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St. Augustine School
Health & Safety and
Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

The St. Augustine School HEALTH & SAFETY/ COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION PLAN is meant to help alleviate the concerns around the return to school and to show the meaningful steps we are taking to keep kids as safe as possible. The plan for our school Is based on information from the BC Center for Disease Control, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, and WorkSafeBC. For links to the source documents, please, visit the Ministry of Education’s Return to School website

No plan alone is sufficient. In order for the return to school to be safe and go smoothly, we will need to be diligent, careful, courageous, and understanding in order to make it successful. We must also be understanding and supportive of those who, for any reason, are not or do not feel safe to return to school. Thank you for being  united in purpose and in prayer for the health and safety of our school families.

Read our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan.  The three resources below (BCCDC, Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines, and BC's Back-to-School Plan) are key resources used to inform our plan as well as the Health & Safety Plan below.   

LAST UPDATE: September 13, 2023

While schools will look closer-to-normal this September, we’re not back to normal just yet. Effective prevention measures are still in place to keep our school low-risk for communicable disease.  Based on the above resources and guidelines, below are some answers to some important questions that many parents have been asking and are key elements of our Health & Safety / Communicable Disease Prevention Plans.

This is a living document which will be updated frequently as provincial directives and protocols are revised and/ or added.


Our school will be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the BC CDC’s Cleaning and Disinfectants for Public Settings. Cleaning practices will be in line with the provincial health officer’s Public Health Guidance for Childcare Settings.  The following list of specific cleaning protocols will be enforced:

  • Custodial and maintenance staff will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least once every 24 hours.  This will be in addition to a general school cleaning, which will happen at least once a day in the evenings. 

  • More rigorous cleaning will take place on high-traffic areas and high-contact surfaces such as doors and cabinet handles, stair railings, washrooms, shared office spaces, desks, keyboards, light switches, and communications devices.

  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises will occur at least once a day. Frequently-touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least once a day.

  • Garbage bins will be emptied daily and sanitized

  • Student lunches must be self-contained and all garbage and organic waste will be packed up and brought home.

  • Good ventilation and fresh air can play a part in reducing the spread of communicable disease. Our staff and students benefits from new HVAC equipment and will continue to make the most of the outdoor spaces available. 

    • Our school has upgraded our current filters to a minimum MERV 13 filter

    • Our school’s fresh air intake system has increased its average air exchange 

    • Activities to be moved outdoors when possible

  • Janitorial staff will be informed and adequately trained in the new requirements.


  • Student face masks are optional for all grades.

  • Students will NOT be lining up in the courtyard.

  • We will continue to use our drop-off zones according to youngest child in the following zones:

    • ​Zone A (Arbutus):   your youngest child is in grades 4-7 (*and families with siblings in the pre-school).

    • Zone B (8th Avenue)your youngest child is in Grade 2 or 3.

    • Zone C (Laneway)your youngest child is in Kindergarten or Grade 1 

  • Staggered Drop-off schedule:

    • 8:25am 8:35am (Alphabetical A-L)

    • 8:35am-8:45am (Alphabetical M-Z)

  • All walkers/ bikers are asked to also arrive at these scheduled times and must enter through the main entrance on 7th Avenue ONLY where they will be asked to line up safely distanced as they enter the building.

  • Students will go directly to their assigned classrooms upon arrival; the courtyard will be closed for drop-off

  • Parents must leave campus immediately after drop-off


  • Student face masks MUST BE WORN for all pick-up and line-ups. Masks can be removed once the students have left campus with their parents either walking or by car.   

  • Staggered Pick-Up Schedule

    • 2:55pm-3:05pm Alphabetical A-L

    • 3:05pm-3:15pm Alphabetical M-Z

  • *N.B.  For WEDNESDAY Early Dismissal only, staggered pick up starts at 1:55 (A-L) and 2:05 (M-Z).

  • Walkers/bikers will be dismissed at the beginning of their staggered start time via the east stairwell single-file 6 feet apart, and out into the courtyard where they will line up by grade

    • parents/caregivers are asked to wait on the sidewalk along Arbutus;  students will be dismissed by family

  • Drivers will pick-up ONLY in the laneway.

    • Students who will be picked up by car in the laneway will begin dismissal at the same time as walkers, dismissed single file, safely distanced, via the east stairwell, and assemble under the tents in the courtyard; they will wait to be called by the supervising teacher once their parents arrive;  they will then proceed through the gym to the laneway, where they will enter their car

  • Courtyard is off-limits to parents and caregivers.


  • There will be scheduled use of playground structures and playground equipment for all recess periods

  • The playground will be divided into sections, one for primary grades, the other for intermediate grades

  • There will be two staggered recesses (odd numbered clasess and even numbered classes)

  • Recess will be scheduled as follows:

    • Morning Recess

      • 10:15 - 10:30 (K, 2, 4, 6)

      • 10:35-10:50 (1, 3, 5, 7)

    • Lunch Recess
      • 11:50 - 12:20 (K, 2, 4, 6)

      • 12:25 - 12:55 (1, 3, 5, 7)

  • Students will be permitted, as last year, to play on the Big Toy, but, for now, the re-introduction of other play equipment (i.e. balls) will be discussed mid- to late-September.


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Drop-off & Pick-up Schedules


Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks are no longer required.  Masks are now optional for all staff and all students. The decision to wear a mask or face covering is a personal choice for everyone. People can choose to continue to wear a mask throughout the day or during specific activities. This choice will be supported and treated with respect. 

If a student or staff member develops symptoms while at school, they must wear a mask while they are preparing to go home. Review COVID-19 mask use information from the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).


  • Physical distancing is no longer required though a respect for personal space is. 


  • Rigorous hand washing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of illness.

  • Wash hands with plain soap and water for at least 20 seconds

  • You don't need antibacterial soap for COVID-19

  • The temperature of the water doesn't matter, though most find warm water to be the most comfortable

  • Regular opportunities for staff and students to practice hand hygiene are in place

  • There is a sink in every  classroom

  • Stand-alone, automatic hand-sanitizing stations have been purchased  for every classroom, every entrance, hallways, learning commons, and in the gym

  • Review information on hand hygiene in a school setting from the BCCDC.


  • Students will wear school uniform as per the school uniform expectations.
  • EXCEPTION:  On the days students have Physical and Health Education classes, to avoid having students change in and out of their uniforms, students are asked to arrive at school in their gym uniform and wear it the entire day.   They must wear sweatpants and sweat tops (school-issued or school spirit wear) on colder days.

What if a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19?
If a student or staff member tests positive, they must adhere to the protocols as laid out here by the BCCDC.  


Stay home and away from others until:
• your fever is gone (without the use of medicines that reduce fever like Tylenol), AND
• you feel well enough to return to daily activities.


Avoid close contact with people at higher risk of severe illness or complications from COVID-19.  If you cannot stay away from others while you have symptoms, take these prevention measures:
• wear a mask indoors
• cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow
• clean your hands often


If you don’t have symptoms, you do not need to stay home or avoid others, regardless of test results.

What if students and staff who become sick at school
If a student or staff member develops symptoms at school:

  • Make arrangements for student/staff to go home as soon as possible.

  • Schools will have an area where people are separated from their classmates or colleagues and can wait comfortably

  • Younger children will be supervised when separated

  • Students may choose to wear a mask if they are experiencing respiratory symptoms.

  • The student's parent or guardian will be contacted and asked to have their child picked up as soon as possible

  • Staff will be asked to go home as soon as possible

  • Custodial staff will clean and disinfect the areas the person used

  • The person should stay home and follow public health advice on when to return to activities. Most people can return to school when their symptoms have improved and they feel well enough to participate in regular activities.   

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