For Immediate Release
2021EDUC0011-000201
Feb. 4, 2021

Ministry of Education

Enhanced safety measures for K-12 schools

 

VICTORIA Enhanced safety measures and $121.2 million in federal funding are on the way, as the Province continues to strengthen health and safety plans in K-12 schools to keep students, teachers and staff safe during the pandemic.

All middle and secondary students and K-12 staff will now be required to wear non-medical masks in all indoor areas, including when they are with their learning groups. The only exceptions are when:

  •  sitting or standing at their seat or workstation in a classroom;

  •  there is a barrier in place; or

  •  they are eating or drinking.

Prior to these changes, masks were required for middle and secondary students and all K-12 staff in high-traffic areas, like hallways and outside of classrooms or learning groups when they could not safely distance from others.

For elementary students, wearing masks indoors remain a personal choice. These updates are part of ongoing work of the provincial education steering committee and are in alignment with provincial health updates. Updated guidelines for the child care sector will be made available in the coming week.

"To make sure schools continue to be as safe as possible for students and staff as the pandemic evolves, we have worked with provincial health and our partners on a continuous review of the guidelines, adapting and responding when needed," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. "We want students, their families and staff to feel confident with the safety measures in place. Thats why were making these updates."

Guidelines have also been strengthened for physical education and music classes. High- intensity physical activities are to be held outside as much as possible. Shared equipment or items, such as weight machines, treadmills or musical instruments, can be used only if they are cleaned between use, according to strict school sanitization guidelines. Students using equipment or playing instruments should also be spaced at least two metres apart and masks are to be used when singing.

Since September 2020, more than $5.7 million of the K-12 Education Restart Plan for school districts has been used to purchase 3.9 million masks for students and staff.

"Educators, administrators and staff have done a great job of adapting our schools to make them safe and ensure important in-class learning continues," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer. "Since the start of the school year, we have paid close attention to our schools and learned much, including the importance of having robust safety plans and using the layers of protection. Masks are one important layer, and these updated guidelines will strengthen how and where they should be used to protect everyone."

To support B.C.s COVID-19 response for K-12 education, the federal government announced $242.4 million in one-time funding for the 2020-21 school year, with the first half of the investment allocated in September. The second installment of this funding arrived on Jan. 29, 2021. The Ministry of Education is allocating $101.1 million to school districts and $7.5 million to independent schools, and is providing school districts an additional $3.5 million to manage COVID-19 exposures in schools.

To support Indigenous learners, $8.2 million will go towards addressing learning loss and student health, technology for remote learning, education and mental health support, adapting classroom spaces and enhanced cleaning.

There will also be $900,000 allocated for six regional rapid response teams, one for each health authority and one dedicated to support independent schools, with representatives from both school and provincial health staff. These teams, announced by the provincial health officer, will continue to improve the speed of school exposure investigations, so health authorities can inform school districts and families more quickly.

Rapid response teams will conduct physical or virtual site inspections to ensure K-12 COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are being followed consistently. If there has been a significant exposure event or an in-school transmission, rapid response teams will be deployed to conduct a review and make recommendations, if needed.

School principals and vice-principals at each public and independent school are being provided with updated COVID-19 health and safety checklists to ensure they consistently follow provincial guidelines. Additionally, families in their local communities are reminded of the personal measures they can take to help keep schools safe.

School districts and independent school authorities will be required to confirm every school has completed the checklist and safety plans have been updated to reflect the updated guidelines by Feb. 26, 2021. All schools will also post updated plans publicly.

One of the most important factors to keeping schools safe is a daily screening for any COVID-19 symptoms, which is why daily health checks continue to be required. To support daily screening, a new K-12 health-checker app has been developed for students and their families and can be found at: https://www.k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca

The app will allow people to answer simple questions every day. It will inform them if they can attend school or if they need to self-isolate and contact 811 to be screened for COVID-19.

Quotes:

Stephanie Higginson, president, British Columbia School Trustees Association –

 

"Safety measures currently in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools have been working well. The enhanced guidelines and additional supports announced today will help maintain that safety as the pandemic evolves. B.C.s boards of education are proud of the work thats been done to allow students to safely return to school for full-time, face-to-face instruction. Close to 750,000 people interact with the K-12 system every day in British Columbia. We are committed to keeping in-class instruction safe for learners, their families and our communities. Boards of education are up to the task of keeping schools safe, so that in- class instruction can continue across the province."

Andrea Sinclair, president, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (BCCPAC)

"As the organization representing parents provincially, BCCPAC has continued its work with ministry officials, the provincial health officer and our education partner stakeholders to ensure a school environment with even greater safety protocols for our children. We asked the ministry to do more for the safety of our children, and we appreciate the efforts all stakeholders have made to create change to the health and safety guidelines."

Learn More:

The BC Centre for Disease Control has a new website with information and resources about health and safety measures in K-12 schools, student and staff safety, and what happens when there is a COVID-19 case in school: www.bccdc.ca/schools

Families and students can find up-to-date information about K-12 schools at:
https://www.gov.bc.ca/safeschools

The B.C. K-12 daily check app can be found at the following addresses:
Apple: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bc-k-12-daily-health-checker/id1547334827
Google: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qp.k12App

加強校內幼稚園至 12 年級的安全措施

 

維多利亞 – 省府為繼續加強幼稚園至12 年級的衛生安全措施,以在疫情期間保持學生、 教師和教職員安全,現正陸續推出更嚴謹的安全措施,而聯邦政府的1億2,120萬元撥款亦 快將到位 。

所有初中和高中學生,以及幼稚園至12 年級的教職員,在所有室內環境中均需戴上非醫 療口罩,只有在以下情況才能脫去口罩:

• 在課室坐著或站在自己的座位或工作間中;
• 身處的地方設有屏障;或
• 進食期間。

作出這些修改之前,幼稚園至12年級學生只須在人流多的地方如走廊、課室或學習群組 以外而又無法與他人保持安全距離時,才要戴上口罩。

至於小學生,是否在室內環境戴上口罩仍然是個人選擇。這些更新是卑詩省教育導向委員 會應對疫情而作出的工作之一,亦與省衛生部門的更新指引一致。

教育廳長韋瑞珍 (Jennifer Whiteside)表示:「為了在疫情演變期間,仍能確保向學生和教 職員提供安全的學校環境,我們一直與省衛生廳及我們的夥伴合作,以不斷審核指引,並 在需要時作出更新和調整。我們希望學生、學生家庭和教職員對校內的安全措施有信心, 因此我們作出這些調整。」

我們亦就體育和音樂課加強指引。劇烈運動應盡量在戶外進行。根據嚴格的校內消毒指 引,共用的儀器或物件例如重量器械、跑步機或樂器等,都必須在使用前後清潔才能使 用。使用儀器或樂器的學生必須保持最少兩米距離,唱歌時要戴上口罩。

自九月起,我們已從各校區幼稚園至 12 年級的教育重啟計劃(Education Restart Plan)撥出 570 萬元,為學生和教職員購買 390 萬個口罩。

卑詩省衛生官Bonnie Henry 醫生表示:「教育工作者、行政人員和教職員在調整學校環境 和措施方面都做得很好,使重要的課堂教學得以繼續。由學年開始以來,我們一直緊密留 意學校,亦掌握了很多資訊,包括嚴密的安全計劃和多重保護是如何重要。口罩便是一層 重要的保護措施,而更新指引將會加強如何或在那些地方戴口罩來保障各人的安全。」

為了協助卑詩省幼稚園至12年級教育應對新冠病毒疫情,聯邦政府較早時公布就2020-21 學年撥出一次性2億4,240萬元,其中首半部份於9月份撥出,第二部份則於2021年1月29日 撥出。 教育廳現正分配1億110萬元給校區,另分配 750萬元給私校,並額外分配350萬元 控制校內的新冠病毒接觸風險。

為了支援原住民學生,我們把撥款中的820萬元用作解決綴學、學生健康、遙距學習的技 術支援、教育及精神健康支援、改造課室空間及加強清潔等多方面需要。

我們將會把90萬元分配給六個區域迅速回應小組;這些小組分別協助衛生局和支援私 校,代表成員分別來自學校和省衛生職員。省衛生官指出,這些小組可以繼續改善學校調 查接觸事件的速度,以致衛生局可以更快通知校區和家庭。

迅速回應小組會進行實地和網上視察,確保幼稚園至 12 年級貫徹執行新冠病毒的衛生安 全指引。如果學校有大型接觸或校內傳播,迅速回應小組會調動人手進行調查,並在需要 時提出建議。

我們分別向公校和私校的正、副校長提供更新後的新冠病毒衛生及安全列表,確保他們貫 徹遵行省府指引,另外,提醒家長要採取他們力所能及的個人措施,以助學校保持安全。

校區和私校機關須要向我們確定每所學校都已填妥列表,並於 2021 年 2 月 26 日前根據 新指引而更新他們的安全計劃。所有學校均需把更新後的計劃張貼在公眾範圍中。

保持學校安全的其中一個最重要因素,是每天篩檢有否出現新冠病毒徵狀,因此,每日健 康篩檢仍須繼續進行。為了配合每日篩檢的措施,我們發展了一個全新的健康篩檢程式, 供幼稚園至 12 年級學生和家庭使用: https://www.k12dailycheck.gov.bc.ca

這程式可以幫助用家每天回答簡單問題,並就他們應否上學或自我隔離及致電 811 安排新 冠病毒檢查,提供建議。

引述:

卑詩學務委員協會(British Columbia School Trustees Association)主席 Stephanie Higginson 

「我們學校現時就減低新冠病毒傳播而採取的安全措施,一直發揮的效用良好,今天公布 的加強指引和額外支援,有助我們在疫情演變期間維持安全。卑詩教育局為大家所作的感 到自豪,因為這些措施學生才能安全返回全時間的校園生活,獲得面對面的教學。每天卑 詩省幼稚園至 12 年級體制約有 75 萬名師生交流互動。我們致力為學生、家庭和社區保 持課室教學安全。教育局已擔起保障學校安全的使命,使本省仍能繼續課室教學。」

卑詩家長諮詢委員會聯盟(BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils)主席 Andrea Sinclair
「BCCPAC 代表省內的家長,一直與教育廳官員、省衛生官及教育界夥伴合作,確保學校 環境能為學童採取更嚴謹的安全措施。我們要求教育廳為學童安全的緣故而實施更多措 施。我們感謝各方付出的努力,更新了衛生安全指引。 」

了解更多:

卑詩疾病控制中心設立了新網站,就幼稚園至 12 年級學校、學生及教職員安全,以及當 學校出現新冠病毒時的處理方法等提供資訊和資源:www.bccdc.ca/schools

學生和家庭可以在這網站獲得幼稚園至 12 年級學校的最新資訊: https://www.gov.bc.ca/safeschools

您可以在以下網站找到卑詩省幼稚園至 12 年級每日篩檢程式:

 • 蘋果程式
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bc-k-12-daily-health-checker/id1547334827

• 谷歌程式 
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.qp.k12App