HCOS: Phase 2 Health and Safety Plan

Here is the most recent update from the BC Centre for Disease Control: bccdc.ca/schools/news-resources 

Guiding Principles

Parent Initiated Activities

  • If a parent engages a third party to provide a learning activity for their child it is the parents' responsibility to ensure reasonable health and safety measures are in place for those programs or services. The plan below may be used as an exemplar for what health and safety measures would be considered reasonable. 

Learning Groups School Run Events

  • It is important to act responsibly with care for the community as a whole.
    • Our overarching Mission, Vision, Values, HCOS Protocols, Code of Conduct, etc. continue to apply.
  • All school run events must comply with HCOS' Phase 2 Health and Safety Plan as well as complying with the rental facility's WorkSafe Covid plan. 
    • Specific implementation will vary by event as Learning Groups differ in location, size, grade level, and subject areas taught. We are committed to work together with each Coordinator to address unique variables involved per location or class, to help equip all involved and ensure health and safety measures protocols are in place accordingly.
    • If you are wondering whether a site is under the school's health and safety plan please reach out to the Director of Learning Groups cloewen@onlineschool.ca 
  • Our goal is to make any precautionary measures as routine and natural as possible with the increased use of outdoor spaces, designated cohort groupings, and implementation of guidelines outlined by the Ministry K-12 Protocols for schools.
    • Childcare & Schools FAQ
    • As updates are received, it is recognized that there will be a period of time involved in communication, training and implementation.

Back to School Stages: The Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Ministry of Education have determined that K-12 schools in the province can re-open safely for in-class instruction as per Stage 2 guidelines.

  • In elementary, students can socialize with peers in different cohorts if they are outdoors and can minimize physical contact. 
  • In any grade, students may socialize with peers in different cohorts if they consistently maintain a physical distance of 2 m or more.

Summary of School-Based Control Measures 

In Preparation to Attend an Event

In accordance with the K-12 Educational Protocols, parents and/ or caregivers are responsible to assess their child(ren) daily, the morning of that date's attendance to a face to face learning opportunity, such as HCOS Learning Camps, Co-ops, and Community Connections using the Daily Health Check. 

  • If a Student or Adult at the event develops symptoms
    • They must stay at home.
    • If symptoms occur on-site the individual will be separated from the group and the Parent/Guardian will be contacted for pickup.
  • If you have questions regarding your child(ren)'s health, please contact your local health practitioner. To aid in your assessment, refer to the COVID-19 Assessment Tool (https://bc.thrive.health/) for further guidance.
  • To support daily screening for any COVID-19 symptoms, a new K-12 health-checker app has been developed to help guide families.
  • Please review protocols with your child(ren), as appropriate, to help prepare for their attendance to face-to-face activities.
    • We appreciate that students will be excited to see friends and teachers and request that parents discuss with their child(ren) alternatives to hugs or handshakes, and that students should keep their hands to themselves when possible.
  • Each child should be provided with snacks, lunch, and a full water bottle as appropriate to the LG opportunity. A water bottle may be refilled; mouths should not touch fountains.
  • Students in grades 4 and up are to come with a non-medical mask from home, unless activity is fully outdoors and communicated otherwise. Staff and students who can not tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons are exempt from doing so.

HCOS Personnel or any other adult participant who has any symptoms of a cold, influenza, COVID-19, or any other infectious respiratory disease, must not participate in face-to-face activities such as HCOS Learning Group events. 

  • Families should consider the inherent risk of the activity prior to application.
  • If students plan to attend more than one LG event families should carefully consider the number of children they will be exposed to and take appropriate precautionary measures like physical distancing or choosing to wear a mask.
  • HCOS LG will implement the K-12 Protocols for Schools applicable to the learning activity, as outlined by the Ministry of Health and Education.
    • Most events will be composed of a single cohort. 
    • Single events with more than one cohort will consider additional timetabling measures at peak periods.
    • All Coordinators will be trained on the K-12 Protocols, submit their proposals for approval, and practice precautionary measures applicable to the learning event.
    • Overnight and International trips are not permissible at this time.
    • In Stage 2, Learning Camps, although within the umbrella of School learning groups, may have further restrictions related to the venue. The host site's COVID policy will be made available at the time of application, or prior to arrival.
    • If students are attending a field trip only private vehicles will be used for transportation. If carpooling occurs then the use of masks is encouraged. 
    • Families do not need to submit a health check form directly to the school. However, all adults in attendance each day, must provide verbal or written (as determined per location) confirmation of completed Health Assessment.
The Premises
  • Visitors will be admitted on a limited basis as needed and will be required to complete the health questionnaire and share contact information, and wear a mask.
  • Parents are requested to drop off and pick-up their child(ren) outside the premises in assigned areas as directed by the Coordinator, remaining physically distant from other family units. 
  • Teachers will attempt to provide maximum ventilation to rooms by opening doors and windows when possible.
  • Where numbers warrant, students may gather outside in designated spaces with their cohort supervised by HCOS Personnel, with staggered entry and exit times.
  • If there are questions or concerns to discuss with the Coordinator or Teacher, rather than entering the facility please arrange to meet via Zoom or email outside of class time unless urgent.

At this time, assemblies, information evenings, open houses and term celebrations will occur in a virtual context where possible.

Physical Contact, Cleaning, and Sanitization

All members of the learning community are reminded to provide verbal, not physical, greetings to one another. 

Learning Groups will work with Coordinators to ensure there are appropriate hand washing routines incorporated for the specifics of their event including: 

Where a sink is not accessible for handwashing, students may be asked (or LG) to provide alcohol-based hand sanitizing solution for student use as needed. Students are responsible to bring personal hand sanitizer if allergies present.

Cleaning Practices

Will be implemented in accordance with the PHO's Covid-19 Public Health Guidance for Childcare Settings.

  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises will occur at least once a day, especially at the end. Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least twice a day (for a full day activity). This includes items that only a single student uses, like a desk or locker. 
  • Students will be instructed to bring personally labeled supplies. Shared supplies and equipment will be removed or cleaned between uses. 
Personal Protective Equipment
  • In accordance with the revised guidelines, students in Grades 4 to 12, as well as all K-12 adults on-site, are required to wear a mask indoors while in school, both within and outside of their learning cohort, removing it when outside, eating/drinking, or if it impedes an educational activity. 
  • For primary (gr. K-3) students, wearing masks indoors is encouraged, not required, and remains a choice.
  • There are subject-specific protocols which are communicated directly to families involved. Eg. PE, musical theatre.
  • Those who can not tolerate wearing a mask for health and behavioural reasons are exempt from doing so.
  • For further guidance to properly put on, wear, take off and store non-medical masks and other face coverings. Information is available here and here.
  • For those who may have forgotten PPE at home, or if symptoms develop while in attendance, non-medical mask or face coverings will be provided on-site.
    Providing Names and Contact Information of Participants to Health Professionals
    • HCOS may be required to provide lists of names and contact information of participants to assist with Contact Tracing protocols in British Columbia. Contact tracing is an important tool to help diagnose people who may have COVID-19 sooner and prevent the virus from spreading in our community.
    • In the event of a COVID exposure, Public Health will provide direction on what communication is required to families. 
      • If your child’s school has been notified of an exposure, continue attending classes. No action is required unless you are contacted by Public Health or are otherwise directed by school officials.
      • If you or your child have been identified as a COVID-19 positive case or close contact, be assured that your health region’s Public Health team will contact you directly and provide further instruction.

    For the health and safety of all staff and students, homemade food may not be brought or shared among participants; this includes homemade birthday treats, bake sale items, etc.

    Please contact Christine Loewen, Director of Learning Groups, or one of our team members at lg@onlineschool.ca should you have any further questions or concerns. 

    We look forward to your participation in HCOS LG as we learn together in community!