We are looking forward to welcoming your child back for another year of learning. To help you prepare for a safe return to school, we are providing you with a high-level overview of our Restart Plan, which we have developed in alignment with the direction set by the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Officer. Your child’s school will share with you additional school-specific details.
If you have questions about our restart plan or about the return to in-classroom instruction more generally, visit our frequently asked questions page. If you don’t find a response to your question on this page, you can use the submissions tab on the bottom to send us the question for response.
Cleaning and disinfecting
- All schools will be cleaned in accordance with the Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings.
- General cleaning (including single-use surfaces like student desks) will occur once every 24 hours.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected twice every 24 hours, as will all shared equipment, appliances, manipulatives, and tools.
- Additional custodians have been hired to meet enhanced cleaning demands.
- Hand hygiene signage has been placed throughout all district buildings.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations will be strategically located throughout schools and at front entrances of all facilities.
- Faucets will be touchless where possible.
- Paper towels will be provided in all bathrooms.
Physical distancing strategies
- All schools will have physical distancing signage and floor decals directing traffic flow and illustrating 2-metre distancing.
- Classrooms will be configured to allow for distance between students and adults as needed.
- At recess and lunchtime, students outside of their learning group will be encouraged to use different areas of the school to facilitate physical distancing. Larger schools may implement staggered lunch/recess breaks.
- Students will have a designated entrance/exit, and staff will provide appropriate supervision at start-up, breaks and dismissal.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- The school district will provide two reusable cloth masks for all students and staff who are required to wear them or who want this added layer of protection. Masks are not required within cohorts but are mandatory for secondary staff and students when they are in high-traffic areas (e.g. buses, hallways, and classrooms) outside of their cohorts where physical distancing cannot be maintained. Elementary school students are not required to wear masks.
- Face shields for staff will be made available at each site for those who need to wear them.
- In both secondary and elementary environments, staff who interact with multiple learning groups will be required to wear a mask and face shield when they are unable to maintain physical distancing.
Symptom Assessment and Illness Policies/Procedures
- Parents/guardians will need to perform a daily health assessment using a district-provided checklist before sending their child(ren) to school. Students who show any symptoms of illness must not attend school.
- All district buildings will have symptom assessment signage at front entrances.
- Students who develop symptoms of illness while at school will be moved into an isolated waiting room at the school while they wait to be picked up.
- The ventilation systems in all school district facilities will meet WorkSafeBC requirements, and all air filters will be replaced on a regular basis.
- Students will attend school daily.
- Learning groups will consist of up to 60 students and staff. School principals will inform parents about the organization of the learning groups at their school. Most learning groups will be 30 or less.
- School day for all groups will run from 8:30 am to 2:20 pm as usual.
- Principals will implement controlled start-up and dismissal procedures.
- Recess and lunch breaks will remain the same for all groups. Medium-sized and larger elementary schools (i.e. 350 students or more) may schedule separate recess and lunch breaks as needed. Your child’s school will provide you with school-specific information.
- Families seeking alternative programming should contact their child’s school principal to discuss program options, including the K-9 Odyssey program.
- All secondary schools will switch to the quarter system, which, most simply described, involves students completing only two courses at a time and switching courses at each quarter of the school year. Secondary school principals in our school district have added refinements to the quarter system so that student elective choices and access to supports are maximized as much as possible. If the provincial health officer must scale back attendance due to worsening conditions, it is much easier for students to manage the requirements of just two courses at a time in the context of more limited in-person school attendance. Your child’s school will provide you with additional information about the quarter system.
- Students and staff will be assigned to learning groups of no more than 120 people.
- School start times, dismissal times, and lunch breaks will be staggered.
- Schools will manage physical distancing through separate dedicated entrances, exits, and eating areas.
- Schools will have entry and exit procedures with learning groups using assigned doors, washrooms, and classroom spaces.
 A change from linear programming to the quarter system requires a shift in curriculum delivery. All of the high schools have agreed to primarily use one online learning platform so that students do not have to manage numerous learning platforms. Because students are not always able to get their chosen electives, we will also try to offer some creative opportunities for students with sponsor teachers (e.g. using BAA courses, outside of the timetable offerings, and IDS classes). Within our secondary structures/scheduling as set out, the learning groups are designed to enable schools to go down to learning groups of 60 or 30 people without disruption to class organizations.
Grade 8, 9, (10)
- Students in grades 8, 9, and where possible grade 10 will be scheduled for daily, full-time in-classroom instruction.
- Learning groups will consist of no more than 80 people.
- Some multi-grade electives and support blocks will be offered outside of set learning groups. Physical distancing will be required in such cases.
- Classes with students from more than one learning group will run as semester or linear programs with physical distancing rules in place.
- Your child’s school will provide you with school-specific information.
Grade (10) 11, 12
- Students in grades 11, 12 and in some instances grade 10 will be organized in learning groups of no more than 120 people.
- In some instances, afternoon classes will be scheduled in blended format to accommodate elective choice. In the blended format, students will be scheduled for in-classroom instruction twice a week with one day dedicated to online learning. Daily in-class instruction will be available to students who cannot manage the blended model.
- Some electives and support blocks will be offered outside of set learning groups. In such cases, physical distancing will be required. Some elective blocks and support blocks will be scheduled based on a semester or linear model.
- Continuing Education (CE) learning groups will not exceed 120 people.
- CE students registered in courses outside of their learning group will be required to physically distance in those courses.
- Educational programs delivered in correctional facilities will be organized and delivered in accordance with the health and safety regulations of each facility.
- Students and staff will be organized in learning groups not exceeding 120 people.
- Students will have individualized staggered arrival and departure times based on their learning group.
- Students will have the option of face-to-face OR blended programming.
- Where possible, students and staff will be organized in learning groups for each program.
- Learning group sizes in a trades program will not exceed 120 people.
- Programs offered in partnership with post-secondary institutions will follow health and safety protocols established in collaboration with the respective institution.
- Where possible, trades programs will have different start and end times than programs for other secondary students.
- All students will have their own set of tools. Cleaning protocols will be implemented for shared tools.
- All trades programs facilitated primarily by a school district employee will have 100% face-to-face instruction.
- Trades programs facilitated primarily by a post-secondary school employee (BCIT Construction, BCIT Electrical, BCIT Automotive Service, VCC Hairstyling, VCC Culinary Arts) will have a blended learning model.
Continuity of Learning
Plans are in place for both elementary and secondary schools to switch from Stage 2 to Stage 3 and to manage other movements between stages.
Elementary: transitioning between stages
- The transition from Stage 2 to Stage 3 will involve reducing cohorts to a maximum of 30 and identifying a daily in-class attendance schedule for each group to meet the 50% school density requirement. The transition to Stage 3 and 4 will not involve disruption to elementary school class organizations.
- The transition Stage 3 to Stage 4 will involve scheduling daily in-class attendance to meet the 25% density requirement. The remote portion of student programming will be supported through virtual platforms.
- Within the Stage 3 and Stage 4 hybrid models, planning will accommodate full-time in-class instruction for children of essential service workers, students with disabilities/diverse abilities and students who otherwise require additional supports.
Secondary: transitioning between stages
- Stage 2 learning groups are designed to enable schools to go down to 60 or 30 without disruption to class organization.
- In Stage 3 and 4 hybrid models, in-class attendance will be scheduled in compliance with school density targets. Each school will have a primary learning platform for hybrid learning in stages 3 and 4. This platform will be introduced to students in Stage 2.
- Within the Stage 3 and Stage 4 hybrid models, planning will accommodate full-time in-class instruction for all students who require additional support.
Students with Diverse Abilities/Disabilities
- Students with diverse abilities/disabilities will be provided full-time in-class instruction in Stage 2 unless alternate programming is otherwise determined in consultation with parents through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.
- Students with diverse abilities/disabilities will be placed in learning groups that support their learning profile and individual needs. Within each learning group, there will be additional supports offered by support teachers, EAs and other district itinerant staff members as outlined in student IEPs.
- As the district recognizes that each student’s needs are unique, students who are able to attend school on a full-time basis will have the necessary supports in place to continue with their program as outlined in their IEP. Many students with diverse learning needs will have related service supports that are critical to their educational success. All such supports will be maintained.
- Educators/school teams will review each student’s IEP to determine with whom they need to collaborate to best meet that student’s IEP goals.
- Classroom teachers, support teachers, school administration and learning services staff will continue to engage in consultation with parents to review and update IEPs as deemed appropriate.
- In the event of a shift to Stage 3 or Stage 4, students with disabilities/diverse abilities will be accommodated with full-time in-class attendance.
- For students who need to learn at home, a plan will be established within the student’s IEP. The school team will ensure that the student has access to technology and other items required for instructional programming and therapy. A schedule will be created to ensure that each of the educators and instructional support staff working with the student and parent/guardian are consistently communicating by phone or an online platform.
Hospital Homebound Services
Elementary and secondary students who are required to self-isolate, quarantine or otherwise are unable to attend school due to medical reasons are eligible to receive support through our Hospital Homebound Services. Information about this service/program is available for parents at the Learning Services website at https://learningservices.sd42.ca/departments/hospital-homebound-services/.
Student Transportation Services
School District No. 42 and the contracted bus company will follow the provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings, the health and safety measures outlined in B.C.’s Back to School Plan, the BCCDC Cleaning and Disinfecting for Public Settings document as well as the Government of Canada’s Federal Guidance for School Bus Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic and WorkSafeBC regulations.
- Buses will be cleaned in accordance with BCCDC Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings. During Stage 2, buses will be disinfected after each trip.
- Weather permitting, buses will operate with windows down and roof vents open to ensure the flow of fresh air.
All bus drivers will follow these daily procedures:
- Do a daily health assessment before starting work.
- Wear a non-medical mask or to have a physical barrier where physical distancing cannot be maintained and sanitize their hands frequently.
- Parents/guardians will assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory diseases and if any symptoms are identified, the child must stay home.
- Students will clean their hands before leaving home to take the bus, when they get to school, and before they leave school to board the bus.
- All students taking the bus will be provided with a reusable mask. Windows will remain open as long as weather permits.
- Seating will be assigned, with students from the same household or the same cohort seated together.
- Secondary students will be required to wear masks and will be seated two per bench.
- Elementary students will not be required to wear masks and will be seated one per bench unless sharing the bench with a member of the same household or same learning group.
- Students who develop symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory diseases during the school day will not be permitted to return home on the bus.
- Additional school bus safety protocols will be shared with families.
Communication and Engagement
- Recognizing the importance of providing school communities with timely, accurate information, the school district has outlined a plan for the development and delivery of regular updates to families and staff. Updates will increase in frequency during initial and key transition phases of the pandemic event to ensure school communities are well informed.
- Communications to families and staff containing public health messaging, including references to confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 within the school community, will be reviewed and approved by Fraser Health before they are released. In circumstances where such public communications are required, the superintendent will contact the School Medical Officer for Fraser Health directly to confer on the required communications, and to determine if these communications will be prepared by the school district or by Fraser Health.
- The provision of information to the public and media will be guided by district Policy 10200 Communications. Media requests regarding confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, potential exposure at a school or potential risk of transmission within a school setting will be directed to Fraser Health for response.