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Some September 2020 Mount Pleasant Safety Practices

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Hello Families, Caregivers and Community,



We are back in school and I hope everyone is rested and healthy.  The staff at school and in the Vancouver School District have been working hard at preparing a place for your child that maximizes both their learning and social needs as well as their safety.

 


It is important that you know about what is happening with your child at school and how we are working to keep your child, your family and the adults in the school safe.  Here are some of the protocols we are following.  The language below (in italics) is from the Vancouver School Board and has been reviewed by Vancouver Coastal Health.


Learning Cohorts


With elementary students and staff, students can socialize with peers in different Learning Groups/Cohorts if they are outdoors and can minimize physical contact or if they are indoors and can maintain physical distance. If at break solely within their Learning Group/Cohort they are to minimize physical contact as always.

Elementary-aged students may be less able to consistently maintain physical distance.

Students’ Daily Health Assessment

  • Parents and guardians must assess/check their child’s health daily for symptoms of cold, flu, or COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school. This applies to elementary and secondary students.
  • If unwell or symptomatic, the student must stay home and self-isolate and, as always, the parent should call the school office to report the absence to the school.  On a one-time basis, parents/guardians will be asked to submit one checklist to the school confirming they understand: 1) how to conduct the Daily Health Assessment and 2)  that this health assessment/check must be conducted daily, 3) they must  keep their child(ren) home if their child(ren) are have symptoms or are ill and seek the advice or a healthcare professional.  

Washing Hands and Hand Sanitizer

  • Use of hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative to hand washing when access to a sink is not available.

Face Masks

  • The Board of Education passed a motion (August 19, 2020) encouraging the wearing of non-medical face masks by all students and staff at all times while in school. 
  • Public Health Guidance 
    • Wearing non-medical masks at all times in schools is not recommended by public health as there are multiple, more effective infection prevention and exposure control measures in place. The following measures provide multiple layers of protection that reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission:
      • Ensuring students and staff stay home when they are sick or required to self-isolate, including ensuring everyone entering the school performs a daily health check
      • Frequent hand hygiene
      • Enhanced cleaning and disinfection
      • Placing students and staff into consistent groupings of people (Learning Groups/Cohorts)
      • Adapting learning environments to maximize the use of space
      • Increasing ventilation.
      • Ensuring physical distance can be maintained between Learning Groups/Cohorts
      • When Wearing Masks are “Required” by the District and Ministry of Education Wearing a non-medical mask is a personal choice for students and adults with the exception on the following
      • Non-medical masks are required to be used in situations where staff and students cannot maintain physical distance from a person outside of their Learning Group/Cohort or household.
      • NOTE: No student is required to wear a non-medical mask if they do not tolerate it
  • Grades 6-12 Students
    • Students in Grade 6-12 are required to wear non-medical masks in high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas such as hallways, or anytime outside of their Learning Group/Cohort whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • K-5 Students Non-medical masks are not recommended for elementary school students (K-Grade 5) due to the increased likelihood they will touch their face and eyes, as well as require assistance to properly put on and take off their mask (requiring increased close personal contact from school staff).
  • Staff
    • Staff are required to wear a non-medical mask in high traffic areas such as buses and in common areas such as hallways, or anytime outside of their Learning Group/Cohort whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., itinerant teachers/specialists interacting with multiple learning groups).  Staff will need to wear a mask with students outside of their own Learning Group/Cohort when physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. UIP Team members working closely with students). See section on Learning Groups/Cohorts, Itinerant and On-Call Staff and Learning Groups/Cohorts.  Staff may also choose to wear a mask, a face covering or a face shield within their classroom or Learning Group/Cohort if that is their personal preference.


 

 

Table: Summary of General Mask Requirements  

The following is a summary of public health requirements for wearing a non-medical mask.

Context

K-5 students

6-7 students

Staff

Inside learning groups

Not required

Not required

Not required

Outside learning groups

 

 

 

  • Where physical distancing CAN be maintained

Not required

Not required

Not required

  • Where physical distancing CAN NOT be maintained
  • Playgrounds are a safe environment.  
    • BCCDC: There is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments.  
  • Use of playgrounds and playground structures (i.e. swings, slides, adventure playgrounds, etc) are permitted.
  • The following measures should be taken when using playgrounds:
    • Ensure appropriate hand hygiene practices before and after outdoor play.
    • Attempt to minimize direct physical contact between students in the same Learning Group/Cohort.
    • Note: Sand and water outdoors can be used for play if children wash their hands before and after play. COVID-19 does not survive well on surfaces, other than hard surfaces. There is no evidence showing that COVID-19 survives on sand or water.

Not required

Required

Required

Behind a faceshield

Not required

Not required

Optional

Specialist teachers, EAs, EOCs working in close proximity to students across learning groups

Not required

Not required

Must maintain physical distancing

 

Mask optional

 

 

Playgrounds

 

Playgrounds are a safe environment.  

    • BC Centre for Disease Control: There is no current evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments.  
  • Use of playgrounds and playground structures (i.e. swings, slides, adventure playgrounds, etc) are permitted.
  • The following measures should be taken when using playgrounds:
    • Ensure appropriate hand hygiene practices before and after outdoor play.
    • Attempt to minimize direct physical contact between students in the same Learning Group/Cohort.
    • Note: Sand and water outdoors can be used for play if children wash their hands before and after play. COVID-19 does not survive well on surfaces, other than hard surfaces. There is no evidence showing that COVID-19 survives on sand or water.


Please note that as science, the provincial health office, and our local authorities learn more about this virus and its transmission these protocols may change.


If you have any question please feel free to contact either your child's teacher or myself.


Take care,


Jonathan Weresch


 

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