Tuesday, September 7, 2021

This week, students in BC are headed back to school for a new school year. I know that many kids are excited to get back to classes, sports, extracurriculars, and seeing their friends. I also know that many parents have questions about how we are continuing to adapt to the changing COVID-19 pandemic.
The health and safety of students and staff remains our top priority. The school safety protocols are guided by the experts at the BC Centre for Disease Control and developed in collaboration with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and our K-12 steering committee.
Here are the key measures in place this school year

  • All students and staff must complete a health check every day and stay home if they are sick. You can use the K-12 Health Check website or app to quickly go through the checklist.
  • All staff, visitors, and all students in Grades 4-12, must wear a mask indoors and on the bus. Students in K-3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask if they can put it on and take it off themselves.
  • $87.5 million has been invested to improve ventilation systems in B.C. schools.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of rooms and surfaces will follow BC CDC guidance, with all frequently touched surfaces cleaned every 24 hours.
  • This year, sports, clubs and extracurriculars will continue, with safety plans in place, and in accordance with local, regional, and provincial public health orders.

These precautions are being put in place so that students can continue learning in the classroom and have every opportunity to achieve their goals. For more info on how we're keeping schools safe, visit this page.
We’ve also invested an additional $5 million this year for increased mental health supports for students. We know the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health. With this funding, each school district will be able to deliver the programs that work for their community and help kids thrive.  
The best thing we can all do to keep ourselves and those around us safe is to get vaccinated. If you know someone who is looking for info on where to get their shots send them this link. Many clinics are now offering walk in appointments every day, maybe you can even offer to help someone find a walk-in clinic that is close and convenient!