Back to school will look differently with more spacing and fewer students in classrooms. (File photo)

North Okanagan back-to-school survey due Friday

If parents do not complete the survey your child may not be permitted to attend school in June

Parents of school-aged children have just been given a couple days to say whether their kids are returning to school June 1 or not.

The Vernon School District has issued the survey to guardians with a deadline of Friday, May 22 at noon.

“If you do not complete this survey, your child may not be permitted to attend,” the form reads. “We need accurate numbers to plan for safety.”

The Ministry of Education has a five-stage approach to resuming in-class instruction in a measured way to align with BC’s Restart Plan. Each stage will be guided by health and safety guidelines, measures, protocols and orders, as well as the principles developed for continuity of learning during the pandemic.

Students will be provided with the option to attend in-class instruction. It is up to parents/guardians to choose if they would like their child to return to school from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. K-5 students will be able to attend two days a week while 6-12 will be scheduled one day a week.

“Parents may choose to keep their children at home and some remote learning will be provided to those students; however, remote learning will be different than it has been,” the letter to parents reads.

Parents and caregivers are asked to monitor their children daily for symptoms.

Buses will not be running and bus drivers will be reassigned to cleaning duties.

For parents concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via textbooks, paper or other paper-based products.

Interior Health results also show that ages 0-19 have been least affected by the virus, along with ages 80-89.

Children of Essential Service Workers can attend for five days a week, two days of instruction and three days of childcare from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Parents and caregivers have the responsibility to assess their children before sending them to school. This includes checking their child for any symptoms including: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, or sneezing. Children who show any signs of illness must be kept at home and parents must notify the school.

If family members of the children show any signs of illness the school should be notified, and students must be kept at home.

Children who are ill, or who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, are not to return to school until cleared by a health professional to return.

Children are to be dropped off at the designated entrance to the school using site specific protocols. Principals will send details once numbers are known.

Families are asked to send only the items their child may need for the time they are at school, limiting any unnecessary belongings. Ensure personal items are well labelled.

If your child develops symptoms while at school, they will be isolated and a parent/guardian will be contacted and required to pick up the child as soon as possible.

To ensure efficient entry and exit of students while respecting physical distancing expectations, parents/guardians are expected to make sure that pick-ups and drop-offs happen at the scheduled time.

Schools will ensure regular cleaning and disinfecting of sites at least once a day. Frequently-touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day.

Where practical, a two metre physical distancing rule will be followed and children will be spread out. For younger children maintaining physical distance is less practical and the focus will be on minimizing physical contact (e.g. “Hands to Yourself”, respect two metre floor markings, avoid close greetings like hugs).

Children will go outside more often; playgrounds will be open.

Water fountains will not be accessible, therefore students should bring their own filled water bottle. Cubbies and lockers should also not be used.

A weekly survey for weekly attendance will also be sent out.

“Parents that make the choice to have their children attend in-class can be confident that the district is taking safety seriously,” the letter reads.

READ MORE: Vernon parents surveyed on plans to send kids back to school

READ MORE: EDITORIAL: New math may prompt parents to send kids back to school


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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