Wednesday August 12, 2020 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, editor | West Shore Voice News
The BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) has issued a detailed list of guidelines, directives and instructions for what a safe in-class and in-school experience should be during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full ‘Guidelines for Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees‘ document — as posted on the BCTF website — outlines specific Staff Practices, Student/Parent Responsibilities, Administrative Areas, Interior Preparations, and Classroom Preparations.
The guidelines are being continually updated based on WorkSafeBC guidelines and the ‘COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K–12 School Settings’ document (as issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Ministry of Health).
- Practices are to include self assessment before coming into school buildings, and staying home if ill. The flow of people in common areas (hallways and bathrooms) are to be established, as well as about bringing materials in and out of schools. Teachers are expected to “encourage workers and students to remain on site and not to leave during lunch or at break times”.
- Teachers may bring their own PPE. Teachers are to establish and post occupancy limits for shared spaces. Younger children are to be taught appropriate behaviours about space limitations.
- Workers will be allowed to perform only “essential tasks to maintain the student’s education and well-being”, with non-essential tasks to be put on hold until directed otherwise by the PHO.
Visitors and volunteers including parents:
- Are not to be on site, or otherwise by appointment. There will be staggering of pick-ups, drop-offs, recess and lunch times, with clear protocols for employees, students and others entering the school. Students are to bring limited materials to school (e.g. backpack, water bottle) and are not to share materials.
- Parents should not send food that needs to be prepared or heated by the students.
- “Where possible, students should avoid physical contact to the greatest extent.”
- Staff will be asked to clearly communicate with parents and caregivers about assessing children daily before sending them to school.
- The public will be limited from coming into the school office; parents and others are to call instead of visiting the school.
- Hand hygiene and signage will be posted at school entry points.
- A 2-metre area will be set up in front of or behind a kiosk (office windows).
- No mass gatherings (e.g. assemblies).
- Hand washing stations or alcohol-based hand rub to be available.
- Paper hand towels to be provided (instead of hand dryers).
- Cleaning to be done daily including twice per day for bathrooms, doorknobs, tables, desks.
===== About the writer:
West Shore Voice News editor Mary Brooke has been reporting on education news (and SD62 in depth) since 2014. She is the mother of four children who went through the SD61 and SD62 school systems.