Posted Mar. 13, 2020

COVID-19 Updates

                     March 11, 2020

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,

We are all concerned about the recent developments of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and the potential impact on our schools and communities.  Accordingly, the Superintendent’s Office, together with each school’s administrators, continue to actively monitor the COVID-19 and its effect locally and through the world.  We also continue to work with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Federation of Independent School Associations of BC, who provide frequent updates of information that are distributed to schools.  At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as “low” for Canada.

In order to mitigate the risk of infection, our CISND schools are working to ensure that our school facilities are properly and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.  Students and school staff are encouraged and reminded to help decrease their risk of infection by practicing the following proper respiratory and hand hygiene etiquette as outlined by the BC Ministry of Health:

  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water (or sanitizer if soap and water is not readily available),
  • Avoid touching one’s face,
  • Covering one’s mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of the elbow when sneezing or coughing,
  • Not sharing food or drinks, and,
  • Staying home when feeling ill.

For those who are going to be travelling, especially over Spring Break, we advise the following:

  • Review your plans every few days as conditions are changing frequently.
  • Read the travel advisories from Public Health Canada.
  • Avoid hotspots (currently these are China, Hong Kong, Northern Italy, Iran, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea).
  • If there is any significant chance of exposure, self-quarantine at home.

At this time no one needs to self-quarantine unless they present with fever, cough, difficulty breathing, have travelled to a hotspot, or have been named as a close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19.

According to the BC Ministry of Health, “self-quarantine” involves limiting contact with others for 14 days by staying home, avoiding having visitors to your home, and avoiding those with chronic conditions, compromised immune systems, and older adults. Should you or anyone in your household develop these symptoms, call 811, or speak to your health care provider immediately.  Please also inform your school as soon as possible.

It is important for the safety of all our students and school staff that families keep their children home if there is any risk of infection.  Please note that, to ensure everyone’s safety, the school will ask any student or staff member exhibiting these symptoms be sent home immediately. As with any illness or absence from school, our principals and teachers will work with families to ensure that student learning can continue. CISND schools remain open unless we are advised to close by the health or education authorities, and/or the safety of students and staff is compromised.  Options are currently being investigated to allow learning to continue under these circumstances.

As COVID-19 continues to develop over the next few weeks and months, our office will continue to provide timely information and additional resources as they become available.  More information is available through HealthLink BC -

The health and safety of our students and their families, staff, and communities are our top priority.

I ask for your prayers, patience, and understanding as we navigate this challenging time together.

Yours in Christ,

Arthur M. Therrien

Superintendent of Schools