COVID K-12 Stage 2 Protocols 2020-21
- God is good and our trust is in His power to hold and keep us during these difficult times.
- Based on the current epidemiology of COVID-19 in BC, the latest research, guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, and evidence that children are at a lower risk of developing and transmitting COVID-19, K-12 students can return to full-time, in-class instruction in accordance with current public health guidelines for schools.
- Gaglardi Academy will, at minimum, adhere to the standards, guidelines, and protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Education, Health and Safety Officers, and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
- While maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all students, families, and staff, Gaglardi Academy will provide continuity of educational opportunities and social well-being for all students.
Learning Groups (Cohorts)
- To enable all Gaglardi Academy students back to school full-time in September, the Provincial Health Officer has recommended the use of learning groups to reduce the number of close, in-person interactions, thereby reducing the risk of transmission and ensuring quicker contact tracing should an incident occur.
- A learning group called a “Cohort” at Gaglardi Academy, are a group of students who remain together throughout the school year and will primarily interact with each other.
- Learning groups at Gaglardi Academy will not exceed 60 total persons for Elementary (K-7) and 120 total persons for High School (ie. Grades 8-12). In order to meet these minimum requirements, the following learning groups will be established:
- Cohort 1- Mrs Nel and Mrs Bouchard (<40 persons)
- Cohort 2 - Mrs Marshall, Mrs Allnutt, and Mrs Elia (<50 persons)
- Cohort 3 - Mrs Spragg and Mr Hesselink (<50 persons)
- Cohort 4 - Mrs Jones and Mrs MacKenzie (<50 persons)
- Cohort 5 - High School grades 8-12 (<85 persons)
- Persons (ie. students and staff) interacting outside their designated Cohort will be required to physically distance themselves or wear a face shield. Although these will be minimal, certain staff members work with all students. Those staff members will be the Librarian, the Learning Support Teacher/Dean of Academics, the Band teacher, and front office staff including the Secretary and the Principal.
- Itinerant Staff and Specialists (ie. Teachers on Call) will be required to either maintain a physical distance of 2 meters at all times from staff and students OR wear a face shield during their stay. A register will be maintained at the front office of all non-regular staff and visitors entering the facility.
- For further information, please use the link “BC Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings” (located at the bottom of this document).
Ensuring Child & Staff Safety
- Stay home if you’re sick (allergies are not sickness) with fever, flu or cold-like symptoms. If anyone is sick (staff, children, parents, and visitors), entry into the building is not permitted. Parents are asked to ensure that their children are free from colds, runny noses, coughs, and fever before arriving at school. Temperatures must not exceed 37.5°C.
- All persons must remain in their Cohort groupings before, during, and after school. This protocol will be strictly enforced even if children are part of another family’s social bubble outside of school.
- Obey signage and follow all directional arrows for the safety and protection of others.
- Non-staff will be permitted entry to the building between 9 am - 2:30 pm when all students are safely in their classrooms. Non-staff, other than Specialists and approved volunteers will be restricted to the lobby area.
- Parents/guardians and all adults entering the facility must report to the Administrative Office for all business. A contact register will be kept of all non-staff adult persons entering the building.
- A social distance of 2 meters must be maintained while on school property when
- students or faculty are outside of their Cohort grouping.
- Non-staff adults are on school property including parents, guardians, couriers, tradespeople, volunteers and Specialists.
- Hand-sanitizer must be used upon entry and exit of the facility and whenever handwashing is unavailable.
- Anyone entering the facility, including visitors, must make a health declaration before entering each day.
- Frequent staff and student handwashing are required before starting school, when moving between classrooms, before and after outside play, and before and after eating.
- Children will eat outside whenever the weather permits.
- All personal items brought into the facility including coats, shoes, water bottles, lunch kits, etc. must be clearly labelled with the owner’s name to avoid accidental sharing.
- Personal belongings are not to be shared among students.
- Food sharing is not permitted among students including birthday treats and bake sales even if items are individually wrapped.
- Students are required to bring a personal drinking water bottle since only the water refill function on the fountains will be operational during this time.
- School doors will open at 8:30 am for all Elementary students and 8:40 am for High School students. Elementary classes will begin at 8:40 am and High School classes will begin at 8:45 am.
- Elementary dismissal for all K-7 students will be at 2:45 pm and they will exit the building from their designated entry door. High School students will dismiss at 3:00 pm through the main entrance doors.
- Under the updated health and safety guidelines, masks or face shields will be required for staff, students from grades 6-12, and adult visitors to wear in hallways or whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Wearing a face mask or shield at school outside of the above-mentioned circumstances is a personal choice and will be respected.
- All Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be labelled to ensure that no other person mistakenly uses their equipment. All PPE should be sanitized frequently throughout the day whenever possible.
- When staff are in close physical proximity with a student within their Cohort grouping, PPE such as masks, shields and gloves are not required unless these are used as part of the normal personal care routine encountered in their regular course of work.
- Since the school has many diverse learners in our student population, faculty/staff will be wearing approved face shields in lieu of face masks when physical distancing is not possible or are outside of their Cohort grouping. It is important that students can clearly hear and see the facial expressions of their “teachers”.
- Exceptions will be made for those students who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons.
- Students will arrive and dismiss using various entrances:
- Kindergarten enters via their own classroom entrance.
- Grade K/1 and Grade 1/2 enter through the East backdoor.
- Grade 2/3 and 6/7 enter through the undercovered area.
- Grade 4/5 split classes will enter through the main entrance.
- Grade 8-12 will enter through the main entrance. Note the later start & end of the day (mentioned above in the “General Protocols” section).
- Late arrivals to school must report to the office after 9 am.
Before entering the facility
- All who enter must make a health declaration. From K-3, parents are required to make that declaration on behalf of their children. Note: a person who has a temperature of 37.5°C or higher will not be permitted to enter.
- Parents are expected to assess their child’s health before coming to school. A health declaration log will be kept for our records. Unlike Stage 3, the school will not be taking individual student temperatures.
- All who enter the facility will sanitize their hands at their entrance door.
- Students will proceed directly to their classroom (or to lockers if High School).
During the day
- Sharing personal belongings, including food and beverages, and personal Band equipment (ie anything that enters the mouth) is strictly prohibited. Sharing of school supplies (ie. scissors, crayons, calculators, etc.), technology, non-personal band equipment, and PE equipment can only occur within a Cohort group. Equipment must be sanitized before another Cohort can access these items.
- Teachers & students will maintain a 2-meter distance outside of Cohort groupings. If closer student contact is required, then a face shield must be worn by the adult.
- Teachers will wash hands before touching students’ personal belongings.
- Hand sanitizing is required before entering and exiting classrooms if the handwashing sink is not immediately available.
- Additional handwashing is required
- After playing outside.
- After sneezing or coughing into hands.
- Snack & Lunch will occur outside the building whenever possible in prepared, sanitized areas.
- Recess breaks will occur within Cohort groupings.
- Snacks & lunches from home must not require heating or microwaving to enjoy. Again, food sharing will not be permitted.
- Students will hand wash before and after eating.
- Physical Activity - Daily physical activities for all students, including PE, will be “COVID friendly” (reduced physical contact) and within Cohort groupings.
- Lockers are permitted for high school students and sharing of lockers will be minimized and within-grade groupings. Band equipment will reside in the band room (grades 6-12).
- Room Occupancy limits
- Junior Washroom: maximum of 4 people
- Senior Washroom: maximum of 2 people
- Staff Washrooms: 1 only
- Front Office: maximum of 3 people
- Copy room: maximum of 2 people
- Staffroom: maximum of 8 people
- Chapel: limited to the size of each Cohort grouping
- Gymnasium: limited to the size of each Cohort grouping
- Band Room: limited to the size of each Cohort grouping
- Elementary: limited to the students assigned to a specific teacher.
- High School: limited to the Cohort grouping.
- Washroom Use
- Leave-on spray sanitizer (>80% alcohol) will be available in all washrooms.
- Students will wash their hands, then go to their stall or urinal.
- When leaving their stall, students will
- Wash their hands
- Spray “leave-on” sanitizer on
- Sink Taps
- Stall handle
- Toilet seat
- Flush handle
- School staff (EA’s or Admin) will sanitize washrooms each day at 11:30 am and 1:00 pm and spray all handles with sanitizer. A log will be kept outside each washroom.
- Field Trips
- Field trips are permitted under Ministry Stage 2 when the following protocols are in place. Note: Parent volunteers are not permitted to drive students during Stages 2-4.
- Field trip locations have provided the school with their COVID-19 operating/safety plan.
- Volunteers are trained and strictly adhere to physical distancing and other health guidelines.
- Ensure that field trips are within Cohort groups and do not exceed 50 people.
- Field trips occur only during the day. No overnight field trips are permitted.
- Extra-curricular Activities including sports, clubs, etc.
- Can occur if physical distancing is feasible between Cohort groups.
- Schools can ensure reduced physical contact within the same Cohort group.
- Outside school games and tournaments are not permitted.
- Band & Music Programs
- These programs can occur under Stage 2 with the following protocols in place
- Physical contact is minimized within a Cohort group.
- Physical distancing must occur between Cohort groups
- Shared school equipment is cleaned and disinfected after individual student use.
- The teacher must have a physical barrier in place between themselves and the student group.
- Personal band equipment (ie. a clarinet) cannot be shared with other students.
- No inter-school competitions or recitals can occur.
Homework Club K-5
- Homework Club will be available after classroom dismissal on Mondays through Thursday.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Under the Ministry’s health and safety guidelines, general cleaning and disinfecting must occur once every 24 hours and includes
- All desks, tables, chairs, and common areas.
- All electronics and keyboards.
- Floors and frequently touched walls.
- Frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected twice and one of those times must be during the school day. These include
- Outside/inside door handles
- Sink taps, washroom doors, and flush handles
- Water fountains
- Toys, science equipment, appliances, coffee pots, etc.
- The school has all the disinfectant and sanitizing liquid that it requires until the end of the school year 2021.
General Ventilation and Air Circulation
- At this time, there is no evidence that a building’s ventilation system, in good operating condition, contributes to the spread of COVID-19. However, all ventilation systems at Gaglardi Academy have been cleaned, new higher density filters (MERV 13) have been installed, and HVAC systems have been adjusted for higher throughput.
- Every classroom and all offices, except six are equipped with fresh air intakes. The remaining six classrooms, Rm 100, 101, 102, 103, and both portables will have fresh air intakes installed by the end of September 2020. In the meantime and while weather permits, classrooms without fresh air ventilation are required to keep their room windows open.
- Whenever possible, the school will move activities outdoors, weather permitting.
Training and Transition
- Staff training sessions on new safety protocols before school opens.
- Emergency preparedness during COVID Phase 3.
- Staff training in trauma-informed practice.
- Classroom instruction on the first day back.
- Monitoring of protocols by Admin staff.
- Retrain when necessary.
Should a COVID-19 infection occur within the school population during the school year
- Best practice of proper hand-washing and physical distancing will reduce and limit the risk of a COVID-19 infection in our school.
- Everyone, including staff, students, and families must do their part to respect and adhere to the safety protocols outlined within to keep everyone safe.
- If a student or staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19, Public Health Officials (PHO) will do an investigation to confirm if any staff or students have been exposed and need to self-isolate. PHO will communicate directly with families. The school will be the second-level of communication under their direction.
- Public Health officials will inform the school if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.
- Health Officials must give the school permission to disclose the information to our community and provide the direction for action. For example, if a COVID case is confirmed within a Cohort group, Public Health will direct whether the entire Cohort group needs to isolate/quarantine for the incubation period or not.
For more information go to these links:
Provincial COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for K-12 Settings
Ministry of Education site for more information: