COVID-19 PARENT/ STAFF INFORMATION GUIDE
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kispiox Community School has created this COVID-19 “Information Guide” to the Parent/Student Handbook as a commitment to the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community members.
These policies are safety measures and are hopefully temporary, until the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and when we can return to an environment that does not necessitate these policies. This pandemic has shown to be very fluid and it is uncertain how long the pandemic will continue, so Kispiox Community School reserves the right to amend or change these policies as conditions warrant.
It is important to note that all our other school policies remain in place as we make the transition to a different form of in-class school environment and remote learning. More specifically, as we will be using technology and integrating environmental/outdoor education, it is important to adhere to our school policies. Students, staff, parents, and community members need to act appropriately towards one another. Cyber-bullying, harassment, hazing, innuendo, sexual harassment and misconduct are prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Although it is impossible to monitor everything, we hope that students, parents and community members work together to create a better environment for our students to learn and succeed.
- Health and Safety
All new students at Kispiox Community School must have their registration forms completed properly. If your child has any allergies or is immunocompromised, the school needs to know for safety reasons. If there are any changes to your child’s health and immunization, please let the school know to keep our records accurate and for safety.
School staff that are immunocompromised must also inform the school, since all people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.
Until a vaccine is available, it is important for parents, families, staff, and community members cooperate and follow the recommended protocols set out by the Kispiox Community School, Kispiox Band, and the BC Provincial COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines. The situation with COVID-19 changes on a daily basis and there are often changes and updates to the health and safety guidelines, so to keep up to date you can check our school’s website at http://kispioxschool.ca/ .
Most Common Symptoms
- Dry cough
Less Common Symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- A rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Chest pain or pressure
- Loss of speech or movement
This list is not all encompassing as symptoms can be different for different people. However, updates will be provided as they are received.
Cleaning and Handwashing Routines
- Surface cleaners will clean and disinfect high touch areas throughout the day
- Classroom routines include:
- Handwashing or sanitizing before and after activities (e.g. entering school, eating, recess, using computers/iPads, and whenever necessary)
- Physical distancing when possible
- Wearing a facemask/shield when necessary
- Disinfecting computers/iPads after use
- Sneeze guards will be given to each in-class student when working near other students
- Shared areas by students will be disinfected
Physical Distancing and Traffic Flows
- All students will enter the school through the school entrance at the front of the school.
- Signage will be marked out for students and classes while waiting to enter the school at different locations. These locations will be at least 2 metres apart from each other.
- Parents and guardians should refrain from entering the school with their children unless necessary. Parents are discouraged from waiting for children inside, but if they need to they are required to maintain a 2 metre distance from other children and parents/caregivers.
- Staggered transition times will be put in place to avoid crowded hallways and bathrooms.
- Floor markings will be put in place for reminders and traffic flow
- Boot rooms will be marked.
- Every effort will be made to maximize space between seating, but when not possible, more emphasis will be placed on hand hygiene, wearing a mask, respiratory etiquette, and cleaning and disinfecting.
- If possible, students and parent will be encouraged to consider alternate transportation to school (e.g. walking, biking, and driving) when it is safe to do so.
- If students need to travel by bus, parents and guardians will be asked to abide by the following guidelines:
- Perform the COVID-19 screening check in the morning.
- Perform hand hygiene before they leave home to take the bus, when they leave the school prior to taking the bus, and when they get home.
- Sit in their assigned seat (students will be assigned seats based on the order they are picked up and dropped off, loading back to front and offloading front to back).
- Middle school students will wear a non-medical mask that is put on before loading and taken off after offloading, providing they do not have a health condition where they cannot tolerate a mask. K – 3 students will be encouraged to wear a re-usable mask, which the school can provide, however this is not required.
- A daily checklist will be maintained by the bus driver and bus supervisor to confirm daily attendance on the bus and that they have been screened before boarding.
- Windows on the bus will be slightly open to allow air flow out.
- The drive will wear a non-medical mask
- Bus line up areas will be marked out to prevent over crowding and to allow for physical distancing of two metres (e.g. tape, chalk, or cones on the pavement)
- Buses will be sanitized between trips.
School Safety Schedules
- School gatherings will be minimal during the pandemic and will occur only within the Learning Group/cohort. Visitors will not be allowed to attend school gatherings.
- Virtual gatherings will be held by Zoom
- If any extracurricular activities occur, physical distancing will be put in place: X, Y, Z
- No inter-school events will occur during the pandemic.
Safety within the Bubble/Cohort
- Cohorts will have limited exposure to other cohorts
- Teaching staff will encourage students to use designated areas withing the classroom.
- Students will eat lunch with their own cohorts (bubbles).
- The number of staff interacting with different cohorts will be reduced.
- Students and parents/caregivers are not permitted to bring homemade food items meant for sharing into the school at this time (e.g. birthday cakes, cookies, bake sale goods, etc.)
- The school will emphasize to students, staff, and parents/caregivers that food and beverages should not be shared.
- Students can bring their own water bottle (make sure they put their name on it)
- All food service workers will wear a protective mask while preparing and serving food.
- Students will stay with their class during lunch time.
- Depending on class sizes a rotating schedule may be implemented to use the tables in the circle area.
- Tables and chairs will be wiped down before the next group of students will be permitted into the circle area.
- New water fountains have been installed allowing students to safely fill their water bottle.
- Staff will ensure that the lunch area is kept clean by collecting garbage.
- Students will need to remain seated until they are finished their lunch before they are excused to go to the playground or return to class.
- There will be limited visitation for school visitors and guests
- Parents are discouraged from visiting the school, but if necessary, make a scheduled visit.
- There is a sign-in book for all visitors
- If a visitor is invited to the school, they will be asked to use the COVID-19 self-screening tool.
- All presentations and assemblies will be virtual.
Daily Health Checks
- Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 prior to entering the school.
- Parents and caregivers can use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool on our school website ca each morning to see if your child has any symptoms. We can also provide hard copy of the self-assessment tool that can be taken home to be used.
- If students or staff have any of the cold, influenza, or COVID-19 symptoms they should stay home, self-isolate, and be assessed by a health-care provider. Testing is recommended for anyone with these symptoms, even mild ones.
- A recommendation by a doctor or negative test will allow your child to return to school.
- Please notify the school for any positive test for the COVID-19 virus.
- The school will work with Gitxsan Health and Northern Health to ensure policies and procedures are in place regarding reporting elevated staff and student absenteeism due to influenza-like illness to the public health officer. This information is key in early identification of and outbreaks.
Illness at School
- If a student develops symptoms of illness at school students must be picked up promptly.
- If a staff member develops symptom of illness at school the staff member must go home if able to or can be given a ride if unable to.
- A designated space will be available for any student or staff member in the medical room if they become ill.
- Parents/caretakers must ensure that we are always able to contact you during the day or that you have a secondary emergency contact. Make sure all contact information is up to date (i.e. home phone, cell phone, email, etc.)
- The COVID-19 pandemic is changing everyday – so if you have questions or are unsure of something please give us a call at the school at 250-842-6148.
- Cleaning and disinfection procedures in the school will include:
- General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises at least once every 24 hours.
- This includes items that only a single student uses, like an individual desk or locker.
- Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces at least twice every 24 hours.
- These include doorknobs, light switches, toilet handles, tables, desks, chairs used by multiple students, water fountains, and toys.
- Cleaning and disinfecting any surface that is visibly dirty.
- Using common, commercially available detergents and disinfectant products and closely following the instructions on the label.
- Limiting frequently touched items that are not easily cleaned.
- Emptying garbage containers daily.
- Wearing disposable gloves when cleaning blood or body fluids (e.g., runny nose, vomit, stool, urine). Washing hands before wearing and after removing gloves.
- Laminated paper-based products will be cleaned and disinfected daily if they are touched by multiple people.
- Removing shared items where cross-contamination is possible (e.g., shared school supplies, coffee and water stations, and snack bins).
- Incorporating end-of-shift wipe downs for all shared spaces.
- Cleaning and disinfecting cots and mattresses prior to use and after they are used or soiled. Use single use only pillowcases and blankets and dispose of them immediately after single use. Where pillowcases and blankets are not single use, launder between each student.
- Providing adequate instruction, training, and supplies to custodians.
- Routine wearing of masks by students age 10 and up and staff within the school and on buses will be encouraged, but not required.
- Students and staff will have a non-medical mask or face covering available at school so it is accessible should they become ill while at school.
- Students will wear a non-medical mask or face covering when they cannot physically distance or be behind a physical barrier on a school bus.
- Students will be taught about how to use masks and the expectation that they will treat people wearing masks with respect.
When staff are: interacting with people outside of their learning group; physical distance cannot be consistently maintained; and none of the strategies outlined above are viable options, staff are expected to wear a non-medical mask, a face covering or a face shield
- Establish and post occupancy limits for shared spaces such as lunch rooms and break rooms.
- Remove chairs or tables to ensure occupancy limits are not exceeded and provide additional areas for workers to have their breaks, including areas outdoors.
- Stagger start and end of shift times as well as break times for workers to prevent crowding when entering and leaving the workplace.
- If workers need to meet in person, ensure there is a 2-metre space between each worker.
- Ensure that workers are knowledgeable regarding the controls required to minimize their risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Report any unsafe conditions or acts.
- The school will send a regular email to families/parents/caregivers. It will include updates about the school’s COVID-19 response and procedures, reminders about daily health checks and signs/symptoms of COVID-19, mental health resources, and responses to common questions/concerns.
- The principal will communicate on a regular basis with First Nation administration and Chief and Council (consider specifying how frequently this will happen).
- COVID-19 information and notices will be posted to a designated school bulletin board.
- Signage will be posted at the school entrances, including notices to adults entering the school about their responsibility to assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease prior to entering.
- A start of the year email update and meeting will be held with staff to review workplace practices relating to COVID-19 and answer questions.
Regular check-in meeting with staff will be held to share current information and review any concerns.
- Classes will enter and exit the school at front entrance. Classes will gather outside while waiting to enter the school at locations that are marked using signage. These locations will be at least 2 metres apart from each other.
Classes will enter and exit the school at staggered intervals as follows:
- The breakfast program will run from 8:00 a.m. until 8:45 a.m.
- Students who are walking or being dropped off early can enter on arrival.
- The Kispiox bus students need to line up on arrival at approximately 8:30 am and can enter the school following arrival protocol.
- The Gitanmaax/Hazelton and Glen Vowell students need to line up on arrival at approximately 8:40 am and can enter the school following arrival protocol.
- Recess and lunch periods will be staggered as follows:
- Grades K – 3 (Group A) will have recess at 10:15 – 10:30 a.m. and lunch at 11:45 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. The warning bell will be at 12:30 for group A.
- Grades 4 – 7 (Group B) will have recess at 10:30 – 10:45a.m. and lunch at 12:00 – 12:50pm. The warning bell will be at 12:45 for group B.
- There are bound to be some bugs and pitfalls that may occur with the procedure and protocols, as such Kispiox Community School retains the right to make changes when necessary.