The Chilliwack School District will continue to support our students and families in providing our school community with current and reliable information regarding communicable diseases including COVID-19.
The pandemic impacted, and continues to impact students, staff, and families in many ways, with some longer-term impacts yet to be realized. Our shared experience highlights the need to continue to be flexible and responsive to changes in transmission trends, as well as provides the opportunity to incorporate our learnings into approaches for sustainable communicable disease prevention moving forward.
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Communicable Disease Guidelines For K-12 Settings
On August 25, 2022, the Ministry of Education released updated guidelines that we continue to follow in our K-12 settings.
These updated guidelines bring together the previously issued Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, the COVID-19 Protocols for School & District Administrators and Staff: Management of School-Associated Activity and the K-12 Recovery Plan and is aligned with BC Centre for Disease Control | Ministry of Health Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools.
Child care providers operating on schools grounds can also use this guidance along with Supporting Child Wellness: Public Health Guidance for Communicable Disease (including COVID-19) Management in Child Care Settings to inform communicable disease prevention planning.
Your school administrators will ensure that staff, other adults entering the school, parents, caregivers, and students are aware that they should not come to school if they are sick. Everyone can do their part by doing a personal health check each day.
COVID-19 will continue to circulate in our population, and as long as cases occur within our communities, K-12 students and staff members will continue to be affected. However, BCCDC notes that transmission within K-12 school settings accounts for a minority of COVID-19 cases, even amongst students and staff.
Moreover, with high immunization rates in BC and treatment options for people at higher risk of serious disease, public health advises that COVID-19 can be managed as are other serious respiratory infections in the community.
As such, the guidance in this document supports reducing the risk of transmission of communicable diseases, including COVID-19 and will be modified as needed. BCCDC is the primary source of information about COVID-19 in BC.
Functional Closures and Process
A functional closure is the temporary closure of a school determined by the Chilliwack School District due to a lack of available staff to provide the required level of teaching, supervision, support, and/or custodial to ensure the health and safety of students. While every effort will be made to deploy all available resources to cover staff absences, there does exist the possibility that at some point, we will experience a functional closure of a school.
The Chilliwack School District will communicate information regarding a school functional closure the same day it determines that staffing levels are insufficient to operate the school safely. Parents/guardians will be requested to keep their students home the next day (Day 1), and staff will communicate with parents/guardians and prepare for online/remote learning. Online/remote learning will take place the following five school days (Day 2 to 7), while staff absence levels are reviewed with anticipation of returning to face-to-face instruction on Day 8.
Note that in the event of a school functional closure, each school will communicate information regarding the functional closure to the school community.