Cowichan Valley School District.

Cowichan Valley School District lays out priorities upon the return to class

Plan includes keeping schools and classes open amid COVID

The Cowichan Valley School District has unveiled its plans for the months ahead amind the continuing presence of COVID-19 and, specifically, the Omicron variant.

Students returned to the classroom this week, one week later than usual after the winter break.

The extended winter break allowed us time to build upon our previous investments in health and safety which included our investments in ventilation, hand washing stations, hand sanitizers, school sanitization, increased custodial cleaning and the purchase of disposable three-layer masks for staff and student alike,” the district detailed in a media release. “Adding to this solid foundation, we are ensuring schools have plans to avoid crowding in highly-congested areas like hallways and common areas. We are also asking to limit outside guests and that schools continue to foster a culture of mask wearing.”

The board of education has also placed an initial order for 10,000 KN95 masks for district staff. “While we know that the recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer is for a good fitting cloth or non-medical three-layer mask, we want to ensure our staff have the increased protection of a KN95 while they work,” the statement continued.

Time last week was also spent creating Continuity of Learning Plans. These plans will guide learning if the district needs to shut down a class or close a school due to staffing issues.

The plan is grounded by six key principles that include: Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for students and staff; ensuring continuity of learning for students; keeping schools open; support for priority learners; support for essential service workers; and support for social and emotional well-being for all.