On March 10, the Province of BC announced several changes to existing public health orders (PHO) that affect the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings. These changes come into effect the first day of Spring Break – March 14, 2022. Masks and other health and safety protocols remain in effect within all schools and buildings in SD8 and on buses until then.
Here are the key changes to the provincial guidelines:
- Masks will no longer be mandated for use within the classroom and workplace as of March 14, 2022 – the first day of Spring Break.
- Schools can return to classroom and learning environment configurations and activities for optimal learning and teaching.
- Intra-school events (events with just students, staff and necessary volunteers) do not have a capacity limit.
- Inter-school events or those with visitors (e.g., parent spectators) should not exceed 50 per cent capacity, but can return to 100 per cent capacity when the PHO Gatherings & Events Order is lifted (expected end of day April 7, 2022).
- Schools can return to routine sign in/sign out practices and can return to routine pick up/drop off practices.
- Schools should make every effort to avoid venue/locations that place additional requirements that could prevent a person from being able to participate
Of course, COVID-19 has not disappeared. SD8 will still consider strategies to create space between people, and I ask that families continue to follow public health recommendations and practices for self-testing and self-isolation periods when ill. Our district and all staff will also continue to support and respect anyone’s decision to wear a mask or face covering.
Information about our response to COVID-19 can be found on our COVID-19 page, including information about rapid tests. Further updates to meet the guidelines will be completed over spring break and also posted on the district website.
We are all one school community, and everyone succeeds when we each do what is in our power to contribute to the success and well-being of our students.
Thank you for showing kindness and consideration to one another. I hope you have enjoy a wonderful spring break with your loved ones.
Trish Smillie, Superintendent of Schools