K-12 Education Update – September 21st
Today Dr Henry, PHO and Minister Dix, Minister of Health provided an update.
The provincial steering committee will be discussing the K-12 elements at the next meeting on Thursday. Please read the points below so you have the facts.
The recorded announcement is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDC752q-N7s
Direct Comments from Dr. Henry re K-12 specifically:
-“We know Pfizer studies in children 6-11 are in phase 3 studies and we know a data package is coming to Health Canada in the next few weeks. There may be manufacturing delays, but we are preparing to offer it ASAP in BC as soon as we are able”
-“The fundamentals of case management contact tracing remain in place as a pillar of our pandemic management strategy. Every new case must continue to self-isolate, and every exposure is investigated” (this is unchanged)
-“Public Health teams are scaling up again to make sure we can find every case, including those in high-risk settings.”
-“This year is different as we have vaccinations” (about 13% of BC are unvaccinated at this time)
-“The risk of spread to/from someone who is immunized is much lower. So vaccinated contacts no longer need to self-isolate but must self-monitor and get tested (this is a change)”
-“If your child has C19 or has been exposed to someone with C19 in the school system, you will of course be notified” (this remains unchanged).
-“Initially it was my understanding there was a level anxiety around giving broad school notifications last year. But we are hearing from parents and staff that parents need an authoritative source to have an understanding of what is happening at their school. We have heard that.”
-“We have asked our team to ensure we can notify schools in a timely, less intrusive and more sustainable way. Parents will have access to that information rapidly. We hope to have that in place by the end of the week.”
A Reminder re Gatherings & Events
School extracurricular and social gatherings and events (including those occurring within and between schools) should occur in line with those permitted as per relevant local, regional, provincial and federal public health recommendationsand Orders. Gatherings and events requiring international travel (e.g., between Canada and the United States) should occur in line with those permitted as per relevant local, regional, Provincial, and Federal public health recommendations and Orders for international travel and community gatherings and events. Read the full Health and Safety document: https://bccpac.bc.ca/…/BCCDC-Guidance-k-12-schools…
PACs and Parent Visitors
Schools will continue to ensure visitors follow the school’s communicable disease plan, including completing a daily health check and not entering the school if they are sick. Schools will continue to keep a list of the date, names, andcontact information of all visitors who enter the school for 45 days following their visit. Read the full Health and Safety document: https://bccpac.bc.ca/…/BCCDC-Guidance-k-12-schools…
Additional Measures in Interior Health Authority
As outlined in the Provincial C19 Communicable Disease Guidelines, local Medical Health Officers continue to be able to implement additional health and safety measures beyond the baseline guidance during times of increased community transmission. Superintendents within the Interior Health Authority have received a letter regarding additional regional health measures and are asked to share with their school communities. These recommended additional measures will be implemented starting September 7: – Indoor assemblies limited to 50 people or 2 classes (whatever is larger), in a single space- Visitors entering schools should be limited to those supporting activities that are of benefit to student learning and well-being (e.g., immunizers, teacher candidates, meal program volunteers, etc.). – Extracurricular school sports should follow the Interior Health Order for Gatherings & Events, where sports and tournaments are allowed. – Spectators should be limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
BCCDC Data and Public Information
Much information is publicly available and can inform and provide clarity and understanding.
We encourage families to review the Dashboard which is updated every 1-2 days: http://www.bccdc.ca/…/diseases-conditions/covid-19/data…
Equally important are the weekly data summaries which are updated every Tuesday. The current one is to Aug 26: http://www.bccdc.ca/…/COVID…/2021-08-26_Data_Summary.pdf–
On this page, please read the Vaccination Progress tab and filter to see progress: https://public.tableau.com/…/BCCDCCOVID…/Introduction
There is now – as a result of a request from the Steering Committee – the ability to filter on 12-17 year olds, both first and second dose. We post all documents and our communication updates on our resources page: https://bccpac.bc.ca/…/21-advocacy/1030-c19-updates-2-
Student Impacts Research Report
The Ministry released a research report examining the evidence of impacts to student learning resulting from the pandemic. The report incorporates a review of published literature, a jurisdictional scan, and multiple sources of provincial data including summative data from the 2019/20 school year, and documenting enrolment trends, transition and attendance patterns, and delivery of education in the 2020/21 school year, as of February 2021. Research is continuing. See the main findings on page 5. Read the full document: https://bccpac.bc.ca/…/student-impacts-report-Aug2021.pdf
September Membership Newsletter
Return to School – Important Information
On August 24, Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that K-12 students will return to school for full time, in-person instruction in September. We have posted all documents on our resources page. We emailed members on August 25 and posted to Facebook.
We strongly encourage you to review and read the key documents:
1) Return to School Recovery Plan (Please note there are no stages in the K-12 plan);
2) Health & Safety Guidelines;
3) BCCDC Guidance; and
4) Protocols for Administrators which includes info on exposures, notices, communication.
Masks will continue to be required in all indoor spaces (including desks) for all K-12 staff, visitors (including parents and PACs) and students in Grades 4 to 12 in schools and on school buses. There are exceptions to the mask policy. Cohorts and strict physical distancing is no longer required. School districts must ensure heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed, operated and maintained to Occupational Health and Safety and WorkSafeBC standards. General cleaning of schools, cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces will be conducted at least once in every 24-hour period and when visibly dirty.
Understanding Cases among School-aged Children & Staff
Fraser Public Health examined (which included genome sequencing) cases of C19 reported between Jan-Jun 2021 to better understand the extent and nature of in-school transmission of the virus in Surrey schools. Surrey district (public, francophone and independent) represented 40% of all cases during that time period. The review found that, overall, 90% of school-associated C19 cases in Surrey originated in households or the community, NOT in schools. And broad school closures (i.e. breaks) do not affect community transmission. Current international research and literature confirms the same. We encourage families to read and review the report (additionally, please review slides 8-10, 27).
Student Impacts Report
The Ministry has released a research report examining the evidence of impacts to student learning resulting from the pandemic. The report incorporates a review of published literature, a jurisdictional scan, and multiple sources of provincial data including summative data from the 2019/20 school year, and documenting enrolment trends, transition and attendance patterns, and delivery of education in the 2020/21 school year, as of February 2021. Research is continuing. See the main findings on page 5.
Mental Health in Schools and Recovery Plan Grants
Grant letters and information packages were sent to school districts on August 25, with funds to be transferred on August 31. These grants represent the one-time $5 million C19 Recovery Plan funding announced on June 17, 2021 and the final year of the 3-year Early Action Initiative funding announced by the province in September 2019. These funds are intended to support mental health and well-being promotion and supports. School districts are required to complete the Action Plan Questionnaire by December 1, 2021. Parents can read the Principles and Strategies for Mental Health.
BCCDC Data and Public Information
Much information is publicly available and can inform and provide clarity and understanding. The BCCDC website is updated regularly. We encourage families to review their Dashboard which is updated every 1-2 days. Equally important are the weekly data summaries which are updated every Tuesday. The current one is to August 21. We encourage families to view the slides pertaining to case rates and hospitalizations, and slide #19 showing age breakdowns for 0-11 and 12-19. There is a useful Vaccination Progress tab and filter to see progress. There is now – as a result of a request from the Steering Committee – the ability to filter on 12-17 year olds, both first and second dose.
With the return of full-time in-person schooling it’s normal for children and teens to experience heightened back to school stress. Anxiety Canada has great advice for supporting students during this time. Check it out.
Applications for the BC Principals and Vice Principals Association Student Scholarships are open! Know a graduating student that exemplifies academic excellence and community leadership? The BCPVPA awards up to 20 $1000 scholarships to students annually. Download the Application Form. Deadline: September 17/21.
How can parents enable their children to take part in active free play? Listen to Active for Life’s podcast with Dr Maria Brussoni on the value of risky play.
Did you know September 30, Orange Shirt Day, has been officially legislated as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation invites you to celebrate this momentous day. Register today.
Social and emotional development impacts how young children express emotions, deal with stress, develop friendships, and connect to the world around them through stories, conversations and play. Learn more!
Schools should be safe places where students have equal opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve their full potential, and where diversity is celebrated. Learn more about the actions you can take to erase racism from erase bc.
Every big idea starts with a small one. Ingenious+ is a national youth innovation challenge that helps teens’ ideas grow, with mentorship opportunities and cash prizes of up to $10,000! Sign up to get started. Find out more.
Check out this information on drug slang emojis from Bark – What Every Parent Needs to Know.
Did you know translations are available on the BC Human Rights website in 18 languages? Visit their accessible website to check out the new accessibility features and find resources on BC’s human rights system.
Is your child (aged 3-12) struggling with disruptive behaviour problems, like oppositional behaviour (eg. doesn’t comply with requests), or angry outbursts (eg. temper tantrums, physical or verbal aggression)? BC Children’s Hospital invites you to participate in their research study, where you will get to watch a free online presentation to learn practical and effective parenting strategies, and provide feedback. You will also receive up to $15 in Amazon e-gift cards for your time! For more information, email email@example.com
Are you aware of Family Smart? They are here for families. PiRs provide peer support to all families and caregivers parenting a child (0 to 24+) with a mental health and/or substance use challenge in BC. Free service. No wait list. Find out more.
Have you heard about Foundry BC and their new App? The Foundry BC app allows youth and their caregivers to access services using video, audio, or chat options. They want to support you whatever way feels most comfortable for you! Download their new app and get the help you need when you need it! Did you know you can register and participate in groups through the new Foundry BC app? Learn more.
Children as young as 6 can be exposed to inappropriate content online. Help prevent this from happening to your children by closely monitoring the time they spend online and teach them to practice online safety. Learn more.
ScienceUpFirst is a national initiative that works with a collective of independent scientists, researchers, health care experts and science communicators. They share the best available science in creative ways to stop the spread of misinformation. Find out about when children under 12 will be able to receive the C19 vaccine.
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