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B.C. parents get reminders to observe COVID guidelines over spring break

Last Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 2:25 pm PDT

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Parents are being reminded to follow COVID-19 guidelines over spring break, despite B.C. relaxing some rules

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has relaxed COVID restrictions around social gatherings

Dozens of independent schools in B.C. told there will be checks to ensure they are following COVID guidelines

NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Many kids will be watching the clock on Friday with spring break starting right after the 3 p.m. bell, but some schools are reminding families about “dos and don’ts” over the next couple of weeks.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry may have eased COVID-19 restrictions around social gatherings — allowing people to get together outdoors within a bubble of 10 — but a letter to families from an elementary school in North Vancouver, sent out last week, is telling parents to “remain vigilant and continue to follow the directives and guidance of our public health officials.”

Principal Sanj Johal at Seymour Heights Elementary points to the province-wide restrictions still in place for gatherings at residences, asking families not to invite friends or extended family into their homes or vacation accommodation and not to host sleepovers for children.

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Johal also asks for continued assistance in “maintaining safe distancing and limiting interactions in all areas of the school property, avoiding gathering and lingering on the property with others, and leaving the school grounds as quickly as possible when dropping and picking up your child(ren).”

Parents are also reminded that mask-wearing is “highly encouraged” on school grounds.

“During the course of the last few weeks, I have received several parent emails acknowledging the hard work of the Seymour Heights Staff ensuring the safety of students. However, we cannot do this work on our own and need your assistance and cooperation in following the above safety guidelines,” writes Johal.

Checks at independent schools

Meanwhile, about 300 independent schools in B.C. have received a letter of their own from the province’s Federation of Independent School Associations.

President Ed Noot says there will be checks from the Ministry of Education’s rapid response teams to see if schools are adhering to the rules around COVID-19.

He tells NEWS 1130 the letter is a “courtesy” to remind members changes made on Feb. 4 need to be adopted.

“The Ministry of Education had signalled to us that they were likely to follow up,” he explains. “We are confident that the vast majority of independent schools are right in alignment with them. We will work on schools that are maybe not in complete alignment.”

Noot is not willing to name any of the schools that may have deviated from the rules, which include the mandatory use of masks, regular temperature checks, and written proof of daily health checks for students.