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News: Friday, May 29th, 2020

Preparing for Welcoming Students Back to School

As announced on May 15th, restrictions continue to be lifted in our province, and school districts across British Columbia are preparing to welcome students back on a limited and voluntary basis in June 2020. At the Abbotsford School District, our teams have been working diligently to ensure all of our school buildings are ready for students and staff. In the above video, we take you through an example of some of the things we are putting in place to ensure that our schools are engaging, but safe, places to learn.

While our buildings are open to students and staff, they will be closed to the public to ensure we abide by appropriate physical distancing measures. This includes parents and guardians. Of course, there may be exceptions to this, which will be managed on a site by site basis. But, we are asking that all visitors who need entry to the school site make an appointment ahead of time.

Provincial Health Office guidelines indicate that only health care professionals are qualified to screen students for symptoms of illness, checking temperatures, or conducting COVID-19 testing. However, we do ask parents and guardians to complete a daily health assessment for their child before sending them to school, checking for symptoms of common cold, influenza, other infectious respiratory diseases.

Pick-up and drop-off times will be staggered at our schools to limit the number of people entering and walking about our buildings at one time. This will also be the case for recess, snack, lunch and class transition times. Additionally, every student and staff member will be expected to wash or sanitize their hands upon entering our buildings.

Throughout many of our hallways and classrooms, students will see floor and wall markers that indicate traffic flows. This is one of the many strategies being used to limit the number of people in common areas.

In or classrooms, students will be organized into smaller groups so that they stay together throughout the day. Staffing assignments will minimize the number of different teachers and support staff that interact with groups of students. Students will notice desks spaced apart and materials gathered and collected for each student.

Regular and frequent cleaning will be evident in our hallways. We will more regularly clean high-contact surfaces like doorknobs, bathrooms, keyboards and desks. Students will also see increased signage throughout our schools from our local Health Authority and WorkSafe BC. These signs will remind everyone about proper hand-washing etiquette and other prevention measures.

As you know, the safety and well-being of our staff and students continues to be paramount. Our district's Leadership and Health & Safety Teams are working to ensure that all sites abide by the guidelines established by the Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC for the K-12 sector. I have every confidence in our very committed staff that we will continue to pull together to tackle the task ahead of us.

This next phase in BC's Restart Plan is an important step to help us prepare for the year ahead, where we may continue to see a blend of online and face to face learning for large blocks of time, depending on the state of the pandemic. On behalf of our educators, support staff and leaders at the Abbotsford School District, we look forward to welcoming you back.

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Media Contact:

Kayla Stuckart, Manager of Communications
Phone: (604) 859 – 4891 ext. 1206