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Site Procedures: Communicable Disease Plan

​Updated Health and Safety Measure at Watson Road School based on SD23 COVID 19 Updates Linked:  HERE

Thanks to the dramatic increase of the new more transmissible Omicron variant, we learned during our holidays that we were delaying the start of school by one week.  What we understand is that this variant is different because it has a shorter incubation period and is highly transmissible.  As the virus is changing, so we are all asked to pivot once more in our structures and routines.  This is why this week has been important for us as a staff to revisit and enhance some of our measures.  And while COVID-19 has been anything but predictable, we know that the lessons we have learned and measures we have put in place have held us in good stead. We remain committed to continuing to work through these latest difficulties together. We know that these measures outlined in this memo will not be unfamiliar to you, as they are protocols used in the past; as well, we will no doubt continue to receive updates for the Interior Health Region and adjust our protocols accordingly.

In each classroom on Monday, January 10th, our dedicated, caring classroom teachers will share, review, and help their students understand the importance of these safety measures outlined below. 

I recognize that, once again, this may mean inconvenience and sacrifice for your family. Thank you in advance for your understanding and continued support, and for reading through the information provided below and reviewing them with your child.  The following information will help all families understand what to expect in the coming weeks and what new protocols and procedures we have put into place. 

  1. Daily Health Checks: The Daily Health Check tool will be the most effective process parents use to assess their child’s health prior to sending them to school each day.  The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has recently updated the list of symptoms we are to consider when deciding whether our children are well enough to safely attend school.  The updated 'Daily Health Check' can be found here: Daily Health Check – APP or a hard copy can be printed:  HARD COPY.  All students and staff must complete a daily health check, self-monitor, and stay home if feeling unwell.
  1. Physical Distancing:  Although public health does not require learning cohorts, physical distancing is an important strategy we have revisited with changing classroom set ups, hallways practices, and table groupings.  We will continue to (where possible) encourage students to be as distant as possible by supporting students and staff to respecting personal space, reducing the number of students at tables and carpet area, having staggered dismissal times, and tightening up our flow of traffic in the hallways and common areas during recess and lunch transitions.
  1. Hand Hygiene:  Hand hygiene continues to be a key prevention measure.  Cleaning or sanitizing of hands will be performed at the following times:
  • When students arrive at school
  • Before and after any breaks (lunch, recess)
  • Before and after eating and drinking (excluding drinks kept at students’ desks)
  • Moving between learning spaces used by multiple classrooms (library, gym, MPR)
  • After using the washroom
  • After sneezing/coughing into hands
  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty
  1. Masks:  All K-12 staff, students, and visitors will be required to wear masks in all indoor areas including sitting at their desks, walking in the hallways, entering the building.  A proper fit is a key factor in mask effectiveness. Masks worn should fit well.  Masks are most effective when everyone who is able to, is wearing one; and those with mask exemptions must continue to follow any strategies identified to reinforce and enhance other safety measures. Mask requirements in K-12 schools are similar to requirements in other indoor public spaces (e.g., shopping malls, grocery stores, recreation centres, post-secondary institutions, public transit, etc.).

Other items to note:

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools: General cleaning of schools will continue in the same fashion, cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces will be conducted at least once in every 24-hour period and when visibly dirty.  An electrostatic sprayer will also be used as an extra layer of cleaning.
  • Items at School: Students will have access to personal materials that are used on an on-going basis such as pens, paper, manipulatives and play equipment, including gym equipment.  Water fountains will be available for drinking and refilling water bottles. Ideally, each student will have a labelled water bottle with a spout that can be refilled throughout the day.
  • Food Services:  As previous, home-made food cannot be brought from home to share with others (cupcakes, birthday treats, etc).  Please understand that due to the need for outside volunteers, our “Hot lunch program” will be on pause until the end of January, at which time we will revisit the situation.
  • Arrival and Dismissal:  All classes will line up at their same location as prior to the break.   Students will be dismissed at the end of the day at their same line up location.  The difference will be those classes on the first floor will be dismissed at 2:25 pm to support less congestion in the hallways, and less parents congregating on the school site at the same time.  The following classes will be dismissed at 2:25 pm (Fane, Fiorentino, Ramdyal, K. Schafer, C. Schafer, Ross,  Webb, Cramer, Johnson, Backmeyer and Dorf).
  • Visitors:  Will be limited within the school and will be by invitation or appointment only.  The front doors will remain closed and we ask visitors to call the office for assistance.  All who enter our school must wear a mask and will be required to follow all safety protocols while in the building.  Volunteers will still be able to assist with off-site field trips.
  • School Gatherings and Events: Until further notice assemblies will be held virtually through zoom.  Further, we are going to put our ‘student lunch monitor’ program on hold for the month of January.
  • Music and Physical Education programs:  Students can participate in music and physical education programs, with the continued additional safety measures in place.  Shared equipment will be cleaned and disinfected, and students are encouraged to hand hygiene before and after use. Students will be asked not to share equipment that touches the mouth, like an instrument mouthpiece or mouth guard, unless cleaned and disinfected in between uses.

We value our partnership with families and look forward to continuing to develop our learners academic, social emotional, and physical well being. We believe and know that school continues to be instrumental for each of our learners.  We will continue to reteach and practice these protocols to protect the health and safety of our learning community and to do all we can to keep our school safe and open for learning.  We care deeply for your children! If you have any questions at all, please contact me at 250-870-5137 or wat@sd23.bc.ca As we enter into 2022, let’s do so with hope for the future and kindness for each other. Our children are counting on us to continue to be a team!

Stay healthy and safe! 


Jan
31
Kindergarten registration opens
All Day
Feb
18
Teacher Professional Day
All Day
Feb
21
Family Day
All Day

Bell Schedule

  • First Bell 8:25 am
  • Morning Classes 8:30 to 11:15 am
  • Lunch 11:15 to 12:10 pm
  • Afternoon Classes 12:10 - 2:30
  • Recess 1:05 - 1:20 Primary and 1:20 - 1:35 Intermediate
  • Dismissal 2:30 pm

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