Older students will have to wear masks while riding the school bus this year due to COVID-19 concerns. (File photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer) A school bus drives through downtown Quesnel on Tuesday, June 2. Schools in B.C. reopened on June 1 with students being allowed to return on a voluntary and part-time basis. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel School District releases return to school plans

Masks will be required on busses for middle and high school students, among other measures

The Quesnel School District (District 28) has released its return to school plans.

The 2020/21 school year plan follows guidelines from the provincial health officer and ministry of educations’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines has it related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Not much has changed from their initial plans earlier this month, but some measures have been tweaked.

Mask use is now required on buses for middle and high school students.

“Non-medical masks are recommended in situations where a person cannot maintain physical distance for extended periods of time and is in close proximity to a person outside of their regular contacts,” the plans read. “This includes riding the bus to school where a student may be sitting next to a person outside of their cohort or household. Non-medical masks are not recommended for elementary students on buses due to the increased likelihood they will touch their face and eyes, as well as required assistance to properly put on and take off their mask (requiring increased close personal contact from school staff).”

The district will be drawing up seating plans to minimize contact outside of a student’s household on buses.

Mask use will also be required from students and staff when physical distancing outside of a student’s close group is impossible.

Students will be categorized in groups of 60 (elementary and middle school) or 120 (high school), to minimize contact.

Parents are asked to evaluate their child’s health each day before sending them to school, and if they have symptoms, stay home.

“Students or staff may still attend school if a member of their household has cold, influenza, or COVID-19-like symptoms, provided the student/staff is asymptomatic,” the document reads. “It is expected the symptomatic household member is seeking assessment by a health-care provider.”

Extracurricular activities will be allowed to move forward, with some conditions. Physical distance between different learning groups must be maintained. No inter-school events are allowed, but that will be reconsidered in the middle of the first semester.

Smaller measures include limiting large assemblies, enhanced cleaning, turning off water fountains, and paper towels instead of hand dryers in washrooms.

The full return document can be found on the district’s website.

READ MORE: BCTF president Mooring confident in province’s school plans

READ MORE: Quesnel School District penning back to school plans

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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