FAMILY RESOURCES

Resources to support and encourage families during these changing times.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for Richmond Christian School
COVID-19 Safety Plan | DRAFT: June 1, 2020

Each campus has introduced a variety of safety protocols appropriate to their age group that follow the directives of the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education. In addition to the typical and normal safety protocols that are already established at RCS, the following protocols have been introduced. RCS regularly refers to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) Website for up-to-date information. Since the information throughout this pandemic evolves as new research comes to light, these protocols will be revised as information becomes available. 

Preliminary Information 

The following information was provided by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of the Vancouver Coastal Health region.   

Although children are often at increased risk for viral respiratory illnesses, that is not the case with COVID-19. Compared to adults, children are less likely to become infected with COVID-19, less likely to develop severe illness as a result of infection and less likely to transmit the infection to others. Children who have developed COVID-19 have mostly acquired it from adults in the household setting.  

Additionally, COVID-19 activity in the Vancouver Coastal Health region has decreased significantly and there is currently very little evidence of community transmission. As a result, Vancouver Coastal Health believes that the risk of COVID-19 in the school environment is low and that students and staff can safely return to in-class learning as per BC’s plan.   

1. Environmental Measures 

  • The Provincial Health Officer’s Order for Mass Gatherings continues to prohibit gatherings and events of people in excess of 50 people; however, this Order does not apply to regular school activities. As such, there can be more than 50 students and staff in a school at any given time if they are not all in one area and if they are actively engaged in physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.  
  • Assemblies of staff and students will not exceed 50. Physical distancing will be followed.  
  • Extra cleaning and sanitizing of desks, tables, chairs, keyboards, toys, doorknobs, light-switches and other high touch areas throughout the day 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces that are visibly dirty 
  • Thorough cleaning of the washrooms during, and after, the school day  
  • Careful and methodical drop-off and pick-up of students 
  • Removal of furniture that is not easily cleaned and sanitized (eg. fabric covered, chairs with cushions) 
  • Drinking fountains are disabled; however, the touchless bottle filling option will be available 
  • Since bus transportation is not required, protocols have not been written 

2.  Administrative Measures 

  • Limiting the number of students in classrooms 
  • Limiting access to the school building by parents and visitors 
  • Staggering break times and lunch times 
  • Taking students outside as much as possible for movement, and physical health and education 
  • Playgrounds will be open  
  • Specific entrances and exits to the building have been posted  
  • Flow of people is managed within the building 

 3.  Personal Measures 

As families return to school, the biggest role for our parents is to ensure that only children that are healthy come to school. If your child has a cough or a cold, they must stay home. If your child has a fever, they must stay home. If your child is unwell with vomiting or any stomach issues, they must stay home. This expectation applies to all staff members as well. 

  • If a student or staff member comes into contact with someone with COVID-19 they will not attend school for 14 days.  
  • Parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of cold, influenza, COVID19 and other infectious respiratory diseases prior to entering the school. 
  • At the elementary campus, students and staff will have their temperatures taken as they enter the school at the beginning of the day. 
  • At the middle and secondary campus, staff and students will be asked to self-monitor their temperature and physical health each morning before entering the school   
  • Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing by everyone – staff and students – throughout the day.  This will take place  
    • before entering or returning to the classrooms 
    • before and after using the washrooms 
    • before and after entering the staff room or common work areas 
    • before and after break times 
    • before and after lunch 
    • after sneezing or coughing  
  • Students and staff who become sick during the day will be required to return home immediately. Parents must be available throughout the day to pick up sick children 
  • Students must be dropped off before the regular time in the morning. Early arrivals cannot be permitted. 
  • Students must be picked up promptly at the end of the school day. The school does not have capacity to monitor children after the pickup times have passed. 
  • Students and staff will refrain from sharing any food, drinks, unwashed utensils, etc. 

4. Personal Protective Equipment 

The Ministry of Education in conjunction with the PHO state that personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gloves are not needed, beyond those used by staff as part of regular precautions for the hazards normally encountered in their regular course of work. They should only be used when all other controls fail.

  • Managing students with complex behaviours, on a delegated care plan or experiencing a health emergency may require staff to be in close physical proximity with the student. No additional personal protective equipment beyond normal universal precautions are required.
  • There is no evidence to support the use of medical grade, cloth or homemade masks in school settings at this time. Wearing one is a personal choice. It is important to treat people wearing masks with respect.
  • Ministry guidelines do not recommend the wearing of masks by children. 
  • Although masks and the use of PPE is not mandatory in a school setting, RCS is recommending that staff wear masks, especially when in close proximity to students. 

Appendix A: If a Student or Staff Member Develops Symptoms at School.* 

If a Student Develops Symptoms of COVID19  If Staff Members Develops Symptoms of COVID19 
Parents or caregivers must keep their child at home until they have been assessed by a health care provider to exclude COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, AND their symptoms have resolved.   Staff must be excluded from work and stay home until they have been assessed by a health care provider to exclude COVID-19 or other infectious diseases, AND their symptoms have resolved.  

IF STUDENT DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS AT SCHOOL: 

Staff must take the following steps: 

  1. Immediately separate the symptomatic student from others to a supervised area.  
  2. Contact the student’s parent or caregiver to pick them up as soon as possible. 
  3. Where possible, maintain a distance of 2 metres from the ill student. If not possible, staff may wear a mask if available and tolerated, or use a tissue to cover their nose and mouth.  
  4. Provide the student with tissues to cover their coughs or sneezes. Throw away used tissues as soon as possible and perform hand hygiene.  
  5. Avoid touching the student’s body fluids (e.g., mucous, saliva). If you do, practice diligent hand hygiene.  
  6. Once the student is picked up, practice diligent hand hygiene. 
  7. Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the student was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., classroom, bathroom, common areas). 
  8. Contact the local public health unit to notify them of a potential case and seek further input.  

Parents or caregivers must pick up their child as soon as possible if they are notified their child is ill. 

IF STAFF DEVELOPS SYMPTOMS AT WORK: 

If Stafare unable to leave immediately: 

  1. Symptomatic staff should separate themselves into an area away from others. 
  2. Maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. 
  3. Use a tissue or mask to cover their nose and mouth while they wait to be picked up. 
  4. Staff responsible for facility cleaning must clean and disinfect the space where the staff member was separated and any areas used by them (e.g., classroom, bathroom, common areas). 
  5. If concerned, contact the local public health unit to seek further input.  

 

If a student or staff member is assessed by their family physician or nurse practitioner and it is determined that they do NOT have COVID-19, they may return to school once symptoms resolve. 

 

* This is copied from the BC Centre for Disease Control: COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for K-12 School Settings.

Videos

These videos offer insight and advice from trusted sources.

Tips for Families

In this first conversation, Roger Grose talks with Mark Eshleman, our Counsellor from Cedar Springs. Here Mark offers practical advice on calming anxiety during this time of isolation.

Links:

Middle Campus Counselling Request Form
Secondary Campus Counselling Request Form
Cedar Springs Intake Form
Cedar Springs contact information

 

More Tips for Families

In this second conversation, Roger Grose continues his talk with Mark Eshleman, our Counsellor from Cedar Springs. Here Mark gives advice on how to build healthy communication with your family.

Links:

Middle Campus Counselling Request Form
Secondary Campus Counselling Request Form
Cedar Springs Intake Form
Cedar Springs contact information