Whether you are a new or returning GNS family, our Return to School Communicable Disease Plan
includes important information relating to the start of the 2021/2022 school year. This plan has been developed with care and attention to providing a safe, positive and engaging educational experience for each of our students. As you review this document, please note the following:
- Since the onset of the pandemic, we have followed guidelines set by the Ministry of Education, Public Health Office, BC Centre for Disease Control, and WorkSafe BC. This plan is being shared with you after careful review of the updated health and safety measures outlined in the Ministry’s British Columbia COVID-19 Safe Schools resources. It also incorporates learning gained from our experiences since the Spring of 2020 and throughout the 2020/2021 school year, as well as best practices shared by professionals. Our staff work to ensure that our protocols and procedures meet those required by the Ministry and Public Health authorities with the understanding that the Province has now allowed for regional variation in requirements based on local conditions.
- We are emphasizing full-time, in-class instruction for all students: In-person learning is an essential part of a child’s education and provides the opportunity for peer engagement, which supports social and emotional development and overall wellness. GNS is grounded in our value of Community and thus, is proud to prioritize safety while providing full-time, five-days-a-week, in-person learning for our students. Engagement with other members of the school community is an important means to supporting the social and emotional development and overall health and well-being of our students.
- We are prepared to pivot as directed by the Ministry and PHO and adjust strategies as needed to support our community.
- We are supportive of the use of personal protective equipment in alignment with the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings. As such, we ask that all employees, visitors, and students in Grades 4 to 12 arrive at school each day wearing masks. Non-medical masks are encouraged for JK to Grade 3 students; however, due to the increased likelihood they will touch their face and eyes, as well as require assistance to properly put on and take off their mask (requiring increased close personal contact from school staff) this may not work for all students in these younger years. All staff and students, including those in Junior School, will be required to wear masks on school buses or when exhibiting symptoms of illness.
- We must remain committed to personal wellness and the prevention of communicable diseases by staying home when sick. Self-screening Tool: To further empower our incredible parents and caregivers through this pandemic, we suggest you use the K-12 Daily Health Check website or download the iPhone/iPad iOS or Android devices app as it is an easy way to decide if your child should attend school based on their symptoms.
- We will remain adaptive: We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to influence all that we do and that our protocols and procedures will need to be continuously reviewed to make sure they are kept current. Please visit our website to access digital content from this handbook and to see any new information and updates that might be added as things evolve.