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Education During CV19 Pandemic: Information, Resources & Supports

At this time, there are no reported school exposures in School District 46 – Sunshine Coast schools. 

For more on school exposure notifications and procedures, please review the following: 

Support Documents: 

Resources:

Reports:

  • Impact of School Closures Report: The BC Centre for Disease Control has released their report on Impact of School Closures on Learning, Child and Family Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • The findings of the report speaks to how important it is to have face to face supports for our children, especially those with diverse abilities.  It also confirms why as a school district we have been proactive and diligent to have solid processes in place and resources to support our diverse learners whether they are present at school or remote learning. Ideally, we want all of our students, especially those with diverse needs, to be back at school so that we can provide the safe space and specialized services in an optimal environment.  However, we also understand that for a variety of good reasons some students need to stay at home. Therefore, we continue to be creative whichever option our families choose to provide equitable access to education, resources, tools and supports.

Health and Safety:

1. Provide a copy of your district’s updated health and safety plan that implements the Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools and WorkSafeBC guidelines.

2. Indicate the date when your district’s health and safety committee became/will be operational.

  • The Health and Safety Plan will be operational by the end of the day on September 11th when staff and students have been trained.

3. Provide a summary of the updates made to your district’s plan in the following areas:

• Cleaning and disinfecting

• Physical distancing strategies

• Hand hygiene

• Personal protective equipment for students and staff (including re-useable masks)

• Symptom assessment and illness policies/procedures

• Improvements to school ventilation systems, if required

• Student transportation on buses

  • Physical Distancing strategies: extra space will be utilized where possible for student learning; signage on the walls and floors will be used to direct movement in halls, line up for entry into the building, access to office, etc; school schedules will be adapted to minimize numbers of staff and students in common areas at one time; occupancy limits for rooms will be posted;
  • Movement of students in elementary schools will be limited to ensure that they stay in the same desk/seat for the duration of the day, where feasible.
  •  Twice daily disinfection of high-touch surfaces and desks/tables that are used by multiple individuals during the day will be maintained.
  •  Additional custodial staff will be hired in order to complement existing staff
  • Sanitization stations at all building entrances
  • Additional hand-washing stations to allow elementary students who are located in portables to have increased access to hand cleaning with soap and water
  • Additional cleaning required of school bus contractor to adhere to provincial guidelines
  • HVAC systems being adjusted to provide as much fresh air as possible, along with additional ventilation before and after classes
  • Issuing re-usable masks and ensuring that disposable masks are available on buses and in classes in the event that staff or students arrive without masks

4. Outline the schedule for health and safety training and orientation of school district staff, including new employees and staff who work at multiple sites and/or across multiple cohorts in a school (e.g. counsellors, learning assistants, prep teachers, Education Assistants).

Training and Orientation: 
  • August 13 was the first meeting with CUPE to begin review of new Covid-19 requirements; 
  • August 18, 25, 26 review and planning of Health and Safety plans with district management team and principals; 
  • September 01 review of plans with the district health and safety committee; September 3, 4 online training for staff new to the district; 
  • September 8 training for all staff at worksites; itinerant staff to report to their main school site or a site to be determined by their manager or HR

Learning Groups:

1. Provide examples of your district’s approach to the implementation of learning groups in schools and during non-instructional time.

a. Include examples for elementary, middle, and secondary schools as well as small, medium and large schools where different approaches are required.

b. Outline any shifts in curriculum, course access, or course scheduling, as well as actions taken to mitigate the impacts to students of any changes and ensure equity.

  • Elementary schools will be using traditional classrooms as the Learning Group model during instructional and non-instructional time.
  • Secondary schools will be using semestered courses with single grade cohorts where possible and assigned seating; physical distancing and/or masks will be employed where students or staff may work in classes outside of their cohort; breaks and movement within the school will be controlled so that the minimum number of staff and students will be in common areas at one time; entry/exit points to buildings will be changed for cohort groups; areas of the schools will be dedicated to specific cohort groups at certain times (halls or meeting rooms/ gathering points like the Chatelech foyer)

2. Describe how your district is organizing its workforce to balance the delivery of instruction for learning groups and physical distancing strategies for adults who are interacting with cohorts (e.g. staff who work at multiple sites, on call, itinerant) and across multiple cohorts in a school (e.g. counsellors, learning assistants, prep teachers, Education Assistants, teacher-librarians).

  • EAs will be assigned to single cohorts where possible; additional or alternative spaces will be used for learning assistants/counseling to increase physical distancing where possible; physical barriers (plexiglass) will be utilized when necessary for teacher-librarians
  • TTOCs and Support staff on call will be grouped to a certain school or family of schools

3. Describe your district’s plan to ensure continuity of learning in the event of a switch in stages as well as to ensure continuity of learning for any students who need to self-isolate or quarantine.

  • Secondary schools will continue to support the use of online platforms for all school courses/programs starting in September (Google Classroom). Students who are required to self-isolate or quarantine will be supported as is normally done for students who are ill for this length of time by providing reasonable work materials and guidance. Elementary schools will be prepared to switch to lower density models through scheduling changes. Learning groups will be appropriate for stage 3 and 4 already and not need to change.

Students with Diverse Abilities/Disabilities:

1. In alignment with the Equity and Inclusion Guiding Principles, describe how your district is planning for students with diverse abilities/disabilities ensuring students and communicating to parents on the following, to ensure students will:

• be able to attend school full time or have a plan to ensure supports and learning continue if a student needs to learn at home

• have access to the necessary health and safety supports

• continue to receive supports and services as identified in their IEP, including 1:1 supports

• not be grouped in segregated settings as a part of the establishment of cohorts

  • Schools will be reaching out to students with diverse abilities/disabilities individually to ensure a collaborative plan is created with the family and outside supports.  In the spring plans for our students were created through our Vulnerable Learning Process and Plan and we will use this documentation and process to provide continuity of learning for our students as they return to school in the fall.
  • Students with diverse abilities/disabilities may need different and individualized orientation plans to return to school, and these plans will be prioritized.  
  • All of our students will have access to the necessary health and safety supports based on their individual needs.  As part of our planning with family and outside supports, health and safety will be a corner stone of that plan. 
  • We will be prioritizing mental health supports for our students as part of their plans, not just their medical supports.
  • Students will continue to receive the supports necessary to meet their IEP goals in our schools, but also, if their health profile indicates that they cannot attend we will provide supports remotely.
  • Students will be placed in learning cohorts with their peers.  In some cases where there are health reasons a student may have a smaller cohort if it is necessary for their health and safety.

Communication and Engagement:

1. Provide a copy of, link to, or summary of, your district’s overall communication plan.

Engagement with Indigenous People:

1. Describe your district’s engagement process with Indigenous peoples in developing the Stage 2 plan and the plan for ongoing engagement.

  • Communication from district and schools directly with Indigenous families as information has come from the Ministry.  Families invited to contact Superintendent, school principal, and/or District Principal of Indigenous Learning with questions or concerns.  shishalh Nation families can also and have been contacting the shishalh Nation Director of Education with questions or concerns and those have been and will continue to be shared with District Principal of Indigenous Learning and Superintendent.
  • Communication about Ministry and district updates directly with shishalh Nation Director of Education, including ongoing invitation to collaborate on plans – open back and forth about questions and concerns.
  • Communication with District Indigenous Education Advisory Circle members regarding Ministry information and regarding district, school and program plans as they develop.  Invitation to collaborate on plans – open back and forth about questions and concerns.
  • Ongoing engagement will include:
    • regular, direct communication and consultation with Indigenous families as planning and implementation evolves;
    • series of meetings with shishalh Nation Director of Education as well as Chief and members of council as planning and implementation evolves;
    • information sharing and consultation with the District Indigenous Education Advisory Circle members as planning and implementation evolves.
    • Indigenous Learning staff will check in with and consult students and families during September 8th orientation week and school start-up week.  This with a view to responding quickly to concerns or to student needs.

2. Outline your district’s consultation with local First Nations rights holders in developing the Stage 2 plan – particularly First Nations with whom the district has a Local Education Agreement and First Nations with students in the district.

  • The school district does not presently have a Local Education Agreement with the shishalh Nation. However the long standing relationship between the Nation and the district is supporting ongoing engagement and communication with the shishalh Nation Director of Education and members of her team as the Ministry information and plans were released and as school district planning began. Based on the ongoing invitation for input on planning, shishalh Nation Director of Education, on behalf of Chief and Council, communicated on August 10 that, while some shishalh families are comfortable with Stage 2 plans, out of concern about COVID-19 some shishalh Nation families are not comfortable returning to in-class instruction in September/likely this school year. The shishalh Nation Director of Education, on behalf of Chief and Council asked the School District to provide alternatives for families and proposed the alternatives. Presently working/partnering with shishalh Nation to explore and create alternatives that are within our joint capabilities and resources. The District Indigenous Education Advisory Circle members will be consulted directly – and a special meeting will be held for consultation and feedback as planning and implementation evolves.

3. What modifications to the plan, if any, did your district make based on feedback from Indigenous partners and/or local First Nations?

  • The District Indigenous Education Advisory Circle is supportive of the district plan as it is evolving.
  • The input from the shishalh Nation is shaping the planning for shishalh families from the start. Planning is still in process.
  • Specifically, at the shishalh Nation’s request, we are partnering on ways to allocate collective staffing and resources, as well as access to learning technology, in order to support alternative learning programs for families who are choosing to keep their children home due to medical or safety concerns related to COVID-19. The programming will include ways in which Language and Culture – and land-based learning – can take place. The program will include ways to provide support to students with Special Needs.

Unions:

1. Outline the collaboration process that occurred with local unions in developing the district’s restart plan. What is the process for continued consultation and collaboration during the school year?

  • Our dialogue has been ongoing. Formal invitations to dialogue were sent on July 29th to the SCTA and CUPE-801. In person meetings and regular emails continue. Draft of this plan was sent to locals the day before submission. Meetings continue as formal Labour Management meetings and as needed. We appreciate the cooperative support from the our locals as well as their dedicated advocacy on behalf of their members. Their voice is critical to our success.

Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers:

1. Outline the engagement process that occurred with your District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) in the development of your Stage 2 Plan.

  • The District surveyed all parents in June of 2020. This information has been very helpful in developing our plans and particularly in considering the concerns of our parent community.
  • The DPAC chair and Superintendent met on August 17th to review the parent perspective. DPAC will meet on Tuesday, September 1st for further information and dialogue.
  • Family Engagement Committee (Staff/ Parents/ DPAC Chair) meets every second month throughout the year.

2. Describe any additional engagement directly with parents/guardians/caregivers and Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) at the school level that occurred in developing your Stage 2 Plan. Describe the summary of feedback received.

  • School PACs continued the dialogue and feedback during the spring of the 2019/ 2020 school year. PACs will continue through the fall with their regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Dialogue with Principals/ PACs and members of their learning communities is ongoing.
  • Many district parents completed a June survey reflecting on the previous three months. The range was wide in responses to questions of academic growth, impact on families, support from schools, communication and more. Some had reservations of how learning was provided, most were content and many were very pleased with the support from teachers and support staff. A number of families indicated concerns for their children and family’s mental health during the spring.

3. Describe the process for continued consultation and collaboration with the DPAC, PACs and parents during the school year.

  • DPAC meets monthly with the Superintendent and a Trustee representative. PACS meet (usually) monthly as well. Superintendent reports are sent out via newsletter monthly. Superintendent letters to families sent out as needed; they were sent weekly during the spring of 2020. Parents are encouraged consistently to reach out to their child’s teacher, principal or superintendent if they have any questions/ concerns about their child’s education. SD46 website (sd46.bc.ca) has a COVID-19 section with all information provided and updated consistently. School Websites all link directly to the district website. August 13th: Superintendent’s letter to the community inviting and responding to all questions as they come in.

Transportation:

1. Describe any transportation arrangements your district has in place to get students, including First Nations and students with diverse abilities/disabilities, to school.

  • Additional cleaning required of school bus contractor to adhere to provincial guidelines
  • Bus drivers will wear masks and, in some cases, face shields
  • Families will be asked to make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible, in order to reduce the number of riders and allow for greater spacing between students. 
  • Bus routes will be reviewed to limit the number of riders from different sites at one time, wherever possible
  • Courtesy rides for most riders will be restricted, except;
  • Pending further consultation, the District will continue to offer courtesy rides for students who reside on selected Sechelt Indian Government District lands 
  • Wherever possible, students will be loaded back-to-front and unloaded front-to-back 
  • Attendance will be taken of registered riders in mid-September, with the intent to de-register registered riders who do not require the service and assign consistent seats as soon as possible. 
  • Schools will organize riders waiting for pickup to promote adequate physical distancing, wherever possible. 
  • Active transportation options will be promoted and supported by schools, in collaboration with PACs. 

2. Describe the consultation process in developing the plan as well as how BC Tripartite Education Agreement obligations are being met.

  • The school district has been informed by the Ministry that, as a unique self-governing Nation, the shishalh Nation is not included in the Transportation section of the BC Tripartite Education Agreement. However, transportation for shishalh Nation students will be provided – as per the overall district plan.

FamilySmart

The BC Centre for Disease Control has released their report on Impact of School Closures on Learning, Child and Family Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UBC-CMHA COVID19 Effects on Mental Health of Vulnerable Populations Report

Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Resource for COVID-19

Introducing Foundry’s Virtual Services!

Foundry is working to make sure all young people in British Columbia can get the care and support they need, when they need it. They offer virtual drop-in counselling sessions by voice, video and chat to young people ages 12-24 and their caregivers! 

EASE at Home (for Parents and Caregivers)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EASE classroom activities were adapted for use at home by parents and caregivers to support children’s mental health and continuous learning. These fun and practical strategies help guide parents and caregivers in managing their children’s anxiety and worries in the comfort of their home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Families Staying Active

Canadian kids need active bodies to build their best brains. In order for them to reach their full mental, emotional and intellectual potential, their bodies have to move to get the wheels in their brains turning! This ParticipACTION App has great ideas for home activities content for the whole family!

Guided Meditations and Mindfulness from BC Children’s Hospital – Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre

Mindfulness can be practiced in many different ways, and can be done at almost any time. Dr. Dzung Vo and Dr. Jake Locke from BC Children’s Hospital have recorded some of the mindfulness meditations that they use in the mindfulness groups they offer at BC Children’s Hospital. Feel free to download these recordings and listen to them from your computer or mobile device.

Sunshine Coast Community Task Force

The volunteer task force will try to help community members to connect with the organizations who are responding to the special needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis. The Sunshine Coast Community Task force is a team of dedicated volunteer and community organizations working together to connect the people and the resources they need during the current crisis.

Contact: Phone: 1-866-212-5025 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm – Mon-Fri / Email: scctaskforce@gmail.com /Website: scctaskforce.com

Supporting Families and Children During the Covid-19 Outbreak

Uncertainty is hard for most people, yet there are simple and practical ways to cope with even the most difficult situations.  Research shows that coping with stress builds resilience and can make us stronger.  People in our community and around the world are helping each other, working together, showing kindness, and trying to be creative in addressing the problems we are facing.

Here are some ways to help yourself and your family during this time:

  • Self-Compassion – Fear is a natural response to a pandemic such as this. Try to be kind to yourself if you are feeling more worried or anxious than usual.
  • Self-Care – It remains important to engage in healthy and relaxing activities that you enjoy. Consider a wide variety of fun, intellectually stimulating, and physically active options such as reading for professional growth or leisure, cooking, practicing yoga, exercising, meditating, and spending time in nature.
  • Connection – Stay connected with family and friends through virtual visits.
  • Routines – Keeping similar routines and developing healthy new routines helps provide predictability and a sense of safety for you and your family.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be a very stressful and frightening time for our children.  While it is important to remember that fear and anxiety about disease is normal, excessive worry is not.  There are many things we can do as parents to support our children during these extraordinary times.  When talking to our children about the current situation, a solutions-focussed approach is helpful.

Things to keep in mind when having discussions with children include:

  • Many individuals and organizations (governments, doctors, nurses, schools etc.) are helping during the current situation.
  • It will get better.
  • Life will return to normal.
  • Let’s focus on caring for our family, friends, and community.
  • Positive Focus – Try to shift the dialogue away from the negative and toward what we can be grateful for in this time.
  • Talk and Listen and Model – Take the time to talk to your child or teen about COVID-19 in an age-appropriate way. Reassure your child or teen that they are safe, and share your own strategies for coping with stress.  Model for them how to be resilient and health.

Supporting All Children and Youth

  • Routines are important and can help to create a sense of predictability and security.
    • Some examples of routines include scheduling daily academic time, outdoor activities, and family time.
  • Focus on the moment. Mindful breathing is very helpful.
  • Model calmness, routine, and a focus on family and friends.
  • It is appropriate to provide a fact-based discussion on the changing landscape of COVID-19. This discussion should be done in a calm and reassuring tone conveying the message that we are safe.  We take precautions, but we are safe.  Listen, provide age-appropriate information and focus on prevention (frequent hand-washing, social distancing etc.).
  • Focus on the positive and encourage children to do the same. Rather than feeling stuck inside, for example, see it as an opportunity to focus on family and home.

Supporting Older Students

  • Limit social media and news consumption. Create a window of time to check the news together rather than watching it all day.
  • Consult accurate information from reliable sources
  • Limit exposure to the news;
    • Watching news that repeatedly emphasizes both the rapid spread of coronavirus and lack of effective treatment makes people feel anxious and dis-empowered. Anxious thoughts include those that suggest the worst case scenario and our inability to cope with that.  This news coverage feeds that faulty thinking.
  • Moderate the amount of gaming time.
  • Eat as nutritiously as is possible. Make balanced meals you can prepare together.
  • Try to ensure older students are getting enough sleep (sleepfoundation.org).

Supporting Younger Students

  • Younger students may show their stress in different ways, for example: crying, irritation, ‘acting out,’ reduced attention and concentration, regression to an earlier are such as bed-wetting, and ceasing activities that they previously enjoyed.
  • Here are some strategies to help reduce stress in younger students:
    • More time with trusted adults
    • Increased play time, inside and out (if possible)
    • Routines
    • Quiet times to read books, listen to music, do puzzles, and play board games
    • Adequate sleep

Mental Health

  • Children, teens or adults who have mental illness or addiction should continue to seek support.
  • Many counsellors are continuing their work on the phone or online.
  • Local supports in the community are ongoing, but support may look different. (see below for phone numbers)
  • There are helplines and online tools and apps (please see below for a few ideas).
  • Have a safety plan and ensure that youth and children know they are not alone.

Phone Numbers/Crisis Resources:

Local Information:  

Mental Health Resources for Children and Youth are available during this time. Supports may look different, but they are still working to support families and children with mental health during this unprecedented time.  Please use the links below for local resources and contact information.

Sunshine Coast Youth Resources

Children and Youth Mental Health Resources for Sunshine Coast

Provincial Resources:

Apps:

Supportive Resources – websites, apps, helplines and other phone numbers

The Sunshine Coast Child and Youth Medical and Mental Health Town Hall took place on May 21st. Below is the recording of the event and resources for families.

Recording of April 2020 Mental Health Town Hall Meeting

If you missed the BC Children’s Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre webinar on Setting Children & Youth up for a Successful Return to School in the Era of COVID-19, here is the recording of the presentation, and here are the powerpoint slides. We also encourage you to listen to their podcast episode on Parenting during Covid-19. 

COVID-19: Parenting Tips

Parenting Through Difficult Times: How to Thrive Rather Than Just Survive with Sarah Joseph Resource Links.

Additional Resources:

Safer Schools Together & BC Ministry of Education: Raising Digitally Responsible Youth – A Parent’s Guide

Social Emotional Learning at Home: 10 Things You Can Do at Home to Improve SEL

Vancouver Coastal Health Family Resource: Connecting around Food during COVID-19: Opportunities for Parents and Caregivers. 

Digital Learning Resources

See SD46 vetted resources below!

You can also look at the Ministry of Education Open schools site for Activities and Resources.

Website

Description

 

Grade/Content Area

 

Additional Info

 

AudibleAmazon’s audio-book collectionGrades K-12Free with no account necessary at this time
BC Libraries Summer Reading ProgramBC Libraries Summer Reading Program now on-lineGrades K-9Join and enjoy, reading challenges, games and interactive learning
activities
Canadian EncyclopediaContribute to the Canada During Covid-19 ProjectGrades 4-12Download the learning tool to develop a primary source for Historia Canada
    
 Code.orgComputer Science LearningGrades K-12Parents will be asked to create an account if coding projects are to be saved
Covid-19 LearningActivities and learning from the Ministry of EducationGrades K-12Includes from Scholastic Teaching Our World: The Coronavirus
    
Gibsons Public LibraryAccess to all library resources with free card applications here for the entire coast!Grades K-12Click on Line Resources
EpicLiteracy & Numeracy books/novelsGrades K-9Most teachers already have accounts set up and can now share with families to use at home. Check with your teacher!
ERACFocused educational resources we are licensed to use in schools

Grades K-12

Includes World Book Early Learning Kids & Students

ERAC Access from home requires login information:

Username: 46SBO

Password: 46sd46

IXL LearningMath & English Language ArtsGrades K-12District license for Math & language Arts. Students will be given a code by their teacher.
Khan AcademyLearning opportunities on any subjectGrades K-12Parents can create a free account for their child or may be given a code by their teacher
Lets talk ScienceScience Experiments and STEM projectsGrades K-12Free learning opportunities for all ages
Liberation-75A global movement to celebrate 75th anniversary of liberation from the holocaustGrades 4-12Online toolkit to access Holocaust Resources & Lessons
MediasmartsCanadian digital and media literacyGrades K-12Resources for teachers and parents
    
Northern Spotted Owl WebcamThe Northern Spotted Owl is one of our Endangered speciesGrads K-12Live webcam of the owl nest
ProdigyMath practice in a game formatGrades 1-8Requires a class code from your child’s teacher to login
RAZ-KidsLeveled reading practice for childrenGrades K-5Requires a class code from your child’s teacher to login
    
Science WorldLocal learning Activities for all areasGrades K-12While closed, they offer many online activities to explore!
Sora LibraryDigital & audio book library. Offers simultaneous use of all titles until June 30, 2020. Books can be borrowed and read on a laptop or digital device!Grades K-12Our new district license for the Overdrive links to your local library & includes hundreds of digital books! Download the Sora app, find your school (Sunshine Coast) and use your student # for login & password.
Storyline Online Videos of picture books being read aloud by guest readersGrades K-5 
Sunshine Coast MuseumOnline educational portal for all of our historical resources called Sunshine Coast Museum at Home.Grades 2-12This includes photos, audio, video, virtual tour and historical quizzes. Fantastic opportunity for local learning
    
Unite for Literacy Digital Books under many topic areasGrades 1-6Text can be read aloud in many different languages
Vancouver AquariumLocal learning Activities for all areaGrades K-12While closed, they offer many online activities to explore!
WESchools@HomeRecommended resource for our social/emotional learningGrades K-12Sign up for a free account, access to daily virtual lessons

If you have any questions on the setup of technology for distant learning for your child please send an email to: parenthelp@sd46.bc.ca. 

ONLINE SAFETY

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection, through its program Cybertip.ca, is urging families to have conversations about internet safety and to work together to implement strategies that ensures everyone’s digital well-being.

WHAT SHOULD PARENTS BE AWARE OF?

  • Your child may want to spend increased time connecting with friends by live streaming or video chatting. Talk to your child about the ease by which screengrabs and video recordings from live streams or video chats can be saved and used against tweens to embarrass or harm them, even by people they know. Be mindful that some live stream apps/platforms feature private messaging where anyone can direct message your child. To learn more about the risks of live streaming and ways to safeguard kids, visit protectkidsonline.ca/live.
  • Online gaming is another way your child may want to connect with friends and pass the time. Like live streaming, gaming platforms can open kids up to receiving chats or private messages from people they don’t know in real life. For example, Cybertip.ca released an alert regarding the popular multi-player website Roblox after receiving reports concerning requests to meet up in person, and/or sexually suggestive chat messages being sent to children under the age of 12 within the game. For more information on online gaming concerns, and what you can do, read the blog Glitching Out on ProtectKidsOnline.ca.
  • TikTok is a hugely popular app for tweens and teens, and they may want to spend more time creating and posting content. Teens may be tempted to take risks or act explicitly to get more followers or likes on a video. This can also be heightened by TikTok challenges, which are created by TikTok and the community itself. While most are just silly viral trends or marketing schemes, some can be dangerous. Read more about TikTok and how to keep tweens/teen safe while using it here: A Quick Guide to TikTok
  • In the past two years, Cybertip.ca analysts have classified 600 reports as luring — adults communicating online with a child for a sexual purpose — through a variety of apps and services such as Facebook/Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat, KIK, and online gaming platforms. Learn more about the ways in which offenders attempt to gain access to children online by visiting cybertip.ca/grooming.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?

  1. Have regular conversations about online safety. This includes talking about the online games your kids are playing, the apps they’re using, and who they are chatting with. For tips on how to get the discussion started, visit protectkidsonline.ca for age-appropriate ideas.
  2. Set the expectation you will monitor your child’s online activities, and work together to establish guidelines around texting, social media, live streaming, and gaming, such as who your child can do these things with and on what apps.
  3. Become familiar with, or revisit the parental controls on computers, phones, and tablets. Some devices allow parents to limit access to specific apps, social media sites, internet content, and features available within the device. 
  4. For younger children, help them create their login, password, and profile information ensuring it is set to private. For tweens and teens, know their username/character name and password, as well as the email address used to sign up for apps/games/social accounts.
  5. Help tweens/teens set up privacy settings in apps/games/social accounts. With a private account, users can approve or deny followers/friends, restrict who can view their content and profile information, and limit incoming messages to followers/friends only. Work together to decide who to accept as followers/friends.
  6. Tell your child that if they come across something or someone while chatting/messaging/texting that makes them feel uncomfortable, they can tell you without fear of getting in trouble or losing online privileges. Remind them that their safety is what is most important to you. 
  7. If you see, read, or hear anything sexual from an adult towards your child online, report it to Cybertip.ca.

*Information gathered from The Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

SD46 Student’s Digital Responsibility Guidelines & Guidelines for Virtual Classrooms and Video Conferencing

ZOOM Tips for Families

Safer Schools Together & BC Ministry of Education: Raising Digitally Responsible Youth – A Parent’s Guide

Telus provides a low cost internet service for K-12 students from low income families. The program offers internet connectivity for $9.95/month (plus applicable taxes) for 24 months; regular pricing thereafter. 

BC Ministry of Education:

September 3rd, 2020: New federal funding builds on plans for a safe back to school

August 26th, 2020: Detailed plans support safe return to classroom

August 17, 2020: K-12 operational guidelines set requirements for masks

August 12, 2020: Orientation Week Ensures a Safe, Ready and Welcome Return to School News Release

School District 46 – Sunshine Coast:

September 24th, 2020: SD46 & VCH Town Hall Q&A Recording

September 21st, 2020: Letter to Families re: Protocols for CV19 School Exposures

September 11th, 2020: SD46 Superintendent’s Update

August 27th, 2020: SD46 Options and Survey

August 13, 2020: Superintendent’s Update: 08/13

July 29, 2020: September Start-Up

Previous communications and news posts shared by School District 46 and the Ministry of Education regarding Education during the COVID-19 Pandemic can also be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is intended to answer some of your questions regarding education, resources, and supports during the CV19 pandemic. It is informed largely by the resources listed at the end of this document.

Note: The information shared here is based on the most current information we have. As more information becomes available, we will update this FAQ accordingly.

A: The FIVE STAGE FRAMEWORK FOR K-12 EDUCATION outlines expectations for B.C. schools for learning during COVID-19.

The goal of the Framework is to maximize in-class instruction for all students while meeting the revised BC CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL (BCCDC) SCHOOL SAFETY GUIDELINES. The framework allows in-class instruction to be increased or decreased depending on the risk of transmission.

A: School District 46 – Sunshine Coast Family Checklist: What can families do to ensure a safe and healthy in-school learning environment?

There are a number of measures we can all take to ensure we continue to protect those around us.

Families are asked to monitor children daily for symptoms using the public health and Ministry of Education recommended and updated Student/Children Daily Health Check* and not to send them to school if they are showing symptoms of illness. *Adults/staff should use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool for daily health checks. 

Anyone who is sick will not be allowed in school.

Any student who has key symptoms of COVID-19 OR has travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days OR was identified as a close contact of a confirmed case or outbreak must stay home, contact their care provider, and self-isolate.

If you have symptoms, please conduct a health assessment by contacting 8-1-1 or a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner.

For testing on the Sunshine Coast, book an appointment at the Respiratory Assessment Clinic by phone or text at 604-740-1252, or by email at coastrespclinic@gmail.com. They are open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, by appointment only. 

*The Daily Health Check is for COVID-19  only. Please also keep sick kids (cold or flu that is not COVID-19) home from school. Kids should still recover before coming back to school, just as they would pre-pandemic.

Please encourage your child to continue with their efforts to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Practicing physical distancing
  • Washing their hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol)
  • Coughing and sneezing into a tissue or the bend of their arm
  • Wearing a mask when needed
  • Avoiding touching their face
  • Not sharing food
  • Most importantly, staying at home if they have symptoms

Arm yourself against the flu! VCH Community Flu Clinics for Fall 2020 

A: All students should conduct the public health and Ministry of Education recommended and updated Student/children’s Daily Health Check*.  Adults/staff should use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool for their daily health checks.  

Student/children’s Daily Health Check:

Key Symptoms of Illness:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

International Travel:

  • Have you returned from travel outside Canada in the last 14 days?

Confirmed Contact:

  • Are you a confirmed contact of a person confirmed to have COVID-19? 

If you answered “YES” to one of the questions included under ‘Key Symptoms of Illness’ (excluding fever), you should stay home for 24 hours from when the symptom started. If the symptom improves, you may return to school when you feel well enough. If the symptom persists or worsens, seek a health assessment.

If you answered “YES” to two or more of the questions included under ‘Symptoms of Illness’ or you have a fever, seek a health assessment. A health assessment includes calling 8-1-1, or a primary care provider like a physician, nurse practitioner. If a health assessment is required, you should not return to school until COVID-19 has been excluded and your symptoms have improved.

For testing on the Sunshine Coast, contact the Respiratory Assessment Clinic for an appointment by phone or text at 604-740-1252, or by email at coastrespclinic@gmail.com. They are open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by appointment only.  Please note that testing is available for people of all ages, including school age children and younger.  

When a COVID-19 test is recommended by the health assessment:

  • If the COVID-19 test is positive, you should stay home until you are told by public health to end self-isolation. In most cases this is 10 days after the onset of symptoms. Public health will contact everyone with a positive test.

  • If the COVID-19 test is negative, you can return to school once symptoms have improved and you feel well enough. Symptoms of common respiratory illnesses can persist for a week or more. Re-testing is not needed unless you develop a new illness.

  • If a COVID-19 test is recommended but is not done because you choose not to have the test, or you do not seek a health assessment when recommended, and your symptoms are not related to a previously diagnosed health condition, you should stay home from school until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, and then you may return if you are feeling well enough.

    If a COVID-19 test is not recommended by the health assessment, you can return to school when symptoms improve and you feel well enough. Testing may not be recommended if the assessment determines that the symptoms are due to another cause (i.e. not COVID-19).

    If you answered “YES” to questions 2 or 3, use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you should seek testing for COVID- 19.

    A health-care provider note (i.e. a doctor’s note) is not required to confirm the health status of any individual.

*Students with symptoms such as runny nose or sneezing which are not included in the list of key COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) can remain in school and do not require COVID-19 testing. 

Arm yourself against the flu! VCH Community Flu Clinics for Fall 2020 

A: Anyone with NEW symptoms of COVID-like illness that are not associated with a known chronic condition, such as allergies or asthma should stay home and monitor their illness for 24 hours. If symptoms develop at school, they should be isolated until they can be sent home. Key symptoms to watch for are fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 can be mild and are similar to other respiratory infections. Most people with these symptoms do not have COVID-19. 

• For mild symptoms without fever, students and staff can monitor at home for 24 hours and return if symptoms improve. 

• If symptoms include fever OR if after 24 hours, mild symptoms remain unchanged or worsen, a health assessment is advised. The health assessment will determine whether a COVID-19 test is warranted. A doctor’s note should not be required for a return to school. 

Please note: Schools are not required to report suspected COVID-19 cases or absenteeism to local public health. 

*Students with symptoms such as runny nose or sneezing which are not included in the list of key COVID-19 symptoms (fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea) can remain in school and do not require COVID-19 testing.

A: BC has just released a new COVID-19 test available for children aged 4 to 18 years old. 

COVID-19 gargle instructions HANDOUT 2020Sep10 Youth

A: All of our schools are following the BCCDC guidelines (Public Health Actions if a Staff, Student or Other Person Who Has Been in the School is a Confirmed COVID-19 Case). Families should conduct the public health and Ministry of Education recommended student/children daily health check to monitor for symptoms. Adults/Staff should use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool. 

If a student or staff member develops symptoms at school, protocols are in place for the person to be isolated and returned home as soon as possible. Public health would be notified immediately of a potential case. 

Please be aware that the school district acts under the guidance of the Ministries of Health and Education in relation to the management of illness and confirmed cases, and the communication protocols we follow. Regional Health Authorities post school exposure information online. Please visit Vancouver Coastal Health or the BC Centre for Disease Control to access this information.

Current protocol following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health initiates contact tracing to determine how the individual was infected and who they were in close contact with.
  • Vancouver Coastal Health identifies and notifies close contacts who may be at an increased risk, and advises them to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days.
  • Only Vancouver Coastal Health can determine who is a close contact. Learning groups, friends or other connections may not be determined to be a close contact. 
  • Vancouver Coastal Health staff works closely with the school and school district throughout the case and contact management process to maintain close communication with the school community.

The key point for families to remember is that Vancouver Coastal Health will connect directly with any individuals who may have been exposed with further instructions via phone call or letter. If you are contacted by Vancouver Coastal Health, please follow their advice carefully.

As per our health and safety guidelines, if your child has symptoms, please keep them at home and follow the guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control.

If you do not receive a phone call or letter from Vancouver Coastal Health, your child should continue to attend school. As a reminder, please continue daily health checks to monitor your child for COVID-19 symptoms. If you have any health questions or concerns, we encourage you to call 811.

Can you provide more information on confirmed cases?

For privacy reasons, we are not able to provide health information on any individuals. 

 Joint Statement from to Dr. Patricia Daly, VCH Chief Medical Health Officer and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer 

—————— 

Being a parent in a pandemic comes with a lot of challenges and public health officials are here to help. 

Public health has a long history of working collaboratively to promote and protect the health of our school communities. Like every year, we will support our teachers and education staff to make this return to school successful. 

The robust school safety plans currently in place across the province are designed to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in school settings. 

VCH Public Health teams actively monitor and trace cases of COVID-19 in schools on a 24/7 basis. Our immediate priority for every known case is to identify people who have been their close contacts during the infectious period, to notify these contacts and then to ensure that all contacts are following the appropriate public health directions for self-isolation. 

Whether in schools or in other settings, VCH Public Health notifies all contacts of cases exposed to COVID-19 in the most direct manner possible. This is the most effective contact tracing practice – it allows Public Health to provide clear direction to those contacts while respecting patient confidentiality which is important for the effective management of the pandemic. 

When there has been exposure of classrooms or cohorts of students and staff in a school setting, we work with the school administrator to quickly send an email and letter to notify the staff and students (or their parents) identified as contacts. VCH Public Health will follow-up directly with all contacts who receive a notification in order to provide further public health advice. All notifications to school administrators – including school exposure and outbreaks – are posted to the VCH school exposure webpage at http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/school-exposures. 

Schools are part of our communities – and a safe community means a safe school. That is why we in public health will continue to promptly and appropriately respond to cases, clusters and outbreaks of COVID-19 to ensure our communities, and the schools in them, remain at low risk for COVID-19 transmission. 

COVID-19 will be around for months to come – and public health officials will be here with us through it all. 

A: Regional Health Authorities will be posting school exposure information online. Please visit Vancouver Coastal Health or the BC Centre for Disease Control to access this information.

This online resource will provide parents, teachers and community members with timely, accurate information on the COVID-19 cases in K-12 schools in their region.

Health authorities will provide the name of the school, the community and the date and type of notification (outbreak, cluster or exposure.)

 Joint Statement from to Dr. Patricia Daly, VCH Chief Medical Health Officer and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer 

—————— 

Being a parent in a pandemic comes with a lot of challenges and public health officials are here to help. 

Public health has a long history of working collaboratively to promote and protect the health of our school communities. Like every year, we will support our teachers and education staff to make this return to school successful. 

The robust school safety plans currently in place across the province are designed to minimize the transmission of COVID-19 in school settings. 

VCH Public Health teams actively monitor and trace cases of COVID-19 in schools on a 24/7 basis. Our immediate priority for every known case is to identify people who have been their close contacts during the infectious period, to notify these contacts and then to ensure that all contacts are following the appropriate public health directions for self-isolation. 

Whether in schools or in other settings, VCH Public Health notifies all contacts of cases exposed to COVID-19 in the most direct manner possible. This is the most effective contact tracing practice – it allows Public Health to provide clear direction to those contacts while respecting patient confidentiality which is important for the effective management of the pandemic. 

When there has been exposure of classrooms or cohorts of students and staff in a school setting, we work with the school administrator to quickly send an email and letter to notify the staff and students (or their parents) identified as contacts. VCH Public Health will follow-up directly with all contacts who receive a notification in order to provide further public health advice. All notifications to school administrators – including school exposure and outbreaks – are posted to the VCH school exposure webpage at http://www.vch.ca/covid-19/school-exposures. 

Schools are part of our communities – and a safe community means a safe school. That is why we in public health will continue to promptly and appropriately respond to cases, clusters and outbreaks of COVID-19 to ensure our communities, and the schools in them, remain at low risk for COVID-19 transmission. 

COVID-19 will be around for months to come – and public health officials will be here with us through it all. 

A: Typically, the process takes two to four days from the time Vancouver Coastal Health is notified of a positive case. They generally reach the case within 24 hours and their contacts within the next 24 hours. The exact time to complete contact tracing can vary depending on the number of case contacts, types of interactions, speed of replies. 

A: We understand there may be rumours in the community regarding potential COVID cases. Please rest assured that if a member of the school community were to test positive for COVID-19, Vancouver Coastal Health would follow up directly with any individuals who may have been exposed. We are committed to open and transparent communication with our staff and families. We will work with Vancouver Coastal Health to share information on COVID-19 exposures at our district site and those it may impact. As mentioned, school exposure information will also be posted online via Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control.

A: With respect to a child’s learning for the time period they may be away from school, we would work with the family to ensure continuity of learning if they are well enough to do so. This may include an online presence with connections and touch points. 

 

A: The Ministry of Education has developed a five-stage approach supported by strict public health guidelines from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) that allow in-class instruction to be increased or decreased depending on the risk of transmission.

In the case of a local outbreak, public health officials will work with school administration to determine what actions should be taken and if suspending in-class learning is necessary. If any staff or student has been in contact with a COVID-positive person, they will be notified by public health officials and must self-isolate. If there is a large-scale outbreak or second wave, the Ministry will continue to work with the Provincial Health Officer, school districts and independent school associations to review and revise health and safety measures in schools based on updated public health guidance.

A: CMHA BC’s free wellness programs can help families manage back to school anxiety during COVID-19.

Also, if you missed the Facebook Live | Vancouver Coastal Health | Copying with Back to School Anxiety with Dr. Erik Swartz, here is the  Recording. 

 

A:  To support a positive school experience, we encourage you to explore the provincial Erase website for a list of mental health resources for parents, caregivers, students and staff that are focused on building safe, caring and resilient school communities. Given the links between mental and physical health, we also encourage you to explore ways to integrate greater opportunities for movement during the school day, including the promotion of active transportation to and from school, which also has infection prevention benefits.

For more mental health resources, please check out the tab at the top of this page titled Mental Health Resources. 

A: All boards of education and independent school authorities will continue to be required to implement strict public health measures set by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) to reduce the risk COVID-19 transmission.

These health and safety guidelines were in place in June for the part-time return to in-class instruction and have been recently updated to take this next step in accommodating more students back into the classroom in the fall.

Some examples of health and safety measures that are in place:

  • Students will be asked to wash their hands frequently, including before coming to school. They will have access to hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available.
  • Physical distancing (2 metres) for staff and secondary school students when interacting outside of their learning groups.
  • Schools will continue to be cleaned more frequently, including classrooms and high touch areas:
    • General cleaning and disinfecting of school premises at least once in a 24-hour period
    • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces at least twice in 24 hours, including once during regular school hours
  • School and classrooms might look different, with:
    • Students organized into learning groups
    • Increased spacing between students in classrooms and more individual and smaller group activities
    • Designated entrances, floor markings and/or signage to address traffic flow
    • Limitations on assemblies and other large gatherings
  • Visitor access during school hours will be prioritized to those entering to support activities that benefit student learning and well-being.

See COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE FOR K-12 SCHOOL SETTINGS for more information on K-12 health and safety measures.

A: In order to reduce physical contact and maximize spacing between students, the School District is asking all registered riders to consider using alternative transportation options, if possible. Cross-boundary riders may be required to make alternative arrangements depending on available space. School Buses will not be accepting unregistered riders, which includes after-school friends coming home with a bus student.  Alternate transportation will need to be arranged by families in those cases.

For those families who do require service, the Board of Education has established walk limits to school from student’s homes. If a student lives within a walk limit, they are not eligible for school bus transportation. The walk limits established are 2.0 km for Kindergarten to Grade 7 and 3.2 km for Grade 8 to Grade 12. If you are unsure about your eligibility for a school bus, you can use google maps to enter your home address and your school’s address and choose the “walk” option to determine the shortest route. You can also contact our transportation contractor, Thirdwave, if you need more assistance in determining your eligibility. In normal years the school district sometimes provides courtesy ridership where space permits to students living within the walk limits, however that courtesy will not be available during the COVID pandemic.

 

A: School buses will be sanitized thoroughly twice daily. All bus drivers will be wearing masks and, occasionally, face shields.  Students who attend the same school will be seated in similar areas in the bus and we are working to develop seating lists as we establish ridership for the coming school year.

We ask that you and your child self-assess each morning prior to boarding the bus. If your child is exhibiting any symptoms, please refrain from riding the bus and complete the BC self-assessment tool  here. All students are asked to wash their hands as they leave their home in the morning, prior to boarding the bus. Secondary students will be required to wear a mask while riding the bus.

Who can I contact for more information?

Mike Martens, Assistant Manager of Facilities and Transportation

Phone: 604-886-9870 | Email: mmartens@sd46.bc.ca

Randy Gould, Manager, Thirdwave Bus Services

Phone: 604-885-1260 | Email: randyg@thirdwavebus.com

A: In Stage 2 of the Ministry’s Back to School Plan and guidelines, visitor access during school hours should be prioritized to those supporting activities that benefit student learning and well-being (e.g. teacher candidates, public health nurses, meal program volunteers, etc.).

Schools will ensure that visitors are aware of health and safety protocols and requirements prior to entering the school. 

If you need to enter the school, please contact your child’s principal to make an appointment. 

A: Telus provides a low cost internet service for K-12 students from low income families. 

The program offers internet connectivity for $9.95/month (plus applicable taxes) for 24 months; regular pricing thereafter. 

A: If you have chosen Option 3 Sunshine Coast Online for your child, please register them at sd46online.ca.

  • Click on Register
  • For K to Grade 9 students, choose the SD46 Online K-9 Registration. 
  • For Grade 10-12 students, choose the Secondary Registration. 

**Your child will be welcome to return to their SD46 school where they are currently registered in September, 2021.

For more on the SC Online program, visit: https://sd46.bc.ca/programs/alternative-education/sc-online-dl/

A: For elementary,  the dates for re-entry are Tuesday, September 29th, Tuesday, October 13th, Monday, October 26th and Monday, November 9th. Students re-entering full time-in class instruction on these transition phase dates will receive an orientation from their school before beginning back to full time in-class instruction. Families will need to give the school notice of their plans to return one week before the dates for re-entry. 

For secondary, please contact your child’s principal for more details on the transition phase re-entry schedule.

 

A: Yes, this may be possible. Keep in mind that the BC Ministry of Education may also move the whole province in to a different stage during the school year.

 If you are moving from Option 1 (Full Time-In-Class Instruction) to Option 3 (SC Online), this would be dependent on sufficient staff in the SC Online program and if it is not full at the time of your request to switch. You may then only return to the school after that if there is space in the classroom.

Please speak to your child’s principal if you plan on selecting a different option at any time. 

A: According to the Provincial Health Officer and the BCCDC, most children with compromised immune systems can return to school when safety measures are in place. Protective self-isolation is only recommended for children with severely compromised immune systems, on a case-by-case basis.

According to the BCCDC, children with severely compromised immune systems include children who have had a recent organ transplant, who are on intensive chemotherapy, who are receiving high doses of steroids, or with severe immune deficiency diseases.

Parents/caregivers of children with complex medical conditions or underlying risk factors should consult with their healthcare provider to determine their child’s level of risk regarding returning to school. Subsequently, parents/caregivers may wish to reach out to the principal of their current school to discuss available options and support.

For more information, see BCCDC’s GUIDANCE FOR FAMILIES OF IMMUNOCOMPROMISED CHILDREN IN SCHOOL AND GROUP GATHERINGS, and their FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING COVID-19 AND CHILDREN WITH IMMUNE SUPRESSION.

A: A learning group is a group of students and staff who remain together throughout a specific school term (e.g., a school quarter, semester or year) and who primarily interact with each other.

A learning group could be made up of:

  • A single class of students with their teacher
  • Multiple classes that sometimes join together for additional learning activities
  • A group of secondary school students with the same courses

Under Stage 2 of B.C.’s FIVE STAGE FRAMEWORK FOR K-12 EDUCATION the maximum size of learning groups is 60 people in elementary schools and 120 people in secondary schools.

SD46 Learning Groups Infographic

Click HERE for more learning group information from the Ministry of Education.

Benefits of Learning Groups:

Under Stage 2 of B.C.’s FIVE STAGE FRAMEWORK FOR K-12 EDUCATION, classrooms will remain students’ primary learning environment.

Learning groups will allow for additional interactions between students and classes to support learning, while limiting the number of interactions between people in schools and subsequently, reducing potential exposures to COVID-19.

Learning groups will provide a range of benefits for students:

  • Learning – Allow for in-person learning
  • Social – Increase peer interaction, avoid isolation
  • Emotional – Increase peer support and connection
  • Psychological – Decrease mental health impacts

How will physical distancing be maintained within a learning group?

Learning groups reduce the number of in-person, close interactions a person has in school.

Members of the same learning group will have to minimize physical contact, but they will not be required to practise strict physical distancing.

Outside of a learning group, physical distancing of 2 metres remains the expectation for secondary school students and for all K-12 staff. As well, non-medical masks or face coverings are required to be worn by staff and secondary students in high traffic areas, in common areas (e.g. hallways) or in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained and the person is interacting with people outside of their learning group.

What could a learning group look like at elementary school?

The majority of elementary schools will return to full-time, in-class instruction with minimal modifications to school structures and timetable.

Classrooms will remain students’ primary environment. Elementary schools will create learning groups of up to 60 students and staff. Details about learning groups specific to SD46 will be made available by August 26. Note: student-specific information will be shared with families closer to the start of school.

SD46 Learning Groups Infographic

What could a learning group look like at elementary school?

The majority of elementary schools will return to full-time, in-class instruction with minimal modifications to school structures and timetable.

Classrooms will remain students’ primary environment. Elementary schools will create learning groups of up to 60 students and staff. Details about learning groups specific to SD46 will be made available by August 26. Note: student-specific information will be shared with families closer to the start of school.

SD46 Learning Groups Infographic

What could a learning group look like at secondary school?

Secondary schools will require adjustments to timetables and school schedules in order to maximize in-class instruction.

Secondary school students will continue to be organized in classrooms; however, school timetables will be organized to limit students to learning groups of no more than 120 students and staff. As an example only, students in a secondary school learning group might take some of their courses together, and then take separate electives, where they would need to practise physical distancing from the students outside of their learning group. Details about learning groups specific to SD46 will be made available by August 26. Note: student-specific information will be shared with families closer to the start of school.

SD46 Learning Groups Infographic

A: On the advice of the Provincial Health Officer, non-medical masks are not recommended for elementary students because of the increased likelihood they will touch their face and eyes, and because they may require assistance to properly put on and take off their mask (which means increased close personal contact from school staff). However, younger students will need to wear a mask if they become sick at school.

Some younger students may choose to wear a mask for personal reasons, and they will be provided one if they make that choice.

 

A: Non-medical masks or face coverings are required to be worn by staff and secondary students in high traffic areas, in common areas (e.g. hallways) or in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained and the person is interacting with people outside of their learning group (e.g. Teachers Teaching on Call, specialist teachers or Education Assistants required to work in close proximity to students across learning groups).

Exceptions will be made for students who cannot wear masks for medical reasons.

Schools will also ensure non-medical masks are available for staff if someone should become ill while at school.

Beyond the above, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in schools is a personal choice that will be respected.

Re-useable face masks will be made available for staff and students who choose to wear one. 

A: Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group.

Efforts will be put in place to ensure there is not crowding, gathering or congregating of people from different learning groups in a school setting, even if non-medical masks are being worn.

A: Ventilation is achieved through a variety of air handling equipment (HVAC systems) which brings outdoor air into the classroom space, and exhausts indoor air, to the outside.

SD46 HVAC systems have been adjusted to provide as much fresh air as possible, along with additional ventilation before and after classes.

The district has invested in HVAC systems over the years including two extensive refits this summer at HMBES and KES to ensure that we have well ventilated spaces both now and in the future. Opening windows have been installed in classrooms where that need was identified.

Where and when it is feasible, doors and windows will be open to provide a flow of air through spaces and outdoor education will be occurring. 

A: Vancouver Coastal Health has recommended drinking fountains not be used at this time. However, water bottle filling stations will be available for use by students and staff.

Units that include both a water fountain and filling station will have the fountain portion sealed off or identified as not for use. The filling station, considered a high touch surface, will be subject to a higher cleaning frequency, similar to other high touch surface areas.

 

A: Yes. All SD46 playgrounds reopened on June 1, 2020.

We do ask that playground users adhere to physical distancing guidelines and follow proper hand washing protocol afterward.

Please click HERE for more information.

 

A: To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission and ensure the continued health, safety and wellness of all of our user groups, all rentals of the Sunshine Coast School District indoor facilities  have been suspended until further notice 

We remain optimistic that rentals can resume this school year and we will continue to provide updates as they are available. We will endeavour to provide another update on or before December 1st, 2020. 

Please be advised that should rentals resume, several changes will be made in order to abide by the protocols set forth by the Provincial Health Officer as well as the Ministry of Education. These changes may include but are not limited to: 

  • Changes to available spaces and locations 
  • Changes to time blocks available for rent 
  • An additional cleaning fee 
  • Additional requirements for groups including: provision of a Return to Play or similar plan outlining protocols in place; provision of all group equipment and supplies; Acceptance of SD46 Revised Terms and Conditions 

At this time, new rental applications are not being accepted. 

Other outdoor spaces such as basketball courts, sport enclosures and playground spaces on school property cannot be booked. These amenities are available for community use outside of school hours.

Sunshine Coast Regional District & SD46 Joint Use Agreement Notice:

Until further notice we are unable to accommodate joint use bookings through the SCRD or SD46; however, staff will be reviewing what is possible and will seek to resume these bookings as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.

A: Community Schools are providing food to a significant number of families who are struggling to make ends meet at this time. As a district we are working with the Community School Associations and joining with other community groups to ensure that Sunshine Coast families do not go hungry during this pandemic.

A: The BCCDC has advised that wherever possible, larger gatherings should be held virtually. 

Board Meetings are currently being conducted via Zoom and will be broadcasted live via the SD46Schools YouTube Channel.

A: The plan for September has been developed based on the advice and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer to ensure health and safety measures are in place to protect students and school staff.

There are a number of reasons for a return to in-class instruction:

  • It is safe to do so. Information from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) tells us the COVID-19 virus has a very low infection rate in children. As well, children are not the primary drivers of the COVID-19 spread in childcare facilities, schools or in community settings.
  • Schools are important community hubs. Social interaction is critical to our individual and collective well-being and mental health.
  • Schools are critical to student learning.
  • School closures have significant negative mental health and socioeconomic impacts on vulnerable children and youth.

A: If you have questions or comments about your child’s learning, please contact their teacher. If the matter is more school related, please connect with your child’s principal. If the matter is more related to the direction of the district, please email the Superintendent of Schools. If you don’t know who to talk to, contact any of us. We are here to help: email questions@sd46.bc.ca.

All district and school contact information is available on this site.

We will ensure commonly asked questions are shared (while protecting your personal privacy) so that we can update our FAQ and provide an answer that benefits all visitors to this page.

Registration for Fall Parenting Series

Parenting Through Difficult Times – How to Thrive Rather Than Just Survive – Flyer

CLICK ON THE LINK TO ACCESS PREVIOUS SESSION RECORDINGS!

You can attend just one session out of the series, or all of them. Pop in when you can! The parents who have attended exclaim “I can’t believe more families aren’t taking advantage of this, it’s so great!”

*To register, click on the tab for the ELEMENTARY OR SECONDARY option, fill out the form, and click submit. A ZOOM link will be sent to you by email following registration. 

 

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