New health guidelines

To address rising COVID-19 case counts, protect people and communities, and help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, the provincial health officer amended the provincial public health orders effective midnight March 30, 2021.

One of these changes directly affects public school. The Public Health guidance for schools has been amended to require students in Grade 4 to Grade 12 to wear masks while indoors at school, this includes when they are with their learning group. Also, students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask indoors in schools and on school buses – both within and outside of their learning group – though mask wearing ultimately remains a personal or family/caregiver choice for these students, and their choices must be respected.

 “Rising case levels, variants of concern, increased transmission and an increase in more severe cases are huge concerns,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health when announcing the changes. “B.C. public health officials are making the tough choices now to break the chain and protect our communities.”

The Ministry of Education shared these new guidelines last night (March 30th ):

http://www.bccdc.ca/search?k=addendum_public_health_guidance_k-12.pdf

SD83 Superintendent of Schools CEO Peter Jory reports that in response to these changes, SD83 is redistributing its existing inventory and has rush-ordered 6,000 of the smaller re-useable masks for our younger students. He added that as soon as schools are adequately resourced the new safety protocols will be put into place. “Some students may have masks that they are able to bring from home and may be wearing them already. But, some students may not. Principals and teachers will be implementing the changes as soon as there are enough masks for all of their students.”

Exceptions include:

  • A person who is unable to wear a mask because they do not tolerate it (for health or behavioural reasons);
  • A person 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. actively playing a wind instrument, high-intensity physical activity, etc.);
  • If a person is eating or drinking;
  • If a person is behind a barrier;
  • While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability (including but not limited to a hearing impairment), where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important.

If you have any questions about the new safety protocols please contact your school principal.

Student Learning Survey

The Provincial Student Learning Survey is unique in its scope, size and usefulness to schools. It gathers information from parents/guardians/caregivers, teachers and students on topics related to school environment, safety, and achievement. The information is used for planning in individual schools and provides a district and provincial perspective.

The Student Learning Survey will be administered this spring to students in grade 4 at AES, their parents/guardians/caregivers, and all school staff. We encourage parents/guardians/caregivers to participate in this survey, as the results are important in identifying and celebrating current strengths, as well as determining where the school needs to focus improvement. The surveys contain standard questions for the Province – in addition, questions from the school and/or district that focus on local conditions or issues may be included.

The survey can be completed electronically and can be accessed on the Internet at http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/sat_survey. Any computer with an Internet connection can be used, and access to the e-survey is simple and secure.  Use the DIRECT ACCESS section under ‘Parents’ to get started. Provincial, District and School Reports for previous years can be viewed at the same site under the Results section.

The e-survey site will be open until April 30th.

Armstrong Elementary Covid 19 Potential Exposure

February 7, 2021

RE: School Community Member Tested Positive for COVID-19

School Exposure: February, 1, 2, 4, and 5, 2021

Dear Staff and Families,

A member of the Armstrong school community has tested positive for COVID-19. They are self-isolating at home with support from local public health teams.

We are supporting Interior Health Authority as they undertake contact tracing to determine if any other members of our school community were in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19, and if any additional steps are required. We are following the protocol established for these circumstances:

  • The health authority is performing contact tracing;
  • The health authority will determine if anyone in the school community was in contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 while they were potentially infectious;
  • The health authority will determine if anyone in the school community is a close contact that is required to self-isolate

Only the health authority can determine who is a close contact.

If you are contacted by Interior Health Authority, please follow their advice.  I have personally phoned, left a phone message, and emailed anyone who must self isolate.

If you are not contacted by Interior Health Authority, or myself as directed by Interior Health,  it has been determined that you or your child is not at risk of developing COVID-19.

To ensure personal privacy rights are maintained, we will not be providing additional details.

The safety and well-being of our students, families and staff remains our highest priority. Please be reassured that our school will continue to implement the strict protocols and procedures we have in place so that children and staff can continue to attend school as safely as possible.

Students should continue to come to school while contact tracing is underway. As a reminder, please continue daily health checks to monitor your child or yourself (staff) for illness.

We will continue to work closely with Interior Health Authority to provide ongoing communication as required.

If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call 811.

Sincerely,

Corrinne Langston (Principal)

*This chart above is located in the “COVID-19 Protocols for School and District Administrators” document https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caring-orderly/covid-19-protocols-for-administrators.pdf