Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday January 21, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Thank you to parents and caregivers who have been patient, kind, and responsive as we have lived through high student and staff absenteeism and functional closures. We appreciate everyone adhering to the safety measures, checking for symptoms, and staying home when ill. While working through an admittedly challenging time, we have proven that we are here for each other, as a district-school-home partnership.

École Lloyd George

When I visited École Lloyd George Elementary School, Principal Mme Carol DeFehr shared their administrative team’s aim, which emerged from reflecting on the Seven Grandfather Teachings - To build a community of Student Success by focusing on the teaching of Humility and Bravery. When we walked through the school and met with staff and students, Mme Michelle Cauchon, the teacher librarian shared how she, Library Assistant Mme Andrea Schafthuizen and Aboriginal Education Worker Mme Brenda Jules have enjoyed creating “Aboriginal Calendar Kits” based on significant traditional Secwépemc cultural events and practices. She explained how she was humbled by seeking input from the Knowledge Keepers in our community such as Jackie Jules, Cultural Coordinator at the Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park and Quanah George, Tk? emlúps te Secwépemc Community Member. Mme Cauchon has enjoyed collaborating and is energized by making these kits. The kits are still evolving as artifacts are found for each month. Mme DeFehr stated that Mme Cauchon illuminates their school motto - “Our role has been to remind all that “On ne cesse jamais d’apprendre” (We never stop learning).

Consultation about Vaccination

Based on suggestions by the Vaccination Policy Committee, on January 10, 2021, the Board passed a motion to direct administration to collect voluntary self-disclosure of proof of vaccination from employees beginning January 24, 2022. A notice will be sent to all employees to provide steps for how to submit proof of vaccination. This past week, we consulted with employee groups, the Aboriginal Education Council, parents, and partners on a draft operations procedure to collect mandatory proof of vaccination.

Interior Health Thresholds and Letters

Interior Health has requested that districts send letters home when absenteeism thresholds are reached:

  • one or more classes in a school has/have an absenteeism rate of 25% or greater; and/or
  • a school’s absenteeism rate exceeds 10% of the historical absenteeism average for the school for two consecutive days.

When a family receives a letter based on their school reaching one or more of the above thresholds, the letter means that Interior Health’s “potential activity signal” criteria has been met. Reaching these criteria means that our district staff are in contact with the Interior Health Rapid Response Team to review what might be done to further mitigate spread of the virus.

When more than 25% of staff in a school are away, this is a threshold for our district and school leaders to enact our Continuity of Operations Plan. The Continuity of Learning Plan sets out the steps clearly for moving from face-to-face education with enhanced measures to one of three other scenarios, if necessary.

Safety Measures

The District Communicable Disease Prevention Plan continues to reflect any changes based on provincial safety measures and K-12 guidelines. Every school has a revised communicable disease prevention plan posted on their website. The BC Centre for Disease Control website is also a good resource for frequently asked questions related to COVID-19. We also have a Frequently Asked Questions section of our website.

Thank you for continuing to complete the daily health checklist or use the K to 12 Health Check App. As we continue to work collaboratively, thank you for your generous spirit, patience, and kindness.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD

Superintendent

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