The Superintendent of the Quesnel School District says the provincial changes announced on Thursday around masks and a few other things amount to an added layer of protection for staff and students.
Sue Ellen Miller says not a lot has changed however, mostly just when masks are worn.
“All staff will be required to wear a mask both inside and outside of their learning cohort staff may not have been wearing a mask in their cohort, the groups of students they work with. Prior to this staff may not have been wearing a mask in their cohort, always in all the common areas, in the hallways, when you cannot physically distance we’ve already been wearing masks.”
Miller says that is for both elementary and secondary staff.
She says students at middle school and secondary school will also notice a change.
“Students are required to wear a mask both inside and outside their learning groups, so basically at all times. Now there are some exceptions to that. If a staff person is seated at their desk and they are six feet away from students then they don’t need to wear their mask.”
Other exceptions are when eating or drinking.
Miller says there were also a few changes involving certain courses.
“So courses like physical education and information about certain types of activities, not to have prolonged physical contact in any of our activities and I think people were trying to do a good job with that anyways. Again in fitness rooms if kids are on stationary bikes or treadmills to keep them two meters or six feet apart. In music for kids to be wearing masks while they’re singing, at the secondary level.”
Miller says there is a new checklist for schools to go through to make sure that they are meeting all the requirements of the provincial and district health and safety plans, and she says there is a new app that has been created to help anyone working in K to 12, or students in K to 12 to do a health check.
She says it is a voluntary app that doesn’t track any data, but you can check it daily to make sure you don’t have any symptoms and if you’re safe to go to school.
Miller says the province also gave them the second part of their COVID-19 funding from the Federal Government to pay for COVID-19 adjustments, which she says amounted to approximately 530 thousand dollars.