Photo: Quesnel School District office (G Henderson, MyCaribooNow-staff)
A Quesnel parent is home schooling her two children because she feels she doesn’t have the information she needs to make an informed decision on whether or not to send them to class.
Sarah Vinnedge has a child in grade four and another in grade 6 at Lakeview Elementary School.
Vinnedge says she made the decision to keep them home after they weren’t told anything by their elementary school about the COVID exposure at the junior high school…
“Well I wasn’t told anything by our elementary school about the COVID outbreak at the junior high in town. They share a school bus with elementary school children, so we don’t know who has it, who they’ve come in contact with, and nobody was told to self isolate.”
Vinnedge says teachers aren’t being told about COVID cases in schools either, and she may continue…
“When I talked to the school and pulled the kids out they said that, with the distance learning program, that we did have the option of bringing the kids back into school if things turn out to be OK at the elementary school. But when I called to get information on updates and how the school is doing and if there are any Coronavirus cases, or even contacts, there is zero information, so if I’m not getting information I am going to be keeping my kids at home.”
Vinnedge says while the survival rate of children are higher, she’s concerned about potential long term effects, and her oldest only has one kidney, and she’s not sure how it would impact them.
SCHOOL DISTRICT REACTION
Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller says right now there are no COVID-19 exposures within the Quesnel School District.
She hopes to reassure parents who are concerned.
Miller says, while they are still not permitted by the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer to identify if a student or a staff member has COVID, they will identify a specific school exposure.
“We aren’t even told if its an adult or a child, so I can understand parent’s concerns because they wonder are these friends or other children that my child may have been in a class with, with their child. The important thing to know though is if you’ve not personally been contacted by Northern Health then your child is not at risk. They would, if your child was at risk because they were in contact with that key person that has tested positive, you would have been informed.”
Miller says Northern Health would also inform any teachers, through contact tracing, who are in contact with a student that has tested positive for COVID-19.
As for buses, Miller says extra precautions are being taken there as well…
“Students from the junior school or high school must where their masks on buses, they also must sanitize their hands when they leave the school to get on the bus. We do have hand sanitizers as they leave the school to get on their bus. For the most part students are sitting in single seats and if they can’t sit in a single seat they are with someone from their cohort.”
Miller says any parents with any questions can call the District Office at 250-992-8200.