Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday September 03, 2021
Stars and Moon
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September 3, 2021 

Dear Parents:

We are approaching the 2021-2022 school year with great optimism and hope. We anticipate that our students will be able to participate in what promises to be a more typical school year with regular and option programming and a gradual return to extracurricular activities, and events such as field trips and assemblies. 

COVID-19 Protocols 

On September 1st, we received three recommendations from Interior Health: 

  • Indoor assemblies are limited to 50 people or two classes in a single space.
  • Visitors entering the school should be limited to those supporting activities that are of benefit to student learning and wellbeing (e.g. meal program volunteers).
  • Extracurricular school sports should follow the Interior Health Order for Gatherings & Events, where sports and tournaments are allowed. Spectators should be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Our guidelines parallel these recommendations except that we have chosen not to have public spectators at events at this time. We are intentionally taking a cautious approach to such activities to assist everyone to adjust to school start-up. While we know that returning to “near normal” school opportunities contributes to a positive school culture and climate, we also know that to maintain access to these events, it is important that all community members recognize that there is a shared responsibility to keep one another safe and healthy. 

In my last update, I indicated that we were meeting with school and district leaders on August 30th and then working together to compose our SD73 Communicable Disease Prevention Plan As required by all school jurisdictions in BC, we have participated in multiple provincial collaboration opportunities to articulate a common direction with our district’s communicable disease prevention plans using the following resources:  Provincial Communicable Disease Guidelines for K to 12 Settings, BCCDC COVID-19 Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K to 12 School Settings and B.C.’s K to 12 Education Recovery Plan. We have also had the benefit of working collaboratively with Interior Health to ask questions and to refine our plan. Additionally, Interior Health will continue notifying individuals who test positive or who are close contacts of a positive case.  

We pride ourselves on responding to your feedback as we live our plan, so we have developed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) at sd73.bc.ca. Each school is developing a site-specific Communicable Disease Prevention Plan related to their contexts which will be posted to school websites. Principals will be sharing school plans via email with their school community prior to September 7th. In addition, schools will be providing parents and guardians an updated student Daily Health Check that parents are asked to complete with their child every morning. 

Until students return on September 7th, please take good care and know that you are important, missed, and much needed as a partner in a safe return to school.

 

Rhonda Nixon, PhD

Superintendent



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