August 27, 2021
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am reaching out to provide an update on the re-opening of schools in September. As you are likely aware, the provincial government recently released updated provincial health and safety guidelines in preparation for a return to school on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. As anticipated, students will be welcomed back to full time in-person learning.
The provincial K to 12 Education Steering Committee has worked with the Ministry of Education and the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) to finalize updated guidelines for this school year. Some key updates include:
- Vaccinations: According to public health experts, vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Public health officials continue to strongly encourage all British Columbians aged 12 and over to be fully vaccinated (i.e. receive 2 doses) to protect themselves and those around them. Registration is available:
- Online through the Get Vaccinated portal.
- By calling 1-833-838-2323. Translators are available.
- In person at any Service BC location. People can also be immunized at drop-in vaccine clinics throughout the province.
- Masks will be required in all indoor areas for all K-12 staff, visitors and students in Grades 4 through 12. Parents of students in Kindergarten through Grade 3 are encouraged to have their child wear a mask.
- Daily cleaning and disinfecting, including cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, will continue
- Daily Health Checks: To reduce the likelihood of coming to a school or school district site when ill, students, staff and other adults (e.g. visitors) are required to complete a daily health check prior to entering the building.
- Families and students can use the K-12 Health Check app.
- Staff and other adults can refer to the BCCDC’s When to get tested for COVID-19 document. Staff, students and families can also use the BCCDC online Self-Assessment Tool, call 8-1-1 or their health care provider.
- As a reminder, students, staff or other adults must stay home when ill or when required by public health to self-isolate
- Although physical distancing will no longer be required, schools will continue to use strategies such as preventing crowding by staggering break times, managing flow of people in common areas and carefully managing adult entry into the building.
- Students will be able to resume sports, music, and other extracurricular activities.
We know that parents may also have questions about school start times, pick-up and drop-off and other school based routines. You can expect to hear from your child’s school next week prior to school starting on September 7th with information that is specific to your child’s school. Once you receive that communication, please contact your child’s school directly if you have additional questions.
The Richmond School District has always valued the involvement of parents and guardians and we look forward to welcoming you back into our schools as soon as possible. We do ask that for now, until all school-based health and safety guidelines are well-established, parents remain outside of the school unless you have a pre-arranged appointment with a staff member. The district will monitor this and communicate with parents once additional access can be safely provided. Your child’s safety, as well as that of all children, is important to us and we would like to limit the amount of contact with adults at this time until routines have been established. Thank you for your understanding.
Our district’s highest priority continues to be the health and safety of our students, families, and staff. As such, we are focused on meeting the expectations of the provincial health and safety guidelines. We will continue to share updates through email as well as through our district website and social media.
I want to reassure you that the Richmond School District will continue to do our absolute best to provide a calm, welcoming, and safe return to school for your children. We are looking forward to seeing them in September. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy your summer with your loved ones.
Superintendent of Schools