"K-12 Education Update March 31There was some key information released earlier this week regarding masks - Please read our update and the corresponding documents to ensure you are up-to-date.
PHO UpdateOn Monday March 29, the PHO did a briefing which included new public restrictions and changes to K-12 masks wearing.
See the full briefing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFF-O8UJK68
Updated Mask Requirements for K-12Further to Monday's PHO announcement, both the BCCDC Public Health Guidance for K-12 and the Health and Safety Guidelines for K-12 have now been updated to reflect the amended mask requirements for K-12 staff and students.
Effective immediately, all staff, adult volunteers and visitors, and all Grade 4 to 12 students should wear a non-medical mask or face covering (a “mask”) at all times while indoors at school, subject to the exceptions noted below. Masks for students in grades K-3 are strongly recommended.
Changes have been highlighted and include revised guidance for Staff Only Spaces, Student Transportation on Buses, Personal Protective Equipment (with updated exemptions), PHE, music classes, school sports and theatre/film/dance programs. Families should familiarize themselves with these updates. The shorter document is the public health guidance — the Ministry uses it to develop the Guidelines which are what districts must use for their safety plans.
Please note that in alignment with previous practice, the BCCDC language says “should” and the Ministry of Education guidance says “require”. Families will also note the BCCDC addendum is time limited and aligns with the recent “circuit breaker” orders Dr. Henry provided. The Ministry of Education guidance DOES NOT have an expiry date at this time. Students will be able to remove their masks while outside, including at recess, lunchtime and while learning outside.
For middle/secondary students, these changes will just increase the frequency of mask wearing expectations, but should be easier to implement as mask requirements are already in place. For elementary school students in Grades 4-7, the Ministry is supporting a gradual implementation approach, knowing that staff and students may need a few days to build mask wearing into their routines.
We suggest families send their child to school in a clean mask, and with a spare mask, that they are used to wearing. Schools will have disposable masks available if students forget their mask.
See this video on proper mask wearing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvLA--hGU70
Update from Steering Committee MeetingsThe Deputy PHO Dr Reka Gustafson attends all the Steering Committee meetings with the education partners including BCCPAC. Key messages shared in the two meetings held this week:
Source: Email from BCCPAC
Posted by: Julie Kentel