School District 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark confirmed in a letter to parents and caregivers Thursday evening (Dec.30) that it won’t be business as usual at schools in the Cariboo Chilcotin next week.
Students were to expecting to return to the classroom Jan. 4 from the holiday break, however, earlier this week Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered that all classes will instead begin Jan. 10 due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
“Return to school for students in K-12 education is being delayed in order to give public health and B.C. schools additional time to assess the impacts of the Omicron variant on communities and schools, and to implement enhanced safety plans to support the safe continuation of in-class learning,” noted van der Mark.
“School Districts are to use this administrative time to understand and assess the impact of the Omicron variant on students and staff over the holiday break, and determine their workforce needs. We will also be developing communications plans for families in the event of workforce issues or potential school closures.”
Buses will not be running as usual. Only essential health service workers children, and possibly students with diverse or complex needs are permitted to be in attendance Jan. 4 to 7. Those parents are asked to contact their local schools to make supervision plans. There will be no instruction next week.
“We understand this is an inconvenient start to the year and appreciate your understanding as we continue to work through the changing landscape of the pandemic. The safety of students and staff remains our highest priority and we need to continue providing an environment that minimizes risk of transmission,”he said.
Approximately 4,600 students attend schools in School District 27.