Dear First Nations and First Nations Schools,
We wish you well as you prepare for a new school year.
To support your planning, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) are sharing new public health guidance for K-12 school settings released on August 25th by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and BC Ministry of Education and Child Care (ECC). First Nations schools may wish to refer to the following guidance documents while planning for and providing in-class instruction.
- The BC Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools
- The BC Ministry of Education and Child Care’s Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings
First Nations with Students in Public and non-First Nations Independent Schools
The Ministry of Education and Child Care’s guidelines include expectations for boards of education and non-First Nations independent school authorities for engaging First Nations and supporting First Nation students. These expectations are set out in the Indigenous Students section of the Ministry guidelines (page 3). First Nations with students in public and non-First Nations independent schools may wish to review this information to inform their discussions with school districts and schools.
First Nations Schools
FNESC and FNSA are currently updating our planning resource to reflect this latest guidance and we will distribute a new version to First Nations schools as soon as possible.
FNESC and FNSA, like the BC Ministry of Health, BCCDC, and ECC, 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 these guidelines and guidance documents to inform planning, and if and when to reopen their schools for in-person learning.
As shared in our June 8th update, First Nations schools can order supplies of certain non-medical protective equipment (e.g., non-medical masks, hand sanitizer, etc.) and Rapid Antigen Tests at no charge, except for shipping costs, through PEAK Health. The link for ordering PPE was previously sent to First Nations school contacts from Peak Health/Evolution. Schools can contact PSCOrders@evolvewithus.ca for assistance.
Please feel free to contact FNESC and FNSA with your questions. Find the latest updates at www.fnesc.ca/covid19 and www.fnsa.ca/covid19.