Message from the MRCS Crisis Management Team regarding COVID-19
- March 13, 2020
- Posted by: Elaine Unger
- Category: Connected Learning
MRCS has a dedicated Crisis Management Team (CMT) that meets throughout the year to plan for student safety during potential crisis situations. This includes such scenarios as fires, earthquakes and lockdowns, and this winter has grown to include pandemic preparation.
The CMT met recently to develop new protocols and procedures in light of the growing global health concerns surrounding COVID-19, and we would like to bring these procedures to your attention. These have been developed with information provided by the BC Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Society of Christian Schools of BC, the Federation of Independent Schools, and the Ministry of Education.
Yesterday afternoon there was an update given by B.C. Provincial Health officials advising against all non-essential travel outside of Canada including the United States. Dr. Henry further indicated that anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be required to stay away from work or school for fourteen days upon their return to the province.
MRCS is asking all staff and students to follow this directive and will require anyone who travels outside of Canada, including the United States, to wait 14 days from the date of their arrival back in Canada before returning to MRCS.
We are also cancelling our All-School Easter Chapel which was scheduled for Thursday, April 9.
Furthermore, we have implemented several recommendations and procedures as follows:
Promoting good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:
• Students are being reminded to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• when transitioning activities, after using the toilet, after breaks and sporting activities, before food
• preparation or consumption (including snacks), and throughout the day as necessary.
• Hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the school in strategic locations:
◦ Front entrance by office
◦ Back entrance by Kindergarten/Preschool doors
◦ High School Student Lounge area
◦ Upstairs hallway by main stairwell
◦ Band portable
• Signs have been posted throughout the school stating “Share a smile, keep your hands to yourself”
• Students are being encouraged to adopt ‘friendly social distancing’ in their interactions, and to not touch other students or staff with their hands (i.e., handshakes, high-fives, and hugging are to be replaced with a smile, and a nod of the head.)
• Proper respiratory etiquette is being reinforced with students; covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a flexed elbow or a tissue, followed by proper hand hygiene.
Building cleaning and disinfecting:
- MRCS has stepped up nightly cleaning and disinfection of objects and high-touch surfaces (e.g., door knobs, water fountain push buttons, railings, desktops).
- Class-set, shared wind instruments (i.e., recorders), which under normal circumstances are cleaned thoroughly between uses, will not be used in the Music program at this time.
- Pens for parents, students and staff sign in/out books have an antibacterial coating.
- MRCS will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected over Spring Break.
- We have also stopped renting out our facility to community groups for the time being.
Reinforcing food and container sharing policies:
- Students are being reminded not to share food, utensils, dishes or drink containers.
Supporting individuals/families who are self-isolating:
- Staff and students are asked to stay home (self-isolate) if they are either suspected or confirmeddto have COVID-19, or if they are at a higher risk of developing the disease (e.g., due to close contact with a case or travel from certain flagged destinations).
- MRCS is committed to treating students and families with respect, fairness and compassion, with a focus on dignity and privacy protection. Identification of families that are self-isolating will be kept confidential by staff.
- If students must self-isolate, MRCS will provide appropriate homework and assignments, and will support students so they do not fall behind in their classwork.
Managing students with possible COVID-19:
- We ask that if your child is sick, please keep them at home. Do not send them to school. This will help protect both your child and our school community.
- The symptomatic student will be placed in the medical room, supervised but with the door closed, until the parent or a designate arrives at the school. (Please note that symptomatic students will not be allowed to take public transportation or walk home).
- The student will be provided a paper surgical mask and asked to keep the mask on until they are home, and the student’s temperature will be taken and recorded.
- For the safety of others, all locations that the student was in will be disinfected before others return to the area.
- As per Provincial government standards, the school will contact the local Fraser Health Unit to report a possible case of COVID-19.
We are actively working to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community. These procedures may change based on emerging provincial guidelines, but we will keep families up to date on changes as they occur.
Currently, we still plan to resume classes after Spring Break on Monday, March 30, 2020.
I wish you all blessings for health and safety this Spring Break.