August 31, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
The BC Ministry of Education has revealed its plan to move from Stage 3 to Stage 2 which includes a full return to in-class instruction for all students.
- Starting Monday, August 31, Mrs. Parsey, Mr. Rockwell and I will return to the school. We will be available to accept phone calls to answer any questions not covered in this letter or to make appointments for registering new students. The school phone number is 250-283-2538 .
- Friday September 4th – Specific information on the GRSS return to school plan will be made available to staff, students, families and communities. This information will include start-up dates and times, procedures for picking up and dropping off students, procedures for students taking buses… and will be posted on the school webpage https://grss.sd84.bc.ca/.
- Tuesday September 8th – Staff return to the school to be trained on the district Covid-19 Safety Plan and to prepare for the launching of Stage 2.
- Thursday September 10th and 11th half or all students will attend school for part of the day to be trained on our school safety protocols and plans for the coming days and weeks. The schedule for September 10th and September 11th will be posted by the end of this week.
- September 14th, full time instruction begins for all registered students.
To get the most students back in full-time in-class instruction in September, the Provincial Health Officer has recommended the use of cohorts (Learning Groups) to reduce the number of close, in-person interactions. This will reduce the number of people each student or staff member comes into contact with, thereby reducing the risk of transmission and ensuring quicker contact tracing by health authorities.
Within a Learning Group, minimized physical contact is required, but physical distancing does not need to be maintained at all times.
GRSS is small enough (less than the 120 person cohort size for secondary) to be considered a single Learning Group. Students and staff will be able to interact with each other without social distancing.
At this time masks are optional for any interactions between people in a single Learning Group. Any interactions at school between members of a Leaning Group and others outside of that Learning Group will require social distancing or the use of masks and/ or other physical barriers. Staff and students are of course welcome to wear a mask even within their Leaning Groups if they choose to do so.
Please know that in Stage 2 parents with students registered in SD84 will not have the option to send their children back to school part-time, or to keep them at home and have online educational opportunities provided by the district. Exceptions may be granted for students who are immune suppressed. Parents always have the option to home school their children or register them in a Distance Learning school. Please feel free to contact the Principal if you would like more information on their options.
A copy of our Covid-19 District Safety Plan can be found online on the school or district website www.grss.sd84.bc.ca and www.sd84.bc.ca Ray Watkins is revising our Covid-19 Procedures document which is based on the updated Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings and approved by our schools Health and Safety Committee and by the district. This school specific document will be available to students, parents and communities at the latest on September 9th.
Before sending your children to school parents are required to screen their children’s health daily and to keep them home if they exhibit any symptoms of illness. Please see the attached screening document for daily use. More copies are available upon request.
During Stage 2, our buildings (including all schools) will remain closed to the general public. Parents and others should phone the school office 250-283-2538 to make appointments for connecting with staff as required.
Our playgrounds will remain open, but we will be restricting access to our school properties to only our staff and students during the hours of 8 am – 4 pm, Monday – Friday for the duration of the pandemic. Members of the general public are welcome to use the school fields and playgrounds outside of these hours for healthy physical activities, subject to maintaining physical distancing and adherence to the normal rules in place for school properties.
Thank you for your patience and support as the District continues engaging your children in learning while maintaining health and safety as our priority.
Mr. Sean Broderick, Principal