St. Augustine School Safe Restart Plan

The St. Augustine School Safe Restart Plan below 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 during Stage 2 of the BC Ministry of Education's Five Stage Framework for K-12 Education. The plan for our school follows the structure of the Provincial Back to School planning template. It 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 come together as a community as never before. We must 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. Although we may be separated physically by the current circumstances, we must be united in purpose and in prayer for the safe and healthy reunion of all our school families, which is certain to come at some point in the future.

LAST UPDATE: March 30, 2021

WORKSAFE BC

SAFETY PLAN

Though our school's complete Restart Plan can be found above, below are some answers to some important questions that many parents have been asking and are key elements in the plan.

CLEANING AND SANITIZING

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 COVID-19 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 twice every 24 hours (once during the school day).  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 twice 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 COVID-19. Our staff and students will benefit from new HVAC equipment and will 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

    • Hallways will be used as seldom as possible. Students will instead be encouraged to move from one room to another via exterior doors and pathways to enjoy the fresh air

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

DROP-OFF SCHEDULE

  • Student face masks MUST BE WORN for all drop-off and line-ups. Masks can be removed once the students’ hands are sanitized and they are inside the classroom. 

  • 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:
     

    • 8:30am 8:40am (Alphabetical A-L)
       

    • 8:40am-8:50am (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 2 metres apart 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

PICK UP SCHEDULE

  • 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
     

    • 2:30pm-2:45pm Alphabetical A-L
       

    • 2:45pm-3:00pm Alphabetical M-Z
       

  • *N.B.  For WEDNESDAY Early Dismissal only, staggered pick up starts at 1:30 (A-L) and 1:45 (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, 6 feet apart, via the east stairwell, through the courtyard and around to the laneway, where they will space themselves 6 feet apart while waiting for their parents.

  • Courtyard is off-limits to parents and caregivers.

RECESS & LUNCH SCHEDULE

  • There will be no free-recess times; there will be scheduled use of playground structures and playground equipment for all recess periods

  • The playground will be divided into sections for each learning group; Grade 6 and Grade 7 will use the laneway during recess and lunch recess
     

  • Recess will be scheduled as follows:

    • Morning Recess

      • 9:55 - 10:10 (1st Floor)

      • 10:15 - 10:30 (2nd Floor)

      • 10:35 - 10:50 (3rd Floor)

    • Lunch Recess

      • 11:30 - 12:0 (1st Floor)

      • 12:05 - 12:35 (2nd Floor)

      • 12:40 - 1:10 (3rd Floor)

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LEARNING GROUPS​

A learning group is a group of students and staff who remain together throughout the school quarter, semester or year and who primarily interact with each other. Learning groups were recommended by the Provincial Health Officer to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19. 

At St. Augustine School, our learning groups will look like this:

  • Learning groups will consist of no more than 60 members including staff

  • Limit up to 30 students plus a staff member and an EA per classroom; an additional EA if dedicated to support a Tier 3 student

  • Both Grade level classes will form one Learning Group/Cohort (ie. both kindergarten classes are considered a learning group, both Grade 1 classes another learning group, etc.) from Kindergarten to Grade 5

  • Grade 6 and Grade 7 will be two separate learning groups

  • N.B.  Though Learning Groups are established by grade level, it is important to understand that within learning groups, each classroom will continue to remain a separate unit under the classroom teacher; only during morning recess and lunch recess and when doing collaborative work will the two classes in a learning group interact

  • Learning Groups will not interact (as much as reasonably possible); each learning group will be considered a unit and will have very limited exposure to other learning groups.

USE OF MASKS
 

Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks are required for all staff and all students in middle and secondary school when they are in high traffic areas like school buses and hallways, and anytime they are outside of their classroom or learning group and they cannot safely distance from others.

  • Effective March 30 to April 19, 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.

    • Exceptions
      The recommendations above should not apply as follows:
      • To a person who is unable to wear a mask because they do not tolerate it (for health or behavioural reasons);
      • To a person unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
      • If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
      • If the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (e.g. actively playing a wind instrument, high-intensity physical activity, etc.);
      • If a person is eating or drinking;
      • If a person is behind a barrier;
      • While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability (including but not limited to a hearing impairment), where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important.

  • Kindergarten to Grade 3 students are encouraged to wear a mask at school and on buses, but should not be required to do so.

  • If an activity cannot be implemented in line with this guidance, it should be adapted or another activity should be selected.

  • Schools continue to be encouraged to support student mask use through positive and inclusive approaches, and not punitive or enforcement activities that exclude students from fully participating in school or that could result in stigma.

  • No student should be prevented from attending or fully participating in school if they are not wearing a mask.

  • Staff are required to wear a mask when interacting within their learning group

  • Everyone must treat each other and those wearing masks with respect

  • Even when wearing a mask, staff and students will still be required to maintain physical distance from people outside of their learning group.

  • Exceptions will be made for students and staff who cannot wear masks for medical reasons

  • This guidance has been issued along with other extensive public health measures announced March 29, 2021, by the Provincial Health Officer. This addendum is in place until April 19, 2021, at which point it will be reviewed. 

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​
 

  • Reducing the number of close, in-person interactions helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Keep a safe distance from others. The BCCDC recommends at least two metres

  • People in a learning group don't need to stay two metres apart but they must limit physical contact. Classrooms will be set up to promote spacing between students where possible.

  • Outside of a learning group, including extracurricular activities, middle and secondary students and all K-12 staff must keep a healthy distance, 

  • Physical Distancing Strategies that are in place at our school:

    • barriers have been purchased for spaces  where students can't maintain two metres between two or more people and when people interact with a high number of individuals (i.e. front reception desk or small group learning spaces and at the teacher's desk from where specialist teachers will be teaching)

    • students and staff will be spread out to different areas when possible

    • Stagger recess, lunch recess, and transition times (see above)

    • incorporation of individual activities

    • Frequent reminders to students to keep their hands to themselves and to avoid physical contact

HAND HYGIENE

  • 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.

UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS

  • Students will wear school uniform in Stage 2 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 and hence minimize physical contact, students are asked to arrive at school in their gym uniform and wear it the entire day.   They must wear sweatpants and sweat tops (preferably school-issued or school spirit wear) on colder days.

  • Kindergarten students, in these exceptional circumstances, may wear gym strip, which can be purchased through NEAT Uniforms.  This is not mandatory for Kindergarten.

OTHER IMPORTANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

  1. WHAT HAPPENS IF A STUDENT OR STAFF DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS AT SCHOOL? ANSWER
     
  2. WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE IS A CONFIRMED CASE OF COVID-19 IN THE SCHOOL?  ANSWER
     
  3. CAN A STUDENT OR STAFF MEMBER COME TO SCHOOL IF HE/SHE HAS SEASONAL ALLERGIES OR ​COVID-19-LIKE SYMPTOMS? ANSWER
     
  4. AS A PARENT, WHAT SHOULD I DO AS A DAILY HEALTH CHECK FOR MY CHILD?  WHEN SHOULD MY CHILD STAY HOME?  ANSWER
  5. AS AN EMPLOYEE, WHAT CAN I USE AS A DAILY HEALTH CHECK AND WHEN SHOULD I STAY HOME?  ANSWER
     
  6. IS THERE AN UPDATED DOCUMENT FROM THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO ASSIST SCHOOLS IN INTERPRETING THE NEW PROVINCIAL ORDERS AND UPDATED WORKSAFEBC GUIDELINES ANNOUNCED FOR THE PERIOD OF NOVEMBER 7 TO THE PRESENT? ANSWER
     

*We will add to this list of questions as they come up.

 

PARENT RESOURCES

Supporting Materials for School Communities:

Inquiries:

  • For more information visit the Ministry’s COVID-19 Return to School website.
     

Archived Principal’s Updates