Frequently Asked Questions during COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions during COVID-19

​To provide our school communities with the latest information relating to our school district, we have created a list of frequently asked questions during COVID-19. This list also includes information from the Ministry of Education regarding September 2020 back-to-school plans, learning groups and health and safety guidelines. Additional information about BC’s Back to School Plan is available on the ministry website. The FAQs on this page will be updated regularly as we receive additional information and clarification.

You can browse our FAQs by category using the tabs below, or search for your specific question in the field below.

If your question is not on the list, you can submit it through the “Submit a Question” tab at the bottom of this list. We are listening. Your question(s) will be reviewed by staff and the FAQs will be updated within 24 to 48 hours. If your question is not answered yet, it is because details are still being worked out. We will be updating this FAQ regularly as more information becomes available. 

UPDATED: October 19, 2020

HEALTH AND SAFETY
School District No. 42

If you are a contact of a confirmed case, a member of the public health team will contact you to let you know you may have been exposed.  If you have symptoms, you will be sent for testing. If you do not have symptoms, you will be asked to self-isolate so that if you develop COVID-19, you won’t spread it to others in the community. Contact public health to seek guidance on whether other members of your household must self-isolate.

The BC Centre for Disease Control website provides helpful guidance with respect to COVID-19 and schools. In this case, BC CDC provides the following advice:

Students and staff without symptoms can still go to school even if someone else in their household is sick. They cannot go to school if public health has told them not to. This is the same as for other settings like workplaces and public spaces.

Most people who are sick or have symptoms of illness in B.C. are not sick with COVID-19. So, it is very unlikely the person in their household has COVID-19. 

If someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19, public health will identify close contacts and ask them to stay home and self-isolate

The person who is sick or has symptoms should be assessed by 8-1-1 or a health care provider. Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones.

School districts follow the protocols developed by the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre of Disease Control and captured in the COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings (Updated September 11, 2020) document. The public health actions protocols in cases where a student, staff or other person who has been in the school is a confirmed COVID-19 case are captured in the following graphic:

Confirmed close contacts are determined based on the length of time of exposure and nature of the interaction. Only public health can determine who is a close contact.

If you answer “yes” to the checklist questions and the symptoms are not related to a pre-existing condition (e.g. allergies) your child must not come to school. Instead, please contact a health-care provider for further assessment (e.g. a primary care provider like a physician or nurse practitioner, or the 8-1-1 resource)

Touchless taps have been installed in all washrooms where this was a possibility. Following the CDC guidelines, paper towels are provided for turning off faucets in washrooms without touchless taps.

Yes. Parents/guardians who would like to provide their children with their own masks are free to do so.

All families and staff must sign the Daily Health Assessment consent form at the beginning of the school year to acknowledge their responsibility to undertake a daily health check before coming to school.

Students/staff with any of the symptoms on the list MUST NOT attend school.

Students who arrive at the school ill or who develop symptoms of illness while at school will be separated and their parents or caregivers will be notified and asked to pick them up as soon as possible. The spaces they were in will be cleaned and disinfected.

If a staff member or student in a school is confirmed by public health as positive for COVID-19, public health will contact school administration to advise on next steps.

The response protocol, as outlined on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, is as follows:

Staff and families of students will be contacted if public health believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 at school, and provided with recommended follow-up steps (noted below). 

Staff and students not exposed may or may not be notified if there is a positive COVID-19 case in a school. This is at the discretion of the school medical health officer.

Only public health can determine if a staff or student may have been exposed.    

Public health will: 

  • notify anyone who may have been exposed.
  • provide any follow-up steps like self-isolating or monitoring for symptoms. 
  • work with school administration to decide if communications to the school community are needed.

Please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website to review all current BCCDC protocols concerning schools: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/childcare-schools/schools

The district will provide online support for children who are self-isolating.

Schools will not be performing temperature checks. Instead, all parents and staff are required to do a daily health assessment following the district-provided Daily Health Assessment checklist.

Students/staff MUST NOT come to school if:

  • They have any of the symptoms identified on this list;
  • They live in a household in which someone has returned from travel outside of Canada in the last 14 days; or
  • Anyone in their household is (or they themselves are) a public health confirmed contact of a person confirmed to have COVID-19.

All families and staff must sign a consent form at the beginning of the school year indicating they are aware of and intend to undertake this daily responsibility.

Please contact your child’s school principal to discuss the accommodations and/or program options that may be a good fit for your child at both the school and district-level. 

Parents/guardians will be required to do a daily health assessment of their child(ren) using a district-provided checklist. If they answer yes to any of the questions on the list, the child must stay at home, self-isolate, and seek care from a health-care provider.

If a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19, Fraser Health will reach out to identify any potential cases, get in touch with close contacts, recommend 14-day isolation if necessary, and provide any follow-up recommendations. 

As recommended by Provincial Health Officials: promote and practise social/physical distancing; stay home and away from others if sick or in isolation; wash hands often; cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbows; avoid touching face with unwashed hands; avoid travel outside Canada; self-isolate for 14 days if returning from travel outside Canada or were exposed to COVID-19; and contact your primary health provider or Health Link 811 if you have questions about your health.

RETURN TO IN-CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION
School District No. 42

People in the same learning group don’t need to stay two metres apart but must limit physical contact. Teachers who wish to practice social distancing in their learning group may.

The arrangement of each classroom will vary depending on the layout/furniture in that room. Some classrooms will have large tables where students will have an assigned seat with 3 or 4 other students, for example, while others may have individual desks that are spaced apart. Signs and decals have been placed in high-traffic areas throughout schools.

Our staff are trained in a social emotional approach to ensure all our learners feel safe and cared for.

 

If you are contemplating homeschooling for your child(ren), please contact your child’s school principal to advise them of your plans and to discuss possible alternate accommodations that can be made at school level.

Parents who choose to homeschool their children must register their child(ren) on or before September 30 in each year, and provide and supervise their child’s entire educational program, including curriculum and learning materials.

Please note that homeschoolers are not eligible to receive a BC Graduation Diploma (Dogwood). Find additional information about homeschooling here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/support/classroom-alternatives/homeschooling

Yes. Please reach out to your school and request to speak with a counsellor.

If your child is returning for in-classroom instruction, you do not need to notify the school.

If your child is not returning for in-classroom instruction, please advise the school principal so that the school is aware of your plans.

Students registered in other programs outside of the school district or at other programs/schools in the school district will have an opportunity to transition back to a school setting at the beginning of each reporting period. Best efforts will be made to return students to their home school or program of choice. Requests for return to in-classroom instruction during the 2020/21 school year will be accommodated following district Procedure 9200.1 Student Placement.

Parents/guardians of students who wish to return to their home school for September 2021 will be given first priority to do so. In such cases, parents will need to re-register their child(ren) in their home school(s) by December 11, 2020.

If your child(red) will not be returning to school this September, please contact the school principal to discuss available options, including existing district/school programs or the possibility of gradual entry in September.

Students not returning in September 2020 will have an opportunity to transition back to a school setting at the beginning of each reporting period. Best efforts will be made to return students to their home school or program of choice. Requests for return to in-classroom instruction during the 2020/21 school year will be accommodated following district Procedure 9200.1 Student Placement.

Parents/guardians of students who wish to return to their home school for September 2021 will be given first priority to do so. In such cases, parents will need to re-register their child(ren) in their home school(s) by December 11, 2020.

STUDENTS AND INSTRUCTION
School District No. 42

Homeschooling is available for both elementary-aged and secondary-aged students. Please note, however, that homeschoolers are not eligible to receive a BC Dogwood Graduation Certificate. Learn more about homeschooling at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/support/classroom-alternatives/homeschooling

At this time the school district hold on all international field trips is still in effect. However, walking field trips and field trips to surrounding communities may still occur as long as they follow all health and safety measures for COVID-19.

The district will provide online support for children who are self-isolating.

At the elementary level, the school district is offering a graduated return to school option for the month of September and beyond if required. This option may appeal to families who want a slower transition to full-time in-classroom learning for their child. For some students, this may mean in-person attendance for a shorter segment of a school day, while for others, it may mean starting with some remote work but building to in-person attendance. The specifics of the plan would be shaped by the needs of the individual student/family.

Please contact your child’s school principal if you think this option might be a good fit for your child.

Odyssey is a K-9 program in which learning is designed and developed by teaching staff and delivered at home by a parent. Odyssey staff ensure that all students in the program follow the BC curriculum while providing a unique partnership between the school, parent and student. This program, which runs out of Fairview Elementary, uses a “blended” approach where students attend school in small groups for specific instruction and support for a few hours per week and the teacher guides the home learning instruction of core curriculum through in-person and on-line support. We may expand the seats available for students at the Odyssey Program if needed and are exploring offering a French Immersion option for this year in this program as well if needed.

Learn more information about the Odyssey program https://www.sd42.ca/program/odyssey/

Fall registration information will be posted to clc.sd42.ca on August 17, 2020.

 

Yes. Let your child’s teacher know that your child requires a device to support remote learning.

Please advise your teacher of any technology needs or limitations so that these can be addressed/accommodated.

The school district has developed a document for students, advising how to access Office 365 (including the Microsoft Teams feature). This document includes information on how to obtain usernames/passwords.

OPERATIONS
School District No. 42

All SD42 StrongStart centres plan to have a delayed opening schedule for the 2020/21 year. By September 14, further details regarding StrongStart programming and registration information will be available on the school district website at https://www.sd42.ca/program/strongstart/

School cafeterias will be open for limited operations. Your child’s school will provide information regarding school-specific protocols and operations.

Kindergarten registration takes place online through the school district parent portal. The Late Registration Phase runs from February 26 to June 21. Learn more about the kindergarten registration process on the district website at https://www.sd42.ca/kindergarten-registration/ 

To register your child for kindergarten on the parent portal, go to https://parents.sd42.ca/

Our Maintenance Department and District Education Office (DEO) are both open to the public. The DEO will be closed daily during the following times: 

10:15am to 10:30am
12:30pm to 1:30pm
2:15pm to 2:30pm 

Riverside centre is closed to the public until further notice, but our staff will continue providing services.

For assistance, please call 604.463.4200 or email deo_reception@sd42.ca.

SD42 school playgrounds opened on June 1. Playground users should continue to follow all public health guidelines, including maintaining two-metre (six feet) physical distancing and washing or sanitizing hands before and after play.

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION BACK TO SCHOOL PLAN
Ministry of Education

Students in B.C. will return to in-class learning September 2020. B.C.’s plan includes new health and safety measures, increased funding for protective equipment like masks and new learning groups to help keep everyone safe. Learn more.

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We are listening. Your question(s) will be reviewed by staff and the FAQs will be updated within 24 to 48 hours. If your question is not answered yet, it is because details are still being worked out. We will be updating this FAQ regularly as more information becomes available. Thank you for your patience.

Our vision
Our vision is for every individual to feel valued and for all learners to reach their potential.
Our mission
Our mission is to support all individuals in their development as successful learners, and as respectful, caring and responsible members of society.