It has been about a month that staff and students have returned to schools across the Cariboo region.
Both parties have spent time adjusting to the new COVID-19 guidelines that have been implemented across the province.
Chris van der Mark, the Cariboo-Chilcotin School District superintendent, said that overall, he is happy with how everyone has adjusted to the new rules.
“There is a lot of work in planning upfront, and a lot of work with our employee group, especially with our support staff in charge of all the cleaning as well as transportation and with all our teachers and administration to make sure we are ready to go,” he said. “What we are seeing is that planning has worked out really quite well.”
van der Mark notes that around 90 percent of students return to school, but he is hopeful more and more kids will return.
“As people continue to see that schools are pretty safe places, they’ll come back,” he said. ‘We know COVID is not going away anytime soon. So far, we’ve demonstrated a pretty good ability to put systems in place; now we just have to be vigilant and continue to maintain them.”
van der Mark sad that the feedback he has received from students, parents, and staff has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We see that because we actually haven’t had a lot of complaints. People usually aren’t shy about complaining if there is an issue,” he said. “I think generally speaking there is a really good awareness that the schools feel safe and that protocols are being handled quite well. ”
He said that just because they have seen good results so far doesn’t mean that staff, parents, and students can stop following the guidelines.
“I do there are some little hiccups that appear here and there, and I think as you go on, you get a month in, I think people are getting a little bit of compliance burnout., It’s hard to always follow the rules. We are a community that has done fairly well in terms of not having a lot of COVID, as people start to downplay it or think it’s not a big deal. People can get a bit sloppy and just keeping focus and making sure that we are continuing to adhere to that high standard even though we are not seeing a lot of it around us.”
van der Mark added that if and when a case of COVID-19 shows up in the region or a school, they are prepared to follow all of the steps from the health authority