Current Events

Updated (April 7, 2021) Health and Safety Plan for Stage 2 Return to School

Health & Safety Plan – Stage 2

The health and safety of our students and staff are of utmost importance in our work at Zion Lutheran Christian School.  This Health and Safety Plan is a summary of the Zion-specific application of the Ministry of Education’s Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings, the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings, and WorkSafeBC Safe Operating Protocols (K-12 Education).

General Protocols:

  • Staff and students who have travelled outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for 14 days under both provincial and federal orders and will not be allowed to enter the school.
  • Staff and students with COVID-19 like symptoms should stay home and self-isolate until the symptoms have been resolved, and be assessed by a health care provider. Testing is recommended for anyone with these symptoms, even mild ones. (*see the Daily Health Check below for more information)
  • Staff and students identified as having been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must stay home and self-isolate until such time as it is deemed safe to return by Public Health.
  • Parents will be trusted to assess their children daily for any cold/flu/COVID-19 symptoms before sending them to school. Parents are encouraged to use the assessment tool to help interpret symptoms. (*see the Daily Health Check below for more information)  Staff will also self-assess, using the same daily health check and stay home if necessary.  All staff will sign in each day, verifying that they have done the daily health check.
  • Parents will enter the building only if absolutely necessary.
  • Only one person, along with the secretary, will be allowed in the office at one time.

Individuals Visiting the School

  • Teachers on call (if needed) will be required to wear a mask when inside the building and maintain a 2 metre distance between themselves and others as much as possible (in addition to the general guidelines followed in this document).
  • Support workers (such as behaviour interventionists, speech language pathologists, etc.) will be required to wear a mask when inside the building AND at all times maintain a 2 metre distance between themselves and others except for the student for whom they are providing a service (in addition to the general guidelines followed in this document).
  • Parent volunteers (such as lunch time supervisors) will be required to wear a mask while in the building and are expected to follow the guidelines in this document.
  • Other visitors to the school (such as contractors or trades people) will be required to wear a mask AND at all times maintain a 2 metre distance between themselves and others (in addition to the general guidelines followed in this document).
  • Itinerant staff (those not belonging to our cohort) will be required to wear a mask and practice physical distancing as much as possible while in the building (in addition to the general guidelines followed in this document).

Hygiene:

  • Staff, students, and visitors will be required to wash their hands upon entering the building.
  • Frequency of handwashing (for students):
    • upon arrival and before going home
    • before and after any breaks (recess, lunch)
    • before and after eating or drinking from the fountain
    • after using toilet
    • whenever hands are visibly dirty
    • before and after moving between different, shared learning environments
    • after sneezing or coughing into hands
  • Frequency of handwashing (for staff):
    • same as above plus:
    • before and after assisting students with eating or handling food
    • before and after giving medication to a student or self
    • after contact with body fluids (runny noses, blood, spit, vomit)
    • after cleaning tasks or handling garbage
  • Staff will assist young children with handwashing as needed.
  • Soap and water and hand sanitizer will be used for handwashing.
  • Staff will wear gloves in the event of dealing with blood or bodily fluids. Hands will be washed before wearing the gloves and after disposing of the gloves.
  • Food and drink sharing will be prohibited.

Physical Distancing:

  • Parents and caregivers shall remain outside during drop off and pick up.
  • Close greetings will be avoided (handshakes, hugs) and children will be reminded frequently to keep their hands to themselves.
  • Physical distancing will be encouraged where possible to do so. Activities that require close face to face contact will be avoided.  Seating in classrooms will be arranged in such a way as to maximize space and not have students facing one another.
  • Students will be brought outside as much as possible during their time at the school.
  • The flow of students in common areas (in particular, the coat rooms) will be managed to allow for physical distancing as much as possible.
  • Spacing and physical distance will be considered when planning for events where the whole school is together (example: chapel, book buddies).
  • Staff will practice as much physical distancing with each other as possible throughout the school day (this includes staff meetings and break times).
  • Where field trips are possible:
    • COVID-19 related safety protocols in place at the field trip site will be followed
    • parent volunteers will not be allowed to transport groups of students; only staff members within our cohort will transport students; staff transporting students will be required to wear a mask while driving

Physical Education Class

  • students will be spread out as far as possible to reduce physical contact
  • activities with prolonged physical contact (like wrestling) will be avoided
  • students will be taken outside as much as possible for PE class
  • shared PE equipment will be sanitized as needed
  • masks will be worn by staff during physical education when they are unable to practice physical distancing

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • High contact surfaces will be sanitized at least twice per day: once at mid-day and then again during general cleaning at the end of the day.  High contact surfaces include, but are not limited to, door knobs, railings, light switches, keyboards, desks, chairs, toys, communication devices, and sports equipment (as needed).
  • General cleaning, including the removal of garbage and sanitizing of touch surfaces, will happen on a daily basis.
  • The sharing of materials, including technology, will be limited. Students are assigned their own device to use.

Non-Medical Mask Use

  • For students in Grade K through 3, mask use within the school is based on their personal or family/caregiver’s choice.
  • All staff and Grade 4-7 students will wear a mask or face covering indoors at school.
  • Mask requirements do not apply to staff, students and visitors in the following circumstances:
    • to a person who cannot tolerate a mask for health or behavioural reasons;
    • to a person who is unable to put on or remove a mask with the assistance of another person;
    • if the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
    • to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (playing an instrument, high intensity physical activity, etc.);
    • if a person is eating or drinking;
    • if a person is behind a barrier;
    • while providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements is important.
  • Staff transporting students on field trips will be required to wear a mask or face covering while driving.
  • Masks are not required outdoors.
  • Face shields will not be worn in place of a mask except in instances where communicating using visual cues is essential (such as with students of diverse abilities).

If Students or Staff Develop Symptoms of Illness

  • If a student develops any symptoms of illness:
    • Immediately separate the symptomatic student from others in a supervised area.
    • Contact parent or caregiver to come pick up the student as soon as possible.
    • Where possible, maintain a 2 metre distance from the ill student. If not possible, staff should wear a mask or face covering.
    • Provide the student with a mask or tissues to cover their coughs and sneezes (throw away used tissues immediately and wash hands).
    • Avoid touching bodily fluids.
    • Wash hands diligently when student is picked up.
    • Clean and disinfect the space where the student was separated and any areas recently used by them.
  • If a staff member develops any symptoms of illness:
    • Staff should go home as soon as possible.
    • Symptomatic staff should separate themselves into an area away from others.
    • Maintain a 2 metre distance from others.
    • Use a tissue or mask to cover nose and mouth while waiting to be picked up.
    • Clean and disinfect the space where the staff member was separated and any areas used by them.
  • If a staff or student is confirmed by public health as positive for COVID-19, the school will work with public health to determine what actions should be taken, including if any staff or students who have been in contact with that person need to self-isolate, and if other staff and students’ families should be notified.

Returning to School After Sickness

  • If, based on symptoms, a COVID test was not recommended, students or staff can return to school when symptoms improve and they feel well enough.
  • If, based on symptoms, a test is recommended, students and staff must stay home until they receive their test result.
  • If the test is negative, they can return to school when symptoms improve and they feel well enough.
  • If the test is positive, direction from public health on when they can return to school must be followed.

*See additional information under “Daily Health Checks” below.

Daily Health Check for Staff and Students

Daily Health Check
1. Symptoms of Illness Does your child have any of the following key symptoms? Circle One
Fever YES NO
Chills YES NO
Cough or worsening of chronic cough YES NO
Shortness of breath YES NO
Loss of sense of smell or taste YES NO
Diarrhea YES NO
Nausea and vomiting YES NO
2.  International Travel Have you or anyone in your household returned from travel outside of Canada in the last 14 days? YES NO
3.  Confirmed Contact Are you or is anyone in your household a confirmed contact of a person confirmed to have COVID-19 YES NO

If you answered “YES” to one of the questions under “key symptoms” (excluding fever) and the symptoms are not related to a previously diagnosed condition** (e.g. allergies, asthma, etc.) your child should stay home and not return until the symptoms have been resolved.

If you answered “YES” to two or more of the questions under “key symptoms” or you have a fever, seek a health assessment.

When a COVID-19 test is recommended by the health assessment:

  • If the test is positive, you should stay home until you are told by public health to end self-isolation. Public health will contact everyone with a positive test.
  • If the test is negative, you can return to school once symptoms have improved and you feel well enough.
  • If a test is recommended but is not done or you do not choose to seek a health assessment when recommended (and your symptoms are not related to a previously diagnosed condition) you should stay home until 10 days after the onset of symptoms, and then you may return if you are feeling well enough.

If you answered “YES” to questions 2 or 3, use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

**NOTE of Clarity:  if you child is experiencing symptoms that are related to a previously diagnosed condition, or are not unusual for that individual, they can come to school.