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Information for EA White Rock Families about June 1

Friday, May 22, 2020

Dear EA White Rock Families,

I hope that this email finds you well.  As we enter our last stretch of the school year, we also begin a new structure for instruction.  

On May 15th, it was announced that parents will be given the choice to send their children back to school on a part time basis beginning on June 1.  As a part of BC’s Education Restart Plan, K-12 students will be welcomed back into the classroom in a gradual and controlled manner while ensuring health and safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.  With this in mind, and with guidance from the Ministry of Education, the Provincial Health Office, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and WorkSafeBC, we will be offering optional partial in-class instruction at EA as of June 1.  We are looking forward to having the opportunity to work with some of our students in person again!  

In class instruction will be part time, and voluntary – it is up to the student’s family whether to attend solely online or to combine online learning with a partial return to the classroom.  Based on Ministry of Education guidelines on class density, in class instruction at EA will be as follows:

  • Students in Grades K-5 may attend up to 4 half days per week (Monday – Thursday 8:30-11:45)
  • Students in Grades 6-12 may attend 2 half days per week (Monday and Wednesday, 8:30-11:45 AM)

Here at EA White Rock, some families have opted to return for partial in-class instruction while continuing their at-home work on other days, while other students will continue solely with home-learning.  Due to staffing considerations and the need to complete year-end Arrowsmith Assessments, schedules will change for all students as of June 1:

  • Students attending partial in-school learning will have a new routine and schedule both at home and online
  • Students continuing with only at-home learning will have new schedules for when they need to work with their teacher(s)

The month of June also brings the end of the school year.  While this year’s celebrations will look different, we do not want to lose sight of the importance of celebrating the successes and resilience of our students this year. Our priority is to maintain safety and uphold the principles of physical distancing and best practices for gatherings.  While we will not be able to offer our usual variety of field trips, school BBQ, and closing ceremony in the same way we have in previous years, we will still find ways to honour our students for all they've done this year.  I don't know what our year end celebration will look like yet, but we will be planning something special for June 18th so keep that date (the last day of school) marked down.

Students also can look forward to the end of Cognitive homework. Our last day of homework was planned to be June 11th this year; however, I have decided that as of next Friday, May 29, homework is done for the year!!! This is in part to recognize that we won't have those usual events to look forward to like field trips and bbq, so taking a little extra time off at the end of each day to enjoy the outdoors and some free time is the least I can do for our amazing students this year. This will also coincide with the return to class for those who have opted to do so.

We are working hard to ensure that proper measures to implement the Provincial Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 are taken. To educate and prepare ourselves for this return, we're also following the guidelines issued by WorkSafeBC and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

This is how we intend to implement guidelines from the Province for schools (Provincial Covid-19 Health and Safety Guidelines K-12):

  • Environmental Measures (page 5-6) such as (but not exclusive to):
    • Cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the BCCDC's Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings Document (link in the above guidelines)
    • General cleaning of the premises daily
    • High touch or shared surfaces cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day (ie doorknobs, toilet handles, sink handles)
    • Cleaning and disinfecting any surface that is visibly dirty
    • Limiting items that are not easily cleaned
    • Emptying garbage containers daily
  • Administrative Measures such as (but not exclusive to):
    • Physical Distancing and Minimizing Physical Contact - (See page 6 of the guide for full description)
      • Avoiding close greetings
      • Assigning work spaces for students
      • Labeling supplies for students to use and store in their own cubbies / work spaces
      • Spreading people out into different areas
      • Managing flow of people in common areas including hallways
      • Minimizing the parents and care givers and other not staff adults from entering the building and ensuring proper hand hygiene for those that do enter
    • Additional Requirements outlined on page 7 including (but not exclusive to):
      • Creating procedures for how employees, students and staff enter the building, as well as outdoor activities and pick-up and drop-off
      • Creating protocols on bringing materials (ie. bags, school supplies) into the school
      • Creating protocols on the safe handling of food and beverage containers, labelling and restriction of students not to contact or share items.
  • Personal Measures including but not exclusive to (Page 7-8)
    • Stay home when sick. We require that:
      • All students and staff who have symptoms of COVID-19, OR travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days, OR were identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak must stay home and self-isolate, including children of essential service workers who are ill.
      • Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school.
      • Staff must assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to entering the school.
      • School Administrators must ensure school staff are aware of their responsibility to assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease prior to entering the school.
      • We will develop and communicate a local protocol that:
        • Clearly communicates with parents and caregivers their responsibility to assess their children daily before sending them to school.
        • Establishes appropriate conduct and process for school drop-off and pick-up.
        • Establish procedures for students and staff who become sick while at school to be sent home as soon as possible.
      • Staff and students who are ill, including children of essential service workers, should not be permitted to attend school (Note: Students and employees should stay home until deemed healthy to return).
      • Those unsure of if they, or a student, should self-isolate should be directed to use the BC COVID-19 SelfAssessment Tool. If concerned, they can be advised to contact 8-1-1, or the local public health unit to seek further input. They can also be advised to contact a family physician or nurse practitioner to be assessed for COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases
    • Hand Hygiene (pages 8-9)
      • We will instruct and implement the following:
        • Rigorous hand washing with plain soap and water is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness. Both students and staff can pick up and spread germs easily, from objects, surfaces, food and people. Everyone should practice diligent hand hygiene. Parents, caregivers and staff can teach and reinforce these practices amongst students.
        • How to practice diligent hand hygiene:
          • Wash hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Antibacterial soap is not needed for COVID-19.
          • If sinks are not available (e.g., students and staff are outdoors), use alcohol-based hand rub containing at least 60% alcohol.
          • If hands are visibly soiled, alcohol-based hand rub may not be effective at eliminating respiratory viruses. Soap and water are preferred when hands are visibly dirty.
          • We will instruct students and post posters from the BCCDC about hand washing.
      • Strategies we will take to ensure diligent hand hygiene:
        • Hand hygiene stations will be set up at the school entrance, so everyone can perform hand hygiene when they enter and throughout the day
        • We will regularly remind staff and students about the importance of diligent hand hygiene.
        • We will incorporate additional hand hygiene opportunities into the daily schedule. ​
  • Respiratory Etiquette and Personal Protective Equipment PPE (Page 9):
    • We will follow the guidelines that Students and staff should: ​
      • Cough and sneeze into their elbow, sleeve, or a tissue. Throw away used tissues and immediately perform hand hygiene.
      • Refrain from touching their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Refrain from sharing any food, drinks, unwashed utensils.
      • Cloth or homemade masks are not recommended, particularly for children. There is limited evidence outside of health care settings and only in uncontrolled situations where physical distancing between adults cannot be maintained for extended periods of time (greater than 15 minutes with a person who has probable or lab confirmed COVID-19). Wearing a mask is a personal choice. It is important to treat people wearing masks with respect. Parents, caregivers and staff can teach and reinforce these practices amongst students. ​

We have missed our community being together these past few months, but have thoroughly enjoyed, and been inspired by, the opportunity to work with your children through at-home learning. We're also very grateful to you amazing parents and caregivers for your communication, resilience, and support to keep learning and to ensure that our students’ cognitive programs continue progressing.

For those families who are returning to in class instruction as of June 1, I will be emailing you a schedule next week. For those who are continuing at home learning only, a new schedule will be coming out as well. I'll be in contact with everyone to schedule time for assessments either in person or online.

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you all again.

Sincerely,

Kelsey, on behalf of all of us at Eaton Arrowsmith

Kelsey Hanna, B.A., B.Ed
Principal
Eaton Arrowsmith
604-538-1710

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