Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District has released the following back to school statement for the community,
“The Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District is excited to be welcoming students and staff back to the 2021/22 school year on September 7th. We are all excited to welcome students into our schools after the summer break. The beginning of each school year brings such energy and excitement and we look forward to seeing that again throughout our district.
This year, like the last two, will see us having to deal with the realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and like years past, we will be working hard to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our schools and workplaces.
We know that the best way to ensure everyone’s health and safety, and to protect ourselves and those we care about, is to get vaccinated. Although vaccine rates are high in many areas in our district, more can always be done, and the Board encourages anyone who is 12-years-old or older to get vaccinated.
In addition to vaccinations, the provincial government has issued new school health and safety guidelines that mandate the wearing of masks for all grade 4 through grade 12 students and all staff while indoors. The guidelines also encourage the wearing of masks in Kindergarten to grade3. Like last year, we want to encourage a culture of mask wearing amongst even our youngest students and we hope that families can help in that endeavor. In addition to masking, the Board will continue with enhanced cleaning measures throughout the district. When we combine vaccinations, masking, and enhanced cleaning with the investments the Board has made in upgraded ventilation, we are confident our schools will remain safe places to be.
As always, we look to our families and the larger community for support in ensuing our schools stay safe. A very important way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within our schools is to ensure that the Daily Health Check is done, and that students, staff, or visitors do not come to school if they are showing any signs of illness.
While this year may look similar to the past two, we are excited to bring back activities that spark joy in our students and staff. Extracurriculars, Inter-school sports, and regular music classes are all things we are looking forward to seeing as the year gets underway.
With these interwoven layers of protection, the Board is optimistic that this school year will offer the right balance of health and safety measures and increased activities that will make this year memorable.”