With the beginning of every new school year, there will always be a mix of excitement and anxiety. This year even more so. However, new COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place help address some of the extra anxiety brought on by the pandemic.
Today, students from across the District began their school year by attending health and safety orientation sessions to learn about steps and procedures before they begin learning full time at their schools. In Maria King’s Grade 4/5 class at Queen Mary Elementary, eight students attended a health and safety orientation session.
During the session with a presentation, King asks her students to write down their questions and concerns they may have that they would like addressed. That presentation covered a variety of useful topics, and as King spoke with excitement and confidence, her students were all ears.
She explained what the coronavirus is, how it spreads and how to prevent the spread in schools. King also provided a list of ways that her students can prevent the spread of the virus. One preventive step that remained top of mind was proper hand hygiene.
After the presentation, King walked her students to handwashing stations and demonstrated how to properly handwash. “You can sing the song ‘Happy Birthday’ twice as you wash your hands really well with soap and water,” King says to her class.
At the end of the session, students enjoyed their recess time outside in their learning group.
“At the beginning I felt very nervous,” says Grady, a grade 5 student in King’s class. “But after I got into class, I felt a lot better.”
King shares that the new procedures put in place are outlined very clearly to ensure a successful return to school. “This information just sets everyone up for success, puts them at ease and makes them feel comfortable and safe so we can proceed with learning,” says King.
After today’ health and safety orientation, King says she feels more prepared with her students.
Health and safety orientation sessions at schools will continue to run Friday, September 11 in preparation for a safe return on Monday.
Watch our video for more details about health and safety measures in place at Vancouver schools: Health and safety in schools