COVID-19 School Sector Update – April 14, 2021

Please forward this update to staff and families. It is also available at: bccdc.ca/schools/news-resources

April 14, 2021

Welcome

Dear school partners,

COVID-19 vaccines protect you and your community from COVID-19. As more people are immunized against COVID-19, it is harder for the virus to spread.

Every day more people across BC get vaccinated. However, the recent rise in cases means it’s more important than ever to follow school health and safety plans.

It’s also important to follow province-wide restrictions. This means:

· Do not host or attend indoor social gatherings.

· Only attend outdoor social gatherings with up to 10 people from outside your household. These should be the same ten people, not different people each time.

· Only travel outside of your community for essential reasons like work or health appointments.

The best way to prevent COVID-19 exposures in schools is to keep the number of cases in our communities low. Find out more about province-wide restrictions from the BC Government. Find preventive actions you can take from the BCCDC.

On behalf of our team at BCCDC, and regional public health teams across the province, thank you for your continued partnership.

Sincerely,

Dr. Geoff McKee, MD, MPH, FRCPC
Medical Director, Population and Public Health
BC Centre for Disease Control


Updates

BC Centre for Disease Control

Fill in the second province-wide COVID-19 survey

Public health experts are again asking British Columbians over 18 to share their experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. This will help public health professionals better respond to the challenges facing British Columbians. The survey includes questions on the experiences of families with school-aged children and is available in 10 languages.

Find out more at bccdc.ca/covid19survey.

Province of British Columbia

COVID-19 immunizations: Vaccine registration

COVID-19 vaccine appointments can now be booked online. Check in regularly to know when it’s your turn: gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated

To keep the system running, please wait until your age cohort is called to register. Check the gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated page often to find out when it is your turn. The following groups can register to book their vaccine anytime:

· Indigenous peoples 18 and older, and

· Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

When it is your turn, register gov.bc.ca/getvaccinated. Vaccine appointments can also be booked by telephone (1-833-838-2323) or in-person at the nearest Service BC location.

BC COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Front-Line Priority Workers

BC is temporarily pausing the use of the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine for people under age 55. This is based on guidance from Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

Front-line workers who were to receive the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine remain a priority. The program is expected to resume as more vaccines become available.

Find frequently updated information on BC’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan at gov.bc.ca/covidvaccine.

Learning about COVID-19 & Schools

Impact of vaccinations on school safety

By fall 2021, most adults in BC, including school staff, should have received their first vaccination. Many will have received their second vaccination as well.

As more people get vaccinated, we expect fewer cases of COVID-19 in communities. This means fewer exposures in schools.

People who are vaccinated are much less likely to experience severe illness and death from COVID-19. Even with most adults being vaccinated, some health and safety measures will be in place in schools and the community until there is significantly less community spread of COVID-19.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines at bccdc.ca/covid19vaccine


COVID-19 vaccines and children

Vaccines are tested in adults before being tested in children. The vaccines available in BC at this time have been tested in adults and approved for use in adults.

The vaccines are not yet recommended for most children. Clinical trials with children under the age of 18 are underway to learn more. This will help us learn more about how the vaccines might work in children.

A summary of information about COVID-19 vaccinations is available at bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-vaccine/covid-19-vaccination-at-a-glance.

Celebrating Safely

Graduation is an important event for students, staff and families. It is a time of excitement and change, and marks a significant accomplishment.

Graduation celebrations will still need to look different this year.

· Events like convocation and the granting of diplomas can happen in line with school health and safety plans.

o Consider live streaming events, so parents, caregivers, families, and friends can participate.

· Events like dinners and dances can only occur in line with the Provincial Health Officer’s Order on Gatherings and Events.

o People can have small gatherings of up to 10 people in parks, public areas or yards.

The Order on Gatherings and Events is updated as needed, based on the level of COVID-19 community spread. The types of events allowed may be different than what is listed here. Find out what is currently allowed, and how safer celebrations and ceremonies can be held at bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/social-interactions/safer-celebrations-and-ceremonies.

Public Health Profile

Public health includes a diverse group of professions that have unique training, skills and experiences. They include doctors, nurses, epidemiologists and health promotion specialists. Across the province, public health professionals work together to support schools impacted by COVID-19.

Fraser Health

Schools Hub

Fraser Health’s Public Health team has a dedicated schools hub. They coordinate COVID-19 support to schools from Burnaby to Boston Bar.

The team is composed of a group of health professionals. This includes medical health officers, public health nurses, contact tracers, environmental health officers, and healthy schools public health nurse leads.

The Fraser Health schools hub team works seven days a week and provides many supports to schools, such as:

· School-specific contact tracing,

· Providing notifications such as letters and phone calls, and

· Assisting schools with their COVID-19 safety plans.

They also support our regional Rapid Response Team. The team supports schools and school districts when there are significant COVID-19 exposures.

Translations

Read in American Sign Language

Lire en français (read in French)

阅读简体中文版 (read in Simplified Chinese)

pMjwbI ivc pV (read in Punjabi)

April School Sector Update_English.pdf

Exciting Announcements

Dear Families and Friends of PCS,

It’s spring and the careful planning for the last third of the year is underway. As you know, it has been a school year like no other. Despite the challenges Covid-19 has presented us, we are having a successful school year. Our Early Learning Program for preschoolers is going well. We have also gained a few students throughout the school year. And we love the growth and development we see in our students in learning both knowledge and skills as the year goes along.

I’d like you to know about these exciting updates:

1. We have received a 5 to 1 matching grant for our general operating expenses. Our goal is to raise $25,000 by June 30, 2021 in order to maximize the grant. This will give us a needed $150,000 for our operations. My family and four other board members are each committing $1,000 or more to start off the fund. Would you join us? We are encouraging each family to make a contribution. If funds are tight, this may be a smaller donation amount. If you have more flexibility, you may be able to match (or exceed!) the commitment of board members. Together we can make a big difference to the program for our children. For example:

· $10 turns into $60

· $50 turns into $300

· $200 turns into $1200

· $1,000 turns into $6,000

No amount is too small and no amount is too large! 😀 All general donations given in the next few months will be applied to this project. All donations are tax deductible.

2. Our new water system is officially complete, working well, and approved by Northern Health. We are thankful to our volunteers and donors who made this possible within our budget restraints.

3. We are now accepting e-transfers! Our bank has changed their system to allow us to maintain financial security and accept e-transfers. Payments can be sent to our main email account. Specific details are in the attached file. This may help you give a donation for our matching grant 😉

Our plans for next year are continuing. We have new students registering for our Early Learning Program and Kindergarten (a note about all others is coming soon). If you know of someone who may be interested, please let them know that registration is happening now.

Thank you for the great support you’ve shown to PCS this year and to each student who chooses us for their education!

Regards,

Kristin Atherton

E-Transfer Instructions.pdf

Covid Update: Masks

To our students and families:

This evening, the Ministry of Education provided updated guidelines for K-12 schools that are effective immediately.

"All staff and students in Grades 4 to 12 are required to wear a mask . . . indoors in schools and on school buses – both within and outside of their learning group. Students in Grades K to 3 are encouraged to wear a mask indoors in schools and on school buses, but are not required to do so – mask wearing remains a personal or family/caregiver choice for these students, and their choices must be respected."

There are a few exceptions (like while eating/drinking and during high intensity physical activities). If you have concerns about your child wearing a mask during school, please call our office.

This added safety measure is to do everything possible to keep schools open for the benefit of our students, parents, and staff. We will do our best to help provide masks where needed, but please join us in ensuring your child has a clean mask available to them each day.

Please continue to do a daily health check with your children before they come to school and encourage them to participate in the other guidelines we will continue to follow, such as frequent hand cleaning, staying within learning groups, physical distancing, and additional cleaning.

In times of uncertainty, when I feel more anxious, I have a Bible verse that helps and thought I’d share it with you now:
"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:7

Together we will get through the other side of this.

Thank you for your participation in doing what we can to stay safe and give your children a quality education.

Mrs. Atherton

Report Cards & Spring Break

It’s almost here! Whether the weather is hopeful spring, false spring, or real spring, a break in school for spring is upon us. Next week and the following week there will not be school (March 15 – 26). We will be back in classes March 29, with a four day week before Easter weekend.

Report cards will be going home this week. We are proud of our students and all they have accomplished so far this year. Please sign the brown envelope and return it back to the school to be used for the final report card in June (and so we know you received it).

We wish you a relaxing spring break. We ask for your continued caution with Covid-19 restrictions to keep all of our school family safe. April holds promise for more fun learning and some swim parties!

Mrs. Atherton

"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7

Covid Policy Update

Hello Parents,

In keeping in line with revised government regulations, we have updated our Covid-19 Health & Safety Policy & Procedures. They are on our website, along with a summary of items.

The key update students and families will notice is the wearing of masks, as implemented earlier this month. This is an addition to the many procedures we have in place to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19, including increased cleaning/disinfecting, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and masks for staff.

Here are a few key items for our families to remember:

– Please do a daily health check of symptoms for your children. A helpful tool for symptoms is https://www.k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca/

– Students should clean their hands before they leave home to take the bus, when they leave school prior to taking the bus, and when they get home.

– Personal items coming to school should be limited to those necessary (e.g. backpacks, clothing, school supplies, water bottles, reusable food containers). Items brought regularly to and from school should be limited to those that can be easily cleaned (e.g. reusable food containers) and/or are considered to be low risk (e.g. clothing, paper, etc.).

– Homemade food items are not to be made available to other students at this time (e.g. birthday treats, bake sale items). Please note that different guidelines apply to food that is prepared in schools (e.g. as part of a culinary program) or for school food services.

– Gr 5 – 12 students will continue to wear masks while riding the bus, and Gr 7 – 12 students will wear a mask except when:

o sitting in (or standing at) their desk/table

o eating and drinking; or

o outdoors

Thank you to our students who are doing their best to follow all the guidelines. If anyone needs a mask or has any questions, please let us know. This is a challenging time and we will get through this to the other side.

Mrs. Atherton

Great Happenings This Week

Monday – Ski day! Bring a helmet or other gear not being rented so everyone has a safe & fun time 🙂

Tuesday – Bring your student snapshot forms back for a chance to win one of three $10 Subway gift cards.

Wednesday – Pink Shirt Day! Wear pink to show you agree to not participate in bullying and want to lift others up around you.
Thursday – We’re happy to see your faces at school 🙂 Thursday needs to be special too, right?
Friday – POW at 7 pm on Facebook to complete our special week of assemblies with Pastor D focusing on "Friendship Request"

Ski Day Details

Hello! Monday is ski day and we are excited to be able to take students to both Bear Mountain and Powder King. We have snow and the weather isn’t too cold so we’re planning for a great day 🙂 For those not able to participate this time, there will be no classes. For those participating, please note the following items:

– Both groups will be leaving from PCS as soon as possible after the bus arrives (about 8:45 am).
– The concession will be open on both hills.

– Bring a sack lunch, snacks, and/or money for concession.
– Please leave valuables at home.
– Please dress warmly in layers so clothing can be adjusted for both colder and warmer weather.

Planned pickup times are:

From Bear Mountain – between 4 & 4:15 pm at our regular bus spot in front of the high school. If there is a significant variation to this, a note will be posted on our Facebook page, which can also be seen at the bottom of our website (www.peacechristianschool.ca).

From Powder King – about 6 pm at IGA parking lot

A few parents are participating with your children. If this is you, we ask that you please abide by the following Covid-19 related items:
– If you are exhibiting symptoms of being sick or have been in contact with someone who has been sick or in self-isolation, please do not come
– Spend as much time as possible outdoors
– Wear a mask at all times while in the lodge, except when seated and eating/drinking
– Practice and ensure physical distancing of a minimum 2m (6ft) from everyone except your family
– Bring hand sanitizer
– Wash or sanitize your hands often & avoid touching your face

Attached are copies of the assumption of risk for your reference.

Thank you for helping us make this a fun learning experience for our students!

Have a great weekend,
Kristin

Bear Mtn..pdf

Powder King.pdf

Parent Interviews

Hello Parents,

Typically we would be having student-led parent teacher interviews today and tomorrow. We are trying something different this year.

Yesterday or today your student(s) should be bringing home information about how they are doing in their classwork. We ask that you discuss this with them and have a conversation about their growth as a student.

Please also sign the paper provided and have them return it to the school. All students who return the paper by Tuesday, February 23 will be entered in a draw to win a Subway gift card.

If you would like to have a phone call or meeting with a teacher in person, we are happy to arrange that, so please call/email the school or call/text a specific teacher and we will set up a time.

Thank you for participating in this part of your student’s learning 🙂

Mrs. Atherton

Cold, Covid-19, Ski Day & More

Hello Families,

Cold Day: I hope you’re staying warm today. It’s a weekend for indoor books, games, and food. If it’s not warmer tomorrow, there will not be school, for the safety of all. Please watch our Facebook page (also available at the bottom of our webpage) for a post tomorrow morning.

Covid-19: Last week, the Ministry of Education announced enhanced safety measures for K-12 schools to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We are reviewing our safety plan and making any changes needed to comply with the new requirements. Our updated safety plan will be posted on our website within the next couple of weeks.

Gr 7 – 12 students (along with all staff), will now be required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas. The only exceptions are when:

– they are seated or standing at their desks/workstation in a classroom

– when there is a barrier in place

– if they are eating or drinking

Masks for K – Gr 6 students remain optional at school based on family preference, though we do request that Gr 5/6 continue to wear them while riding our school bus.

Information about masks and the different types can be read here: Masks (bccdc.ca). Please take time this week to ensure the students in your family have enough comfortable masks so they can have a clean one each day. We do have some cloth ones at school if a student/family would prefer that option. We will be transitioning into this change this week and requesting full compliance by February 16, 2021.

Although this is a difficult change for some, we appreciate being in school in person and not asked to learn online or part-time in person. Thank you for doing your part to help keep us in school. With it being so cold, shorter days (though getting longer!), potential fears of the pandemic, and other life circumstances, mental health challenges are very real. Please reach out to someone at school if you or your child is struggling and we will help get through this together.

Illness Tool: We appreciate the precaution we have seen from you about staying home when illness is a potential concern. If you’re unsure whether your child should attend school or when to call 8-1-1, here is a new tool to help: K-12 Health Check (gov.bc.ca).

Downhill Ski Day: Our ski day on February 22 for K-Gr 6 to Bear Mountain is a go! Slips with pricing and request for payment will be sent home our next day of school, if you don’t have it already. We are also planning a ski trip to Powder King for Gr 7-12. We are hoping for Feb 22, but still waiting on confirmation from Powder King. The cost for lift ticket, full rental and transportation will be $75/student.

Student Led Interviews: Due to the constraints of meeting in person and challenges of Zoom, we are planning to send information home for parents and students to discuss together on the 17th and 18th. All forms returned will be entered in for a prize draw.

Please enjoy some sunshine through a window today!

Mrs. Atherton

Lockdown Drill

Dear Families,

The safety of your child(ren), as well as the safety of the school staff is very important to us. One way we maintain a safe environment for our children to study and learn is to practice our emergency response plans.

This coming Monday morning, January 11, 2021, we will be practicing a lockdown drill, with the assistance of the Chetwynd RCMP. This type of drill will secure the school building and safely shelter all students and staff inside the building, protecting against any danger outside or inside the building. During a “lockdown drill” doors will be locked/closed and remain locked until the danger is removed. To enable everyone to remain safe, no one will be allowed to enter the building or leave the building until the drill is complete.

For the safety of everyone involved, we respectfully request that during a drill or event, you follow these items:

  • Do not come to the school
  • Do not call the school offices (as they will be busy with the drill or actual emergency)
  • Do not contact students or staff members via cell phone or social media (to maintain order, allow silence and a cohesive following of the safety plan)
  • Avoid social media posts. For an event, correct information will be sent officially as soon as possible.
  • Please make sure we always have your current contact information.
  • In the event of an actual emergency evacuation, you will receive notification where to pick up your child as soon as practicable.

As you feel appropriate, please talk to your child(ren) about this drill. It does not mean there will be an intruder or unsafe situation, but it is best to have precautions in place, just like we have a smoke detector in our home or wear a seatbelt in our vehicles.

Please remember that these safety practice drills are done to help maintain our schools as a safe place to learn and work. If you have any questions, please contact me at the school.

Regards,

Kristin Atherton