Rocky Mountain School District No. 6

Careers

Return to School Update - January 7, 2022

With the arrival of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, this pandemic is once again pushing us into uncharted territory.  Though symptoms of this variant seem not to be as severe as with other variants, transmissibility of Omicron is high and we still know very little about the long-term impacts, including potential long-term COVID-19 symptoms. 

The District will continue to take prudent action as the situation evolves. 

As partners in education, we urge our families to help us meet the challenges of the Omicron variant for the health, safety and continuity of learning for all students and staff. 

Knowing our schools reflect our community, we ask that increased measures to reduce general community transmission be taken. 

As has always been the case, a combined effort will be required to end this pandemic.

The District Leadership has worked with principals and vice-principals to develop a business continuity plan to assist us in keeping schools open.  Schools have updated School Safety Plans and will reintroduce health and safety protocols that were employed in all schools last year.  These plans will continue to evolve along with direction from the Ministry of Education and Provincial Health Officer. 

Health and safety information presentation for primary schools

Health and safety information presentation for secondary schools 

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU RETURN TO SCHOOL

Do the K to 12 Daily Health Check.

If your child is unwell please stay home.

If you need detailed health information visit BCCDC website.

We have been asked to track illness attendance.  This new reporting will be critically important as it will determine when we need to work Interior Health to determine whether the closure of a class(es) will be necessary.  Please see your child’s school safety plan for details on the new requirements for attendance reporting.

Please ensure that your child brings a mask to school.

The PHO Order – Face Coverings requires all students, staff, and visitors to wear a mask indoors at school. Everyone who is able to (i.e., does not have a mask exemption) must wear a mask.

Proper fit is a key factor in mask effectiveness. Masks worn at school should fit well.

Masks are most effective when everyone who is able to is wearing one.

Those with mask exemptions continue to follow any strategies identified to reinforce and enhance other safety measures.

  • Those not able to wear a mask all day continue to be encouraged to wear one as much as they’re able to.
  • For those with mask exemptions, administrators and staff support other strategies identified to reinforce and enhance other safety measures.

Two videos about how to wear a mask properly:

For primary students - For Kids - Wearing masks

For secondary students - How to wear a mask 

You can read more information about masks visit BCCDC.

 

Contact Tracing and school notifications are  changing in the K-12 school settings. The Public Health Officer has determined that individual contact tracing is no longer an effective tool in schools because this variant is spreading too rapidly in all communities and not all people will be tested. 

Contact tracing is used to determine who close contacts are and alert them so that they can take steps to limit the potential spread of a virus. It normally takes about 3-4 days to complete contact tracing and with the very short incubation period (less than 3 days) people would already be feeling unwell before the investigation is complete.  The updated public health guidance is to self-monitor for illness every day and if unwell stay home and follow the current public health guidance. 

BCCDC When to Get Tested

Although schools will not be alerted to individual cases we are very closely monitoring attendance for both students and staff.  Please let the school know if your child is experiencing respiratory or cold like symptoms but you do not need to confirm if they have been tested or the results of that test.  We have regular communication with our local and regional public health teams and in the event that the Medical Health Officer declares an outbreak of COVID-19 at a school parents, guardians and staff will be notified quickly.  Schools will send out messages using School Messenger, email, and posted on the school page.  This is the same process that has been used in schools for all commendable disease. Only the Medical Health Officer can declare an outbreak at a school.     

If you have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, including up to two days before the person started to have symptoms or went for a COVID-19 test, you may be a close contact and may need to self-isolate.

Self-isolating as a close contact

Whether you need to self-isolate depends on your immunization status.

You are fully immunized

You received your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine seven or more days before coming into close contact with a person with COVID-19.

  • You do not need to self-isolate
  • Monitor closely for symptoms for 14 days


You are unimmunized or partially immunized

You have not been vaccinated with a second dose less then seven days before coming into close contact with a person with COVID-19.

  • You need to self-isolate for 10 days from the time of close contact
  • Monitor closely for symptoms for 14 days

Field trips requiring bus transportation will be cancelled or postponed.  Outdoor walking field trips may continue.  

Other field trips will be evaluated given current public health orders.

Visitors will be limited to those that are supporting activities that are of direct benefit to student learning and wellbeing, such as teacher candidates or program volunteers.

Over the last week, school staffs have been planning strategies to provide continuity of learning to any student who is unable to attend school.  At home learning will consist of the same activities that teachers will be delivering in the classroom.  This is not an online learning program nor will teachers be expected to provide online instruction.  Please check with your child’s teacher for more information. 

There are three types of school closures, health, functional and transportation. The District has a communication plan and continuity of learning strategies in the event of a school closure. 

Health Closure

Health closure of a school, which is determined by the local health authority due to the COVID19 case count in, or related to, a school.

In the event of a health closure directed by the local health authority, parents/caregivers would be notified via email from the school principal the afternoon before the closure would take effect where possible. Continuity of learning strategies would be made available to all students. 

Functional Closure

Functional closure of a school, which is determined by the school or school district due to a lack of staff to provide the required level of teaching, supervision, support, and/or custodial to ensure the health and safety of students. This would likely be due to a high absenteeism of all staff or certain employees required for a school to function and the inability to replace those absences.

School District No. 6 (Rocky Mountain) has a plan in place to maximize all staff to mitigate functional closures.  In the event that a functional closure is deemed necessary, parents/caregivers will be notified via email the afternoon before the closure would take place where possible.  Continuity of learning strategies will be available to all students affected by the closure to continue learning at home.

Transportation Closure

Transportation closure, which is due to a lack of staff to be able to provide the required level of transportation services for students. This would likely be due the absenteeism of bus drivers and/or mechanics and the inability to replace those absences.

In the event of a one or more bus routes are cancelled resulting from illness of staff, schools will remain open to students who can find alternative transportation.  For those students who are unable to find alternative transportation, continuity of learning strategies will be in place to continue learning at home.

COVID-19 close contact information - January 11, 2022

District Administration Building, Site Safety Plan - January 6, 2022

Return to school letter for families - December 31, 2021

Return to school FAQ - December 31, 2021

Deputy Minister's Bulletin phased restart January 2022, questions and answers, December 31, 2021

Deputy Minister's Bulletin COVID-19 Update - December 29, 2021

Addendum - Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools - December 29, 2021

Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools (Updated: October 1, 2021)

Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings (Updated: October 1, 2021)

School Bus Transportation During Communicable Disease (October 2021)

School District No. 6 COVID 19 Cleaning Procedures

Ministry Of Education K-12 Education Recovery Plan