Prince Rupert school children of parents who are essential health service workers may attend schools again from Jan. 4 to 7.
School District 52 classrooms remained closed to students on Jan. 3 as they reassessed return to school plans.
Qualifying parents who wish for their children to return to classes should contact their respective school principal so they may make the appropriate supervision plans to accommodate them.
Beginning Jan. 10, all students will return to schools in phases as per a Provincial Health Order stated by Dr. Bonnie Henry on Dec. 29.
“More information will be communicated after we meet with principals and then with staff to make plans for the return of students on Jan. 10,” SD 52 superintendent, Andrew Samoil, announced on Dec 31.
School staff will continue to be present and working at SD 52 buildings and offices between Jan. 3 and 7.
“This extra time will allow the Ministry of Education and public health to better understand the impact of the Omicron variant on the education system and school communities to prepare for students returning to class with enhanced safety measures,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education, on Dec. 29.
Rapid tests will continue to be used at schools where there have been exposure events and outbreaks as the province awaits new rapid tests shipments from the federal government, according to the Ministry of Education on Dec 29.
The ministry has amended the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for Kindergarten through Grade 12 student settings based on public health’s current knowledge of the Omicron variant. The adjusted guidelines were developed in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control, Indigenous rights holders and education partners, including teachers, parents and school administrators.
Schools must reinforce existing safety measures such as daily health checks, staying at home when sick, mask wearing, social distancing, limiting crowding, holding virtual meetings, limiting visitors and pausing sport tournaments, the Ministry of Education stated.
The Northern View has reached out to SD 52 for further comment.
Norman Galimski | Journalist
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