Interior Health has notified School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) that there was a positive COVID-19 exposures at Salmon Arm Secondary (Sullivan Campus) on Nov. 18-19.
When there is an exposure, Interior Health will directly notify confirmed close contacts of the positive case with further instructions, including if they should self-isolate or self-monitor for symptoms of illness. If you are contacted by Interior Health, or receive a self-isolation/self-monitor letter, it is imperative that you follow their direction carefully. The most important thing for students and families to remember is that students who have any symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and get tested.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever/chills, shortness of breath, and loss of taste and smell. Most people experience only mild disease. A small number of people may experience a more moderate to severe illness requiring hospitalization.
COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. It may also be spread by touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
The Board of Education of School District No. 83 is committed to ensuring all of our students, staff and schools are safe. Please use all the layers of protection available to you.
The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback from parents/guardians on its draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy.
Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff comments SD83 is pleased to share the draft K-12 Reporting Policy, recently released by the Ministry of Education. “This follows four years of work across the province, where schools have worked to align teaching and assessment practices with our renewed curriculum.”
“The SD83 Parent Guide to Communicating Student Learning will help you understand the rationale behind some of the changes, and to clarify what information will be shared during each reporting period.”
Please read through both the Parent Guide and the Draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy, then share your feedback with the Ministry by November 5, 2021.
An important update to the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools and the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings was announced on October 1, 2021 by Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger would like to inform parents about this change and to update everyone on the notification process for school exposures.
Update to face coverings mandate
The provincial government has announced that beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks and on buses. This builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in grades 4-12.
“We recognize that some students in grades K-3 may not be accustomed to wearing masks, as a result, school staff will spend October 4 helping children adjust to this change, with the goal of building mask wearing into student routines by Tuesday, October 5th. We suggest you send your K-3 child to school with a clean mask and a spare mask that they are used to wearing. Schools will have disposable masks available,” she reports.
As a reminder, provincial guidance advises that mask requirements do not apply to staff, students and visitors in the following circumstances:
A person cannot tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons;
A person is unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
If the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask;
If a person is eating or drinking;
If a person is behind a barrier; or
While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements is important.
Change to notification process for school exposures
The provincial government also made a change to the notification process for school exposures, directing local health authorities to begin posting general school exposure notifications to their websites. Exposure notifications for our school district and the Interior Health region more broadly can be found on the Interior Health school exposures page. For a helpful overview of the contact tracing process visit the BC CDC website.
To the Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Caregiver(s) of SD83:
On behalf of SD83 I wish to thank you for your understanding regarding the “hold and secure” issued on Friday, September 17, 2021. Given the situation that unfolded at several schools in and around Salmon Arm, it was necessary to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Though the term “lockdown” has been reported by some media sources, this is inaccurate. The “hold and secure” we initiated was a means of preventing unauthorized individuals from entering our schools.
After much consultation, we feel confident that the “hold and secure” can be lifted as of tomorrow, September 21, 2021. We have encouraged schools to limit their number of entry points. Most schools will move toward having the main entries locked after the opening bell, the exception may be our Secondary Schools with open campuses. You may gain access to the school by calling the main office. Where possible, additional supervision will be added to playgrounds during recess and noon hours.
Once again, I’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding. The messaging you received on Friday was an attempt to keep you informed and was done in the spirit of transparency. If you have questions or concerns, I would welcome a thoughtful and respectful conversation.
We look forward to moving ahead and focussing our attention on the wonderful achievements of our students.
To the Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Caregiver(s) of SD83 Students:
I want to extend my thanks to you for the patience and understanding you have demonstrated over the first few days of school start up. The accounts being shared from our schools speak to the excitement and hope which exists among the students and staff.
As a district we are grateful that many of the restrictions imposed during the last school year have been removed. However, the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Officer have mandated masking among all Grade 4-12 students due to the prevalence of the Delta variant. The province has also requested that school districts cooperate with their local health regions to accommodate pop up vaccination clinics at some school sites for families and students who are 12 years of age and older.
I would ask that you carefully read the documents we are sharing on behalf of Interior Health. As an educational organization we believe parents/guardians/caregivers play an important and necessary role in educating their child(ren). As a result, I ask that you take the time to discuss the topic of vaccination with your child(ren).
We are grateful for you our stakeholders, as you are much needed partners in ensuring our schools remain open for face-to-face instruction. We have high confidence in our school staffs along with members of the transportation, facilities and custodial team who continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of your children while they are in our care.
Wishing you and those you love health and wellness.