that day, has completed the requirements of a daily health check, is wearing a non-medical mask (or provide one for them), sanitizes their hands when they enter the building, and follows the school safety plan measures;
- schools will maintain a list of the names, dates, and contact information for all visitors who are approved to enter the school. The contact list will be held for a period of 30 days for the purposes of contact tracing.
- site entrances and administrative areas have a designated 2 metre distance (using tape or other floor markers) from the counter and the staff member working there; and,
All SD48 schools are to be designated as “closed campuses” for students during the instructional day. Principals are to ensure that:
- all families and students understand that students are to remain on school property during the instructional day, including breaks and lunch time; and,
- if a student needs to leave school for an appointment, principals must ensure that they sign out of the school and, upon return, sign back in and wash their hands before rejoining their Learning Group.
- all participants follow the school site safety plan and the recommended preventative measures (e.g. stay home when sick, hand hygiene etc.);
- maintain daily attendance records;
- the capacity for occupancy is limited and that the number of families attending are able to physically distance; and,
- the program is encouraged to increase outdoor activity.
User Group Safety Plans must include:
- daily health checks of individual user group members prior to entering the building;
- washing hands before entering the building and frequently throughout;
- notification that participants stay at home if they are feeling ill;
- a list of the date, names, and contact information for any user group members who entered the school;
- maintaining a maximum of 50 people in alignment with the Gatherings and Events Order of the PHO. Additional information is available from the BCCDC for gatherings and events in community settings;
- members practicing diligent hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette;
- physical distancing among older youth and adults;
- limiting building access to only those areas required for the purpose of the activity;
- a process for identifying the used equipment to ensure proper disinfecting can take place by SD48 custodians; and,
- community members’ ability to bring their own equipment, where appropriate.
Under the Draft SD48 Room Readiness Policy, including some additional measures for COVID-19 exposure control, staff are asked to:
- eliminate all clutter, including the removal of rarely used materials currently being stored in the classroom or work space;
- place school district resources in a central storage area rather than in classrooms or work spaces;
- take all personal items home, including personal learning resources not currently being used by students;
- ensure students take personal items home daily and that all elementary ‘coat/cloak rooms’ are empty at the end of each day;
- make every effort, where deemed necessary in elementary schools, to store students’ items like indoor shoes or extra dry clothes inside closed cupboards;
- eliminate the use of middle and secondary school lockers;
- reduce the number of high touch surfaces in all rooms;
- remove all materials from any remaining surface areas, including desks/countertops, sink areas, workstations, and staff rooms; and,
- ensure that all classrooms/work spaces that are not in use are cleaned, closed, and locked.
School water fountains are to be disabled. Signage and training should support everyone in using the water filling stations at each school. Principals will inform students and parents/guardians that they will need to bring their own personal water bottle to use at the water filling station. Principals will arrange to have compostable cups available for students to use if they forget or don't have a water bottle.
- establishing and posting occupancy limits for shared spaces, such as lunch rooms & washrooms;
- providing additional areas for staff to take breaks, including outdoors;
- creating plans, if necessary, for two or more Learning Groups sharing the same learning space to enter and leave the space safely;
- e.g. Learning Group A enters the space first and is seated on the far side of the classroom as indicated by signage; Learning Group B follows and is seated on the near side of the classroom as indicated by signage. Process reversed at dismissal.
- having staff use outside spaces for student learning as often as possible;
- creating guidelines for school arrival and departure times and gathering during recesses/lunch breaks;
- ensuring that there is a specific plan for students to, where possible, remain in their Learning Group during recess, lunch and break times;
- creating schedules and plans to reduce density that include assigned physical spaces for individual cohorts and their break times,
- in some cases, staggering schedules will be necessary to ensure that all Learning Groups have adequate space for breaks; and,
- creating plans for the arrival and dismissal of students and instructions to students and parents and guardians for specific entrances and exits to the building.
- children of Essential Service Workers (ESWs) aged 5-12 are identified;
- children of ESWs aged 5-12 are provided access to full-time in-class instruction;
- children of ESWs over 12 who are vulnerable or have a disability that precludes them from being at home alone will be offered full-time in-class instruction; and,
- density targets are maintained.
- all students with disabilities, diverse abilities, and children who require additional support have access to full-time in-class instruction.
Staff Meetings involving staff from different Learning Groups should preferably occur through virtual means. Where a virtual alternative is not possible, staff meetings can happen in person if participants are able to maintain physical distance and are required to wear a mask.
Inter-school events including competitions, tournaments and festivals, may not occur at this time. Inter-school events will be reevaluated by the PHO as new information becomes available. Where possible, schools should consider virtual alternatives to continue to support these events in a different format.
Principals must ensure that:
- staff is notified in advance of drills (e.g. no “surprise drills”),
- total evacuation drills are conducted involving all occupants in the school. Partial evacuations involving smaller groups of students does not comply with the Fire Code,
- the school fire safety plan is updated on an annual basis (e.g. the plan takes into account the current pandemic protocols), and,
- the school fire safety plan is developed in cooperation with the local fire department and reviewed by SD48s Director of Operations - Ian Currie.
All school district-owned playgrounds are open. Principals are to send home communications to remind community members using school district playgrounds that they do so at their own risk and that surfaces will not be disinfected. Principals are to ensure that Playground Use School Signs are posted around each playground.Stage 2 & 3 Cleaning and Disinfection
SD48 Pandemic Guide for Custodial Operations provides pandemic cleaning procedures required at our schools and facilities in accordance with directions from the BCCDC’s Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings. Regular cleaning and disinfecting are essential to preventing the transmission of COVID-19. General cleaning and disinfecting of school premises must occur once in a 24 hour period and cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces twice in 24 hours, including at least once during regular school hours. Custodial hours have been adjusted for instructional days to include two daytime custodians in the majority of our facilities with shifts starting at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:30 pm. The day shift custodians must maintain the frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces during regular school hours. The after school custodians must complete the general cleaning and disinfecting of the school, including the second disinfecting of high touch surfaces.
- a schedule for general cleaning and disinfecting of each premise at least once every 24 hours, including items that only a single student uses (e.g. desks and chairs) is established;
- cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces occurs at least twice every 24 hours (e.g. door handles, cupboard handles, handrails, grab handles, light switches, desk tops, counter tops, shared keyboards and devices, phones, water filling stations, washrooms and associated handles, etc.);
- hand hygiene is practiced before and after use for commonly used equipment (e.g. PE/sports equipment) and the equipment is cleaned at least twice in 24hours, including at least once during regular school hours;
- cleaning products for classrooms, workspaces, and common work areas are provided;
- only school district provided liquids (these will be commonly used and commercially available cleaners and detergents) and/or soap and water for cleaning surfaces are used;
- items which cannot be easily cleaned are removed (e.g. plush toys);
- any surface that is visibly dirty is cleaned and disinfected;
- frequently touched items that are not easily cleaned are limited. These items can continue to be used, if hand hygiene is practiced before and after use;
- appliances (microwaves,refrigerators, coffee pots, photocopies etc.) can be shared but are considered high touch services;
- paper hand towels rather than hand dryers are provided;
- garbage, recycling, and composting containers are emptied daily; and,
- usual safety standards when cleaning up blood or bodily fluids (e.g. runny nose, vomit, urine) by wearing disposable gloves and washing hands before and after wearing gloves are followed.
There are no additional cleaning and disinfecting procedures beyond those that are normally implemented and those noted in this document which are required. This includes when different Learning Group cohorts use the same space (e.g. a classroom, gym, arts room, home economics or science lab, etc.) and when Learning Group cohorts are changed after a quarter, semester, or term.
According to the provincial guidelines, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper, or other paper-based products. There is no need to limit the distribution of books or paper based educational resources to students. Laminated or glossy paper based products (e.g. children books) and items with plastic covers can be contaminated; however, there is no need for these items to be cleaned and disinfected or quarantined for any period of time, or hand hygiene to be practiced before or after use.
- designate a supervised area with signage and protocols, away from others, to separate the symptomatic student or staff (should the staff member be unable to leave the site immediately);
- consider designating more that one supervised area to provide more than one space if circumstances demand, and to provide student choice;
- designate a supervisor and a back up supervisor(s);
- train the supervisors on the safety protocol to support these students or staff;
- contact the student’s parent/guardian for pickup as soon as possible;
- ensure the supervisor maintains a 2m physical distance from the student, if possible and, if not possible, that the supervisor wears a mask, if available, or uses a tissue to cover their nose and mouth;
- have masks available in this designated space;
- support the student in using the mask;
- ensure any used masks or tissues are disposed of as soon as possible;
- ensure that the student washes their hands when entering the space and when leaving it;
- ensure all staff, and especially the supervisor in this designated area, avoid touching any student’s body fluids (e.g. mucous, saliva) and to wash their hands right away if this does occur;
- ensure the supervisor washes their hands once the student has been picked up;
- ensure that the space where the student or staff member was separated and any areas used by them are cleaned and disinfected promptly; and,
- ensure that they have a back-up plan in the event that they or another member of their admin team becomes symptomatic.
Each school's air will be flushed every day, two hours before and one hour after occupancy, with fresh outside air. Throughout the day, each classroom's hourly air exchanges will be increased using outside air. The district has procured and installed MERV 13 filters in all of our schools. Where possible, open windows if weather permits and HVAC system function will not be negatively impacted.
- existing policies and procedures as well as the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are followed;
- field trip locations provide supervisors with their COVID-19 operating plan, ensuring that it does not conflict with the school’s plan, and is shared with parents and administration;
- parent volunteer drivers are not involved (not permitted in stages 2-4); and,
- volunteers providing supervision are trained in and strictly adhere to physical distancing and all other health and safety guidelines (including wearing masks).
- existing policies and procedures, as well as the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, are followed;
- external locations provide supervisors with their COVID-19 operating plan, ensuring that it does not conflict with the school’s plan, and is shared with parents and administration;
- parent volunteer drivers are not involved (not permitted in stages 2-4); and,
- volunteers providing supervision are trained in and strictly adhere to physical distancing and all other health and safety guidelines.
- they are able to attend school full time or have a plan to ensure supports and learning continue if a student needs to learn at home;
- they have access to the necessary health and safety supports;
- they will continue to receive supports and services as identified in their IEP, including 1:1 supports; and,
- Their children will not be grouped in segregated settings as a part of the establishment of cohorts.
- Elementary: up to 60 people
- Middle: up to 60 people
- Secondary: up to 120 people
- Please see the SD48 Learning Group cohort infographic for more detailed information regarding Learning Groups
- minimized physical contact and avoiding prolonged face-to-face interactions is required.
- physical distancing of 2m must be maintained for all students and staff interacting outside their Learning Group, this is actually not a requirement for elementary-age students when outdoors; however, for the purpose of practicing physical distancing requirements in Stage 3 we expect our schools to organize and make a plan for 2m of physical distancing even outdoors for elementary school students);
- middle and secondary school students and staff are required to wear a mask if they cannot maintain physical distancing; and,
- even when wearing a mask, staff and students are required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their Learning Group.
- organized by Learning Group cohorts of up to 60 students and staff as the primary learning environment where a teacher learning team and their students can interact more regularly.
- organized by Learning Group cohorts of up to 60 students and staff as the primary learning environment where a teacher learning team and their students can interact more regularly;
- focussed on full-time instruction for all students for the maximum instructional time possible within cohort limits, with self-directed/online learning supplementing in-class instruction, only if required.
- organized into Learning Group cohorts to no more than 120 students and staff;
- scheduled for student learning in a manner that ensures each student continues to receive their required courses for their Career Life post-secondary plan, to the fullest extent possible; and,
- focussed on full-time instruction for all students for the maximum instructional time possible within cohort limits, with self-directed/online learning supplementing in-class instruction, only if required.
- Learning Groups are diverse in their composition, and established in a manner that reflects the principles of equity and inclusion, and does not result in segregated learning environments for students with disabilities/diverse abilities;
- Learning Groups stay together throughout the day, including unstructured times such as lunch, recess, classroom changes, etc;
- students are supported within each Learning Group to minimize physical contact and to prevent crowding with each other ( 2m physical distancing does not need to be maintained within a Learning Group);
- students are supported with maintaining 2m physical distancing and avoid face-to-face interactions from others outside of their Learning Group cohort during unstructured time such as recess, break, and lunch time. Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing between students from different learning groups in the same learning space;
- the number of adults (staff and others) who interact with cohorts they are not a part of (to the extent possible while supporting learning and a positive, healthy, and safe environment) is minimized;
- staff and other adults maintain 2m of physical distance from each other at all times, unless they are part of the same cohort. Masks are not a replacement for physical distancing between staff from different Learning Groups; we already say this in the PPE;
- current lists and contact information of all members of a cohort and others who work with that cohort (e.g. itinerant teachers, TOCs), are readily available;
- consistent seating arrangement are encouraged where practical within Learning Groups;
- a protocol is established for each Learning Group cohort to enter and exit their learning space for scheduled instructional time;
- Learning Group cohorts are amended only at the start of a new quarter, semester, or term in the school year unless necessary to do so sooner or more often to support optimal school functioning; and,
- itinerant staff and specialists should be assigned to a specific learning group wherever possible.
- Valleycliffe - 5 cohorts
- Cultural Journeys-2 cohorts
- Squamish - 8/9 cohorts
- Garibaldi Highlands-12 cohorts
- Mamquam - 7 cohorts
- Brackendale - 6/7 cohorts
- Spring Creek-7 cohorts
- Myrtle Philip - 6 cohorts
- Signal Hill - 9 cohorts
- Blackwater Creek- 1 cohort (small rural school with 15 students)
- Don Ross Middle School: will have a total of 14 Learning Groups
- Learning Expeditions: 1 Learning Group (population is < 60 inclusive of all staff and students)
- Howe Sound Secondary School: 2 cohorts at each grade level for each quarter to allow for maximum number of courses available for in-class instruction; allows for assigning of support staff as class composition requires; 2 grade 10, 2 grade 11, 2 grade 23 → 6 cohorts total
- Whistler Secondary School: 2 cohorts of grade 8 and 9 to support full-year courses (middle school model); 1 grade 10, 1 grade 11, 1 grade 12 cohort → 5 cohorts total
- Pemberton Secondary School: 1 grade 8/9; 1 grade 10/11; 1 grade 12 → 3 cohorts total
- Valleycliffe - regular lunch and recess with designated cohort zones
- Cultural Journeys- regular lunch and recess with designated cohort zones
- Squamish - regular recess and lunch with designated cohort zones
- Garibaldi Highlands- staggered recess and lunch
- Mamquam - regular lunch and recess with designated cohort zones
- Brackendale - staggered recess and lunch
- Spring Creek - staggered lunch and recess
- Myrtle Philip - staggered lunch and recess
- Signal Hill - staggered lunch and recess
- Blackwater Creek - regular lunch and recess
- Don Ross Middle School: Elementary style linear approach to instruction with class organized into pods with two teachers.
- DRM will also be organized as a Middle Years Program with year long curricular development, especially for literacy and numeracy).
- Density will be reduced at school arrival, departure, and at break times through a staggered schedule with designated entrances and exits; zones will be created for specific learning groups for break times.
- Learning Expeditions: linear as regular as cohort < 60
- Howe Sound Secondary School: quarter system
- Whistler Secondary School: quarter system (Grades 8 & 9 scheduled as Middle Years Program with year long curricular development, especially for literacy and numeracy.)
- Pemberton Secondary School: quarter system (Grades 8 & 9 scheduled as Middle Years Program with year long curricular development, especially for literacy and numeracy.)
- Designated zones for Learning Groups for break/lunch for all secondary sites except Howe Sound Secondary eats lunch in 2nd period classroom, then joins in common areas, maintaining 2m physical distance and wearing a mask otherwise.
- Development of remote learning options for K-9 students wishing to remain enrolled in a class in their home school.
- Extension of Distributed Learning from Grades 10 - 12 to K - 12 for students intending to complete the school year online in SD48; for students in Grades 10 -12, an additional option to cross-enrol in brick and mortar schools as well as courses online already exists.
- Elementary: up to 30 people
- Middle: up to 30 people
- Secondary: up to 60 people
- physical distancing of 2m for middle and secondary school students and for all staff, at all times.
- physical distancing of 2m for elementary school students and for all staff when working outside of their Learning Group.
- *Staff are required to wear masks during PHE/outdoor program classes when indoors;
- creation of space between students and staff;
- encouragement of outdoor activities and programs;
- do not involve prolonged physical contact (e.g. physical contact beyond a brief moment) or crowding (e.g. activities such as tag and touch football are low risk, whereas activities like wrestling or partner dancing should be avoided). Staff are encouraged to adapt activities when possible to reduce physical contact;
- outdoor activities or alternatives are encouraged when physical contact cannot be avoided or be replaced with low-intensity exercise activities;
- shared equipment is cleaned and disinfected after each use;
- *for low intensity activities (e.g. yoga, walking), students are required to wear masks when they are indoors and when a barrier is not present.
- *Masks can be temporarily removed while students in Grades 4 to 12 are engaging in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (e.g. playing a wind instrument) but must be worn while singing.
- when students are singing or using a band instrument, have them space out and, middle and secondary students wear a mask;
- in middle and secondary schools, for high-intensity exercise (that significantly increases respiration rates):
- if indoors and the activity is stationary, students and/or fitness equipment (e.g. stationary bikes, treadmills, weight training, etc.) should be spaced 2 meters apart;
- if the above conditions cannot be met then activities should take place outdoors; and,
- wearing masks during high-intensity exercises is a personal choice and is not mandatory.
- staff and students should pack in and pack out their personal items each day;
- middle and secondary schools may permit the use of lockers as long as they are able to meet the following conditions:
- lockers are assigned to individual students (no sharing);
- physical distancing of 2m between students outside of their Learning Group can be maintained;
- elementary Learning Groups are to scan each ‘coat/cloak room’ at the end of each day to ensure they are completely empty; and,
- staff should not leave personal items in the classroom or in the staff/storage rooms.
- for food contact surfaces, schools should ensure any sanitizers or disinfectants used are approved for use in food service applications and are appropriate for use against COVID-19;
- the usual FOODSAFE measures are implemented:
- when food is prepared as part of learning and is consumed by the student(s) who prepared it;
- the usual FOODSAFE measures are implemented when food is prepared and served as part of school food service by other than those who prepared it (including for sale):
- anyone preparing and serving the food wears a mask if they cannot physically distance from others;
- reminders that food and beverages are not to be shared; and,
- all other related healthy and safety guidelines in this document are followed.
- identify families who receive regular nutritional support;
- regularly assess which families have emerging needs for food support are provided a mechanism for requesting support;
- plan for continuity of food support for students on days they are not in session; and,
- establish a plan for safe distribution of food (collaborate with existing food programs and community volunteers).
- continue to provide school bus transportation according to Board Policy 701: Transportation of Students for eligible riders only - for clarity, there will not be ineligible / courtesy ridership provided at this time;
- encourage private (e.g. parents/guardians) vehicle use, car pools, and public-transit, where possible to decrease ridership density and the likelihood of virus transmission;
- provide heavy flexible plastic shields at the side and rear of the drivers’ seats to provide a barrier between the drivers and students, whenever possible;
- provide every bus with a box of non-medical disposal mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer;
- establish new bussing schedules (pick up and drop off times) due to rider volume and/or staggered start and end times of each school where appropriate;
- communicate bussing schedule to parents;
- assign seating in the following priority order:
- students from the same household will share a seat;
- students from the same Learning Group will share a seat;
- if required, students from outside their Learning Group will share a seat (middle and secondary students will be required to wear a mask); and,
- maintain current passenger lists to share with public health when necessary.
- clean their hands often, including before and after completing trips;
- clean and disinfect the high touch surface areas of the bus assigned to them at the start of their shift and between runs;
- open windows when the weather permits;
- wear a non-medical mask on school buses, *except when driving a bus. Exceptions will be made for bus drivers who cannot wear masks for medical and/or disability-related reasons; and,
- disinfect all internal surfaces of the bus after the final drop-off for the day.
- clean their hands before they leave home to take the bus when they leave school prior to taking the bus, and when they get home;
- if possible, sit one student per seat only, if not living together;
- non-medical masks or face coverings are required for *Grades 4 to 12 students. Kindergarten to Grade 3 students are encouraged to wear a non-medical mask or face covering on school buses but are not required to do so - mask wearing remains a personal or family/caregiver choice for these students, and their choices must be respected.
- no student is required to wear a non-medical mask if they have a medical condition;
- non-medical medical masks or face coverings should be put on before loading;
- remain seated at all times while on the bus and until given direction to stand and exit the bus;
- enter according to their seating from back to front and exit from front to back; and,
- follow all other directions given by the bus driver, including possible new guidelines for school bus entry and exit.
- OHS committees review the Site/School Safety Plan with all staff and ensure that all staff know how to follow the procedures;
- staff meetings include reminders of safe work procedures and personal measures, including signs and symptoms, hand washing, and cough/sneeze etiquette;
- newly hired staff and staff who change worksites;
- information available for how to report an exposure or symptoms of COVID-19;
- a shared plan for how to raise safety concerns to the site supervisor and Joint Health and Safety Committee;
- keep records of instruction and training provided to workers regarding COVID-19, as well as reports of exposure and first aid records; and,
- the Director of Operations will ensure that all custodians and bus drivers are trained in the district.
Stay Home When Sick
- staff and other adults entering the school are aware of their responsibility to assess themselves daily adult for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease prior to entering the school;
- there is clear communication with staff that if they have any symptoms, they must not enter the school;
- there is clear communication with parents and caregivers about their responsibility to assess their children daily by reviewing the When to Get Tested for COVID-19 document to help determine if they should stay home and seek COVID-19 testing or stay home and monitor symptoms;
- the verification process for the Daily Health Check for all employees and other visitors upon entering the building is implemented and completed;
- parents and students are made aware of their responsibility to complete a Daily Health Check; and,
- a procedure is implemented for students and staff who become sick while at school/work, including supervision is provided for younger children, and the requirement for appropriate PPE for staff.
- hand hygiene signage is posted;
- opportunities for staff and students to practice hand hygiene is facilitated;
- staff are trained and students are taught to wash hands:
- before leaving home and on arrival at school/work site;
- after using the washroom;
- after breaks and outdoor activities;
- before food preparation;
- before eating any food;
- after eating; and,
- before leaving the school/work site.
Principals, in consultation with the Director of Operations, must ensure that:
- signage directs people entering the building to a designated hand washing station;
- hand sanitizer stations, consisting of at least 60% alcohol, are set up at the school entrance (e.g. the placement of hand sanitizer dispensers);
- refillable hand sanitizer pump bottles are supplied for all classrooms without sinks; and,
- hand washing supplies are well maintained and inventory is monitored by the school custodian on a weekly basis.
- all staff are trained and all students are taught appropriate respiratory etiquette; and,
- cough and sneeze into an elbow, sleeve, or a tissue. Used tissues must be thrown away, and hands washed immediately
- appropriate signage is posted.
Maintain Physical Distancing
- classrooms will be set up to promote spacing between students where possible;
- staff are trained to follow the physical distance measures within their Learning Group and outside of their Learning Group;
- students are taught to follow the physical distance measures as described above when students are within their Learning Group cohorts and with from students outside their Learning Group cohorts during instructional time and outside of instructional time, including not gathering or crowding; and,
- seating arrangements when students directly face one another should be avoided where possible, particularly for middle and secondary schools and consistent seating arrangements are being utilized where practical.
- wear a mask, maintain physical distance in vehicles wherever possible, and consider separate vehicles; larger vehicles may be able to accommodate physical distancing by using a seat configuration that maximizes the distance between people.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Gloves are not required beyond that which is used by staff as part of the regular precaution for hazards normally encountered in their regularly assigned duties. For example, supporting a student with a designated medical care plan or experiencing a health emergency may require staff to be exposed to bodily fluids and therefore require the use of gloves.
Principals must support a number of viable distancing strategies, such as reconfiguring a space, securing an alternate space, or providing transportable transparent physical barriers when staff must interact closely with people outside of their Learning Group and physical distance cannot be consistently maintained. Principals are to ensure that staff have required protective equipment prior to school start up and then regularly check in with their staff regarding any additional reasonable needs or concerns regarding further protective equipment. Principals should contact their line director if they have questions regarding the provision of PPE to school staff.
- *they are 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;
- *while providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements is important; and,
- there is a barrier in place;
Staff, *adult visitors and Grade 4-12 students may not tolerate wearing masks (e.g. health or behavioural reasons) and will not be required to provide evidence from a health care provider.
- all staff and *Grade 4 to 12 students wear a mask *whenever they are indoors or on the school bus with exceptions as described above;
- all visitors must wear a mask when they are inside the school;
- everyone treats each other with respect regardless of whether or not they are wearing a mask;
- staff utilize positive and inclusive approaches to engage students in the use of masks;
- *no student should be prevented from attending or fully participating at school if they do not wear a mask.
- students and staff are reminded to have a non-medical mask or face covering available at school so it is accessible; and,
- non-medical masks are available in the front office.
More information about COVID-related mask use is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website.