Welcome Back on Monday!
We are looking forward to seeing our students on Monday January 10!
We have spent the past four days getting ready for a safe return for students and being ready for the many possibilities we might face over the next month or so.
On Monday, we will start the day going over the changes to our safety protocols. There aren’t many changes, but they will help to keep our school open for full time instruction.
If you would like to join us for the assembly at 9:20am on Monday, please click on the link below.
Virtual Assembly: Click here to join the meeting
Why We Need Increased Safety Protocols
We know that Omicron is far more transmissible than other COVID-19 variants. More transmissible means that there will likely be higher transmission and infection rates, as we are seeing in our community and province already. This is hopefully a short term, emergency situation in which we will do our best to keep schools open and prevent a return to cohorts, elimination of extra-curricular, return to social distancing, and/or remote learning. Following these increased safety protocols is a small price to pay to keep our schools open.
What Might We Expect?
Hopefully, we will be able to maintain in-person instruction over the next several weeks. That’s our ideal world. However, if rates of infection in our staff are high, we will not have enough staff members to be able to keep the school open. It is possible, in this case, that Interior Health and our Superintendent would declare a “functional closure”. This means that for a certain number of days, probably between 4 and 7, we would have to “pivot” to online learning. Preparing for this possibility is some of the work that our staff has been doing over the past four days.
Enhanced Safety Protocols
Here are the key changes to our safety protocols:
- Properly worn masks are absolutely essential. We know that Omicron is spread very easily through airborne droplets, and masks are an excellent way to protect ourselves and others from the virus. We recommend wearing 3 or 4-ply surgical or procedural masks, which are available at the school. Information on masks has been sent home in a letter from our Superintendent. If you think that your child should have a mask exemption, please reach out to Ms. Prince (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mrs. Brennan (email@example.com).
- All students, staff and visitors will be required to wear a mask while in our building. Visitors are restricted to essential volunteers only (breakfast program, lunch program, important meetings).
- Students and staff are to complete a daily health check before coming to school. Please stay home when you are sick.If students appear to be sick, they will be required to go home.
- Students are asked to use the following doors to enter and exit PVSS to reduce crowding:
- Grade 11 & 12’s – Main Entrance
- Grade 10’s – Snack Shack Entrance
- Grade 9’s – Auditorium Entrance
- We will keep our exterior doors locked until 8:45am, when the first bus arrives. If it is necessary to arrive earlier, you don’t have to wait outside in the cold. Please contact the office to make special arrangements. Go straight to your first class (if you are accessing the Breakfast Program, you can go there first, then go straight to class). If you have PE at the beginning of the day, meet inside the main foyer.
- At lunch, there are the same places to eat – for example, the Student Centre, hallway tables, window seat, outside, etc. Students must give each other as much space as possible, and they should pick a space to eat, then stay there for the remainder of the lunch break. There is no wandering the halls at this time. You always have the option to go outside.
- Unless you have permission or a reason to stay at school (club, practice, etc.), please go home right away.
- In the Snack Shack, the line-up will be on the opposite side of the Student Centre, and only the person ordering food may be in the line-up. Leave some space between you and the person in front of and behind you in the line-up. We encourage e-transferring money to the school to purchase punch cards in $10 or $20 amounts (firstname.lastname@example.org) to make paying faster.
- In Athletics, practices and games may continue, but tournaments (more than two teams playing each other) are not allowed. Spectators are not allowed at this time.
- It is very likely that we will not be able to have a live performance of our Musical Theatre production. Once we have more details, we will let our students and parents know.
We are very glad that we are able to re-open our schools. We know that having our schools open is good for mental health of our students, and we are hopeful that we can continue to be open for the next several weeks. While there are increased restrictions, we have done our best to minimize the impact to our students while still following provincial expectations. The district and province will continue to re-evaluate the need for these restrictions and we will keep you posted. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Chelsea Prince Deanna Brennan
Principal, PVSS Vice Principal, PVSS
We acknowledge that our place of work is on the ancestral unceded traditional territory of the Secwepemc and Syilx people.