On June 17, 2021 the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) released their Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools: Outlook for the 2021-22 School Year including information on anticipated public health guidance for K-12 schools for the 2021-22 school year. The BCCDC is expected to provide a full update to the Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in August 2021, which may differ from the guidance included here. In the meantime, First Nations and First Nations schools may wish to consult this document to inform early planning.
The BCCDC resource includes the following important notes:
- Cohorts [Learning Groups] will not be recommended and it is anticipated that physical distancing of two meters will not be recommended; however, schools will continue to be encouraged to spread people out within available space and to prevent crowding in indoor common spaces.
- Since the risk of COVID-19 transmission from surfaces is low, it is anticipated that transitioning to sector-specific cleaning practices will be recommended.
- Everyone should continue to complete a daily health check and stay home when they are sick. It is anticipated that all extracurricular activities and field trips, including inter-school sports, arts events and special-interest activities (e.g. overnight trips) will be able to take place by school start. Additional guidance related to personal protective equipment (including masks), staff-only spaces, and transportation will be addressed by BCCDC in its August update.
FNESC and FNSA will continue to provide information and resources in support of preparation for the 2021-22 school year. FNESC, FNSA, the Ministry of Health, and the BCCDC fully respect the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about the operation of First Nations schools in the best interests of their students, schools, and communities. This includes the authority to decide if and how to use this guidance to inform planning and if and how to reopen their schools in September.
You can find all of our updates and resources related to COVID-19 at www.fnesc.ca/covid19 and www.fnsa.ca/covid19.