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Cariboo-Chilcotin releases official back to school plan

The Cariboo-Chilcotin School District has released its official back to school health and safety guidelines.

The guidelines outline what parents, students, and staff will be responsible for, as well as, what physical distancing and hand sanitizing stations will look like, and what class will look like once students are back in the classroom.

Before School

Before students head to the classroom, parents will be responsible for ensuring students are symptom-free before attending school. Parents are also asked not to send students with food that needs to be prepared or heated.

For staff, they will be responsible for ensuring they are symptom-free before attending.

Students are asked to bring limited materials to school (backpack, water bottle, etc.) and should not share belongings. School supplies and paper may be shared.

Cleaning & Hygiene/Physical Distancing

Once at school, there will be several cleaning and hygiene, and physical distancing guidelines that everyone will be responsible for.

Both students and staff will have reusable masks available for them, and masks must be worn where physical distancing across cohorts cannot be done.

All schools will provide adequate handwashing and sanitizing facilities and ensure the location is visible and easily accessed.

Schools will also be developing policies around when staff must wash their hands, including arriving for work, before and after breaks, after handling cash or other materials, before and after handling common equipment. They must also implement a cleaning protocol for all common areas and surfaces, including washrooms, equipment, tools, common tables, desks, light switches, and door handles. Ensure those engaged in cleaning have adequate training and materials.

With physical distancing in a place like a school presenting challenges, the school district has implemented some guidelines on when it can and can’t be maintained.

Adults on site will continue to adhere to physical distancing guidelines or 2 metres wherever possible.

Ensuring that the number of adults in a building beyond the regular workforce and specific workspaces do not exceed density and limiting the number of staff at one time in break locations.

Implement measures to ensure workers can maintain a distance of two metres when serving or working with or near public members, where possible, specifically in office or clerical areas where the public may engage (plexiglass, tape, physical barriers).

For buses, middle and high school students will be required to wear masks and must have there mask before getting onto the bus.

In the Classroom

As for when students are in class, the district has moved into Stage 2 of there back to school plan, with cohort sizes of 60 for elementary and middle schools, and 120 for high schools.

Rural-Small Schools (Likely, Horsefly, Big Lake, Lac La Hache, Naghtaneqed, Dog Creek, Alexis Creek, Tatla, Anahim) will be under the smallest cohort of 60 and essentially are their own community. Stage 2 will begin on September 10 with all students attending.

Larger elementary schools will be split into two groups. Schools with 200 plus students (Horse Lake, Forest Grove, 108 Mile, 150 Mile, Chilcotin Road, Mountview) will see there cohort management fairly straightforward. Stage 2 will begin September 10 with all students attending for cohort orientation.

Elementary schools with 300 plus students (100 Mile Elementary, Marie Sharpe, Cataline) will have extended measures to manage cohorts. Stage 2 will begin on September 10 for cohort orientation. School strategies may include staggered recess/lunch, increased use of outside/environmental learning.

High schools will be moving on from the traditional semester system (4 courses/20 weeks) to the quarter system (2 courses/10 weeks). This will see two courses taken at a time that will help manage cohorts. 

Students will not use lockers, and masks will be required in common areas and hallways, lunch breaks will have recommended areas and scheduled times, and following their afternoon class, students will return to their bus and return home.

Event of an Illness

In the scenario of a COVID-19 case popping up in a school, which the Interior Health Region’s Chief Medical Officer believes will happen, the district has put a plan in place.

If staff or students feel ill at work or suspect, they might have symptoms; they will have to inform the administration and arrange appropriate transportation and leave at a designated exit to minimize contact with others. Sites will receive increased/intense cleaning as appropriate if evidence of COVID-19 like illness.

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