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News: Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Preparing for the 2020-21 School Year

On August 26th, our school district released its Restart Plans, which outlined the health, safety, teaching and learning strategies we will be implementing across our 46 schools and district sites to keep our staff and students safe as we return to school this fall.

Our teams have been working diligently to ensure all of our school buildings are ready for September 10th. We want to take you through an example of some of the things we are putting in place to ensure that our schools are engaging - and safe - places to learn. 

HEALTH & SAFETY

Health and safety is our top priority in our back to school strategy. Many strategies will be implemented in our district this year, like consistent learning groups, strict illness protocols, increased hand hygiene, and increased cleaning schedules.

We've been working with the Ministry of Health, BC CDC, Ministry of Education and our district's Health and Safety Teams to ensure we have the supplies and knowledge we need to keep our schools healthy and safe.

We know that hand hygiene is one of the most effective actions you can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students and staff have abundant access to hand hygiene stations throughout every school, including sinks and hand sanitizer.

Our custodial teams have been trained to follow the infection control procedures as outlined by WorksafeBC and the BC CDC. General cleaning and disinfecting of all district sites will occur at least once every 24 hours. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high‐touch surfaces - like doorknobs, light switches and desks - will occur at least twice every 24 hours. Schools will also have access to disinfectant wipes to ensure easy access to additional cleaning products.

The district has purchased over forty-four THOUSAND masks to ensure that every student and staff member has access to reusable non-medical face masks. Staff and students will not be required to wear a mask all day every day, but they will be prescribed for use at the middle and secondary school level where physical distancing cannot be maintained in designated areas.

Following Labour Day, we will be conducting staff training during Orientation Week, where staff will have a chance to familiarize themselves with the new school processes and develop plans before students arrive. 

SCHOOL OPERATIONS

While our buildings are open to students and staff, we are asking that all members of the public make an appointment before visiting us in person. This includes parents and guardians. Appointments can be made by contacting your child's school.

All schools will have staggered start times or specific entrance and exit zones to support physical distancing measures and to limit the number of learning group interactions. This will also be the case for recess, lunch and class transition times. Bell schedules will vary, so please check your school's website before September 10th.

All sites will use a variety of visual cues to help indicate traffic patterns. Schools may use arrows, standing dots or other various floor markers to help students maintain physical distance and understand traffic patterns within the school.

Water fountains will be open and available for use. Students and staff are encouraged to use personal water bottles and should practice hand hygiene before and after use.

Schools will also have measures to promote physical distancing in spaces where students often gather, such as foyers, learning commons or T‐intersections in hallways.

TEACHING & LEARNING

Throughout the school year, we are committed to providing meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for each student. Elementary and middle students will be in school full‐time, five days per week. Secondary students will be in school for face‐to-face instruction, approximately 60% of the time, with the remaining time being accommodated through a blended learning model.

Students enrolled in the Transition Program will have different schedules.

As we have noted, students will be placed in learning groups with limited sizes. In stage 2, members of the same learning group must minimize physical contact. Those outside of a learning group must practice physical distancing when interacting with the learning group.

MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING

Mental health and well‐being will be a strong focus for us this year. We will be partnering with our DPAC and other community partners to offer virtual sessions for families. Additionally, we will be building a website to provide families and students with various resources.

Things will look different, and things will be different. And the weeks ahead will undoubtedly be challenging, as we all learn new ways of working and learning safely across our community. We have every confidence in our district and our families to pull together to deliver on our commitment to a safe and engaging education for our children. And we are committed to working together to ensure that our schools can be places where kids can be kids.

On behalf of our educators, support staff and leaders at the Abbotsford School District, we look forward to welcoming you back.

Dr. Stan Petersen
Chair, Abbotsford Board of Education

Dr. Kevin Godden
Superintendent of Schools

Reporting (Report Card)

234 by Staff