April Membership Newsletter
#ScienceUpFirst is a social media movement developed by a team of independent scientists, health care providers and science communicators to stop the spread of misinformation around COVID-19. Their goal is to put science first. Learn more.
Have you heard about the “Ask Kelty” mental health tool? It’s not easy for families to navigate the mental health system. Access the new interactive tool where you can ask and see answers to common questions families have about accessing mental health supports and services for your child. Check it out!
It’s important to know the difference between bullying, single acts of aggression, and conflict. Not all mean behaviour, rude behaviour, or conflict is bullying. Learn more.
DYK about SEL? SEL – or Social Emotional Learning – is all about how children identify and manage emotions, make good decisions, show empathy, and maintain positive relationships – and the benefits of SEL are shown to last a lifetime. Check out the Kelty Mental Health podcast on SEL to learn more about what parents and caregivers can do to support SEL at home, and to learn about the role of schools in promoting SEL.
Do you feel like your complaints about public services are going nowhere? The BC Ombudsperson can help. You can connect with them directly to learn how to complain effectively so your voice is heard. As an independent and impartial office the BC Ombudsperson has 40 years of experience dealing with public complaints and can provide you with expert advice to make sure you get results.
K-12 Education Update – March 15
There was some key information released during the last week including thoughts on September and the new school year – Please read our update to ensure you are up-to-date.
On Thursday March 11, the PHO made another briefing which included a modelling presentation update.
Key messages regarding the Variants of Concern (VoC) and K-12 exposure notices changes:
- “We have found that most of the exposure events in schools reflect what is happening in the community”. Meaning that if there are VoC exposures in the community, then it’s possible for there to be exposures in schools.
- “Most school exposures are NOT exposures with variants.”
- “At first we needed to understand the variants and did quite a lot of testing”
- “We are not seeing the rapidly exploding outbreaks as other provinces are”
- “VoC are not causing a difference from the other strains of C19 that we are seeing”
- “Its become clear that we don’t need to do things differently for the VoC”
- “VoC doesn’t affect the activities taken with the school community when exposure happens”
A reminder from points in our March 4 update: C19 is present in society and will continue to exist even after herd immunity is achieved.
- “There has been an increase in testing and screening for variants”
- “The C19 virus today is not the same as one year ago. RNA viruses change all the time and there are always variants”
- “We continue with current Health and Safety measures and protections as the current virus and not all changes result in variants and variants behave the same as C19 did before”
- “The variants are not more virulent”
Additionally, on March 11, the PHO updated the order for gatherings – It was amended for outdoor gatherings – for up to 10ppl. There were NO other changes made – all other restrictions and guidelines remain in force. Learn more.
Key Messages from the Ministry of Education:
- “School is the best place for students to learn, and for their social and emotional wellbeing – keeping schools open and safe is a priority for our province.”
- “Since day one of the pandemic, our Government has made decisions based on science and we will continue to follow the advice of public health officials as we navigate the pandemic.”
- “As we look to the future, we know September is also very much on all of our minds. Our goal continues to have as many students learning in-class as possible. While much depends on the vaccination roll out, we are optimistic we can start September in Stage 1 – with a full return to in-class instruction.”
- “We’ll be continuing our discussions with our education partners and rightsholders on the Steering Committee; these discussions, along with direction from PHO, will inform how we continue to ensure the health and safety of students and staff in our schools this year and into next year.”
Key Messages from BCCDC:
- “Since March 2020, we have worked together to navigate the challenges of COVID-19. Through this partnership, we heard the need for better communication from public health to the K-12 Education sector. To achieve this, we have created a new BCCDC website specific to K-12: www.bccdc.ca/schools. This website includes information from public health for parents and students, school staff, and administrators and districts.”
- “Additionally a new bulletin has been created to provide regular updates directly to school partners.”
As a partner at that table, BCCPAC is sharing the first bulletin with you below:
BC Centre for Disease Control
Launched a new K-12 Schools and COVID-19 website, featuring resources for families which includes a new resource to explain contact tracing in schools. There is also a listing of public notifications of school exposures, and new information on COVID-19 variants.
BCCDC – C19 Safety & BC Schools
It is normal for viruses to change over time, leading to new versions or variants. New variants have been identified since the beginning of the pandemic. COVID-19 variants have been detected across BC, including in some people who attend school. So far, these cases are only a small proportion of all COVID-19 cases in the province. The new variants spread the same way as the original virus, but some COVID-19 variants spread more easily. Because of this, it is even more important to continue to follow the health and safety measures in place in schools.
More information on COVID-19 variants is available here.
BCCDC – Wellness Tips
With so much happening and so much uncertainty in daily life, it’s normal to feel worried and overwhelmed. It’s important to look after mental health and well-being during COVID-19. Links to mental well-being resources for children, youth, parents and caregivers are available on the BCCDC Mental Well-being Page.
The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre offers tips to parents and caregivers on caring for younger children during Covid-19.
Foundry BC offers support for youth 12-24 years old.
COVID-19 Daily Health Check Guide
- Chinese – Simplified
- Chinese – Traditional
Public Health Actions
if a Staff, Student or Other Person Who Has Been in the School is a Confirmed COVID-19 Case
MY COVID-19 TEST EXPERIENCE
Last Sunday (Nov. 8th), my daughter started feeling sick. Her symptoms were cough, runny nose, and sore throat. We first did the BC COVID-19 assessment test online, which led us to be recommended to have a COVID-19 test. So we called 811, the nurse health line, and they directed us to a hospital in Burnaby and to BC Children’s Hospital, which are both By Appointment COVID-19 Check Centres that offer the gargle test for kids under grade 12.
Because the Burnaby centre was online, I made an appointment there first and managed to get an appointment for 12:15 PM the next day. BC Children’s Hospital’s phone centre didn’t open until 7:00 AM, and it was Sunday night, and they were closed. I woke up early on Monday morning right away and called BC Children’s Hospital and was answered quickly and efficiently and was told to come in anytime after 8:00 AM. They have free parking, and there was only 3 people ahead of us when we arrived at 8:15 AM!
After we had our test, I went and cancelled my appointment in Burnaby online, which was quick and easy to do.
We received the test results of my daughter by 2:30 PM the same day, and they were negative!
Yesterday (Nov. 15th), a week later, my older kid fell sick with the same symptoms, and we called BC Children’s Hospital directly. When we got there at 8:15 AM this morning, we had one person ahead of us. And we are still waiting for results as I’m writing this story at 4:00 PM!!
We are self isolating and using Uber eats to order Starbucks to lift our spirits. We had a busy day planned while the kids were in school but had to reschedule everything because we have to all
self isolate until we get her results 😦
It feels good to know we are doing our part. It’s extremely inconvenient, but there is so much understanding from everyone and appreciation that we are honest and open about the fact that we are awaiting results and self isolating!
[Update] We got the test results at 8:30 PM. They were NEGATIVE!!!
TED-Ed Lessons about COVID （Cartoons）
Surrey Teachers ask for mask wearing in classrooms
(English, Mandarin, Punjabi, Tagalog, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Croatian & Cantonese)
For Kids: Why Do I Have to Wear a Face Mask?
This animated video helps young children understand how face masks can keep them and loved ones safe against the spread of COVID-19 and the proper way to put on and take off a mask. They also learn what else they can do while at school to help prevent the spread of germs.
CDC – How to wear masks and why we wear masks
How to wash your hands/choose hand soap