Over the winter break, jurisdictions around the world have seen a sudden change in the COVID-19 pandemic with the discovery and prevalence of the Omicron variant. This discovery, and the rapid spread of this variant, is again an impetus for the educational system in BC to respond.
On December 29th, the Ministry of Education and Dr. Bonnie Henry announced a staggered start to school after the winter break. This staggered start means that schools will be open and staffed on Tuesday, January 4th to welcome the children of essential health care workers and any student who requires additional supports. On Monday, January 10th all learners are expected to be in attendance.
This additional four-day week will give schools the opportunity to implement the new enhanced Health and Safety Guidelines as well as time to coordinate the continuity of learning plans for in-class instruction. In addition, it will allow staff time to create optimal learning opportunities in alignment with the new Health and Safety Guidelines.
Over the last year we have invested in upgrades to our ventilation at our schools, we have created a culture of mask wearing, and we have increased the availability of washing stations and hand sanitizers. These measures will continue in the coming months, but none are as crucial as ensuring your child(ren) performs the Daily Health Check .
The above measures work well to protect others if COVID is in a school, but the best way to protect yourself is to ensure that you receive your COVID-19 vaccination. With vaccination now open for 5-11 year-olds, we encourage you to register your child for their vaccine. For those of you who have already taken this important next step, thank you for supporting this highly successful intervention.
To support face-to-face learning of students of essential health care workers and those that require additional supports, we will not be able to provide additional classes or online learning options to the students who will be back in class on January 10th.
If you are wondering if you are an essential health care worker, or have questions about your school’s specific supports, please reach out to your school principal. For those students who will be off for next week, we look forward to seeing you on the 10th.
Lastly, but importantly, busing will be available for students starting on Tuesday, January 4th. If you have any questions, please contact Transportation, they will be sure to assist you with any questions.
Huy tseep q’u (thank you all) for your patience and understanding as we collectively work though this sudden change in our year.
– Robyn Gray, Superintendent