March 27, 2020 WILL BE UPDATED FREQUENTLY AS NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE
FAQs – Students, Parent/Guardians, Public
1. What is Comox Valley Schools doing to make necessary preparation in case of a confirmed COVID-19 case?
The school district continues to work closely with Island Health and monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If a confirmed case should arise within our district, we will be notified by Island Health as soon as possible and will then take all the necessary steps to inform our school communities.
2. What can we as families, educators and students do to reduce the spread in our community?
We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school district and community. We encourage everyone to practice good hygiene habits and follow directives set out by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), including:
3. If family member(s) experience symptoms related to COVID 19 (confirmed case or not), is self-isolation required?
4. How do I know if I have contracted the virus?
5. When will more information become available about continuation of education, graduation and final marks?School administrators, District leaders and education partners are in constant and continuous communication with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to determine the way ahead including alternate service delivery methods of education. We will continue to communicate with you in the days and weeks to come.
6. Where can I get information on COVID-19?
All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix are posted here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health
7. Will students be at risk of not graduating?
8. Will schools be cleaned during this break?
9. Can my child access the school to collect personal belongings?
10. Will the Board office/school administrative offices be open?
11. How can I stay up to date with information from the school district?
12. The municipalities have prohibited the use of play structures in public parks. Can school playgrounds be used.
FAQs – Staff
The health and safety of our employees is paramount. All return to work plans will reflect safe work practices recommended by the public health officer.
13. UPDATED Are staff required to return to work after the spring break?
14. Are staff expected to continue to deliver education curriculums to students?
As stipulated by the MoE, we need to plan for the long haul. This will not be a regular education program. It is important that all our staff understand we are still providing a service to our community. We are fortunate in our school district to have dedicated staff and educational partners that will come together in the best interests of our students to provide a public education system that is focussed on ensuring student success during this difficult time.
15. The PHO (Public Health Officer) stated no mass gatherings of greater than 50. Is a school setting with the faculty back at work considered a gathering?
When it comes to our daily work environments in building and schools this is not a gathering. As advised by the Island Health Medical Officer, it is important to operate on principles and not as much on hard numbers. Hard numbers such as limiting mass gatherings to a specific amount is helpful for meetings in close proximity. Social distancing of 6 feet is the best guideline to follow in the workplace.
16. How do I inform my employer that I am self isolating?
A new AMS code called Self Isolation has been created and is now active for all employee groups. It is an AMS leave with pay code to be used by staff self-isolating as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
17. NEW I have heard rumours that a member of my school community has been exposed to the virus. What should I do?
As advised by the Chief Medical Officer for Island Health, we are all to assume that the COVID-19 virus is in our community. Where it is or who has been exposed to / tested positive for is irrelevant. The protocols in place to maintian social distancing, self regulate outdoor activity, self monitor for symptoms, and self isolate if you or a family member are experiencing symptoms or travelled outside of Canada are in place to help contain the virus and stop its spread.
Our school district is in regular communication with our local medical health officer to ensure that these protocols that are in accordance with the guidelines provided by the PHO. Should a case be identified that is associated with a school community, Island Health will make contact with all impacted advising them of the potential of exposure and the requirement to get test and/or self quartantine as applicable.
FAQs – Stakeholder Groups
18. What can I do to support the District in determining an alternative service delivery model for education while supporting our union workers?
As responsible partners in public education in the Comox Valley, we all have a role to play in providing the truth. Silence in the community and on social media is being filled with inaccuracies and, over time, will impact the trust and loyalty constituents will have in the school district. We ask first and foremost, to refrain from spreading information that is applicable in one District that may look entirely different in School District 71.
As you can expect, the situation is rapidly evolving and very fluid. What might be direction today may change tomorrow. The MoE and the District are working to formalize a plan for how things will look going forward and what education will look like over the coming weeks.
Island Health and the school district encourage the community to seek accurate, current and relevant information on the District website (www.comoxvalleyschools.ca) and on the Island Health website (https://www.islandhealth.ca/).
The BC Ministry of Education released a set of public-facing FAQs March 25. The document has been updated as of March 31 and can be found at this link. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/education/administration/kindergarten-to-grade-12/safe-caring-orderly/bc-ministry-of-education-questions-and-answers-continuity-of-learning-k-12-education_system.pdf