This Monday (Jan. 17/22), staff and students will return to in-person learning in our schools.
While exciting, we understand there are also concerns about how we protect one another during this current wave of the pandemic.
Please know that there will be additional health precautions in all of our schools. Everyone will need to follow enhanced public measures at all times. Here’s an overview:
Enhanced Public Health Measures
There will be restrictions on the typical activities that take place during the school day. Non-essential visitors will not be allowed into our schools, and assemblies, dances, and large gatherings are suspended. There are also limits on sports and music activities, for the time being.
Three layered non-medical masks or medical masks are required to be worn while on buses and indoors, when physical distancing is not possible. Masks are not required when actively eating or drinking, participating in rigorous physical activity, or when outdoors. Gaiter or bandana style face coverings are not permitted.
Back to School Plan
The additional enhanced measures are comprehensive; a complete list is available here.
I know these changes may be challenging, but they will allow students to return to school with their peers. We know that in-person learning is vital for the emotional, physical, intellectual and social development of children. We also know the risk to children is low. For these reasons, our public health leaders and pediatric leaders at the IWK Health Centre recommend a return to in-person learning.
What we’ve done in the past has worked to keep children in school, and I’m confident the public health measures will continue to work. With our core public health measures – get vaccinated if eligible, stay home if unwell, wear a properly fitted 3-ply mask, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, etc. – and our enhanced measures as needed, we’ve kept school open longer than most provinces.
Letter from Dr. Strang & Public Health Fact Sheet
I’d like to draw your attention to two attachments. The first is a letter from Dr. Robert Strang who reminds us of the multiple layers of protection built into our schools. The second, is a fact sheet from Public Health with guidance for families and schools related to COVID cases.
Thank you for keeping our schools safe and our students learning. We appreciate the hard work of everyone – students, teachers, staff, administrators – as we live with the Omicron variant.
SSRCE Regional Executive Director