BACK TO SCHOOL
UPDATES January 2022
The Booker School Faculty were excited to be welcoming children back to in-person learning on January 17 2022. The surge in COVID-19 cases within Nova Scotia has gone beyond our experiences so far, but the epidemiology of the virus has also evolved. The Booker School follows the guidance of NS Public Health scientists to ensure our students can be in school and to protect our wider community. If you are seeking information regarding COVID-19 in NS please refer to the following Public Health resource:
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) | Nova Scotia Health Authority (nshealth.ca)
All families are encouraged to sign-up for the COVID-19 Vaccinations and Boosters as eligible. For students, vaccination status may affect their ability to participate in learning experiences such as field-trips in the community. At this time, students over 12 will need to be vaccinated to participate in many field trips within our curriculum. To this end, we ask you to please confirm with your homeroom teacher if your child is vaccinated. This will allow us to effectively plan the curriculum going forward. Any parents/guardians coming into school will be required to show their proof of vaccination upon entry. Only essential visitors with full vaccination status shall be allowed on campus.
As it stands, students will have to wear masks indoors while they cannot maintain 6ft distancing. Whenever adults or students are transitioning between spaces in the school masks must be worn. Families are encouraged to pack spare masks in their children's bags and follow the guidance for recommended 3-ply masks. If possible, please provide 3-ply masks for your child and the school will stock spares in case they are lost.
3. Protocols when sick
Families must continue to use the checklist provided before coming to school each day. If your child is experiencing symptoms in the list, you must complete the online assessment or call Public Health before your child can return to school. If your child has a negative test result they can return to school as soon as they are feeling well. If your child has a positive test result please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let the school know. If a child develops symptoms during the school day, parents will be notified to come and pick up their child immediately.
4. Reporting positive cases
In accordance with Public Health's expectations to inform close contacts, and in the interest of transparency and safety for the school community, we are asking for a positive test result to be reported to the Head of School. This reporting will allow the HoS to inform families within a cohort if there has been a positive case on the family's behalf. We understand families may wish to know if they have an immuno-compromised family member or if someone in the family is vulnerable. We also feel this information will assist families in monitoring their children for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Teachers will be prepared to provide some work for students that are required to stay home or if a family elects to stay home due to a positive case. As a matter of privacy and confidentiality, teachers, families and students are discouraged from discussing the reasons behind a student's absence. COVID-19 is within our communities and even the most cautious of people have still managed to catch it. This policy will adapt as the guidance from Public Health regarding contacting close contacts change.
5. Teachers with symptoms/absences
If a teacher is absent due to testing or illness, the school will strive to cover in-house first and bring in an external substitute if required. External substitute teachers are currently challenging to acquire.
If a substitute is not available, the class may be connected with the other class in their cohort. Our cohorts are EY-G1, G2-4, G5-9.
If multiple teachers are absent due to waiting for test results, yet feeling well-enough to teach, the class may be required to go to home/online-learning for this period.
6. Home/Online Learning
Home/online learning will be a last resort for us as an organisation. We understand that many families require the school to be open in order to attend their jobs. We also believe that in-person learning is the best place for students. We will be prepared in case circumstances determine online learning is required.
In school, students and teachers will continue to be practicing strong hygiene measures. Hand-washing and sanitizing is a regular feature of the day. High touch areas and equipment will be regularly cleaned in the school routine. We will consistently observe our students for the development of symptoms. An infrared thermometer will support the teacher's assessment if a child starts to develop symptoms throughout the day. Each classroom has an air purifier as well as the heat pumps to circulate air. As appropriate, classes will have regular breaks outside in the fresh air as well as classes outside when possible. Physical distancing is not always possible in all classrooms but will be encouraged when suitable.