School District 27 will require students in Grades 4 to 12, along with visitors, adult volunteers and staff, to wear masks at all times, effective Tuesday, April 6.
The revised health and safety guidelines were announced Monday by the Public Health Officer and Ministry of Health, following a spike in COVID-19 cases across the province.
“We are nearing a pivotal stage with regards to our ongoing pandemic efforts and provincially the cases have risen significantly,” SD27 Supt. Chris van der Mark said in a letter to families. “Our school staff have done a tremendous job ensuring a safe learning environment for students while working tirelessly to adhere to the changing guidelines. Through their hard work (and yours) school exposures have been limited.”
van der Mark said the school district adjusted to other increased mask measures follow the post-Christmas spike and he is confident they will manage the latest changes. The restrictions are part of the PHO’s “circuit breaker” plan and will be revisited on April 19.
Exceptions will be made to people who are unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person, if they need to remove it temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it or if they are behind a barrier. Those engaging in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask, such as playing a wind instrument or high-intensity physical activity, or are eating and drinking will also be exempt, as well we those providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability, including but not limited to a hearing impairment where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading and movements are important.
Staff, adult volunteers, and all Grade 4 to 12 students should wear a mask at all times while on a bus, although exceptions will apply. A more detailed breakdown can be found here: BCCDC•K-12 Guidelines, K-12-Guidelines or contact your local school for more information.