COVID-19 INFORMATION UPDATE - Mar. 13, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your understanding as we work to ensure that our students and staff continue to be as safe as possible during this challenging time. Our goal is to provide you with the most current information on COVID-19 and its impact on us both locally and globally.

With the recent announcement by the World Health Organization of COVID-19 being classified as a pandemic, a number of new realities have emerged for us here in Saanich. This letter outlines some of the more pertinent issues that are affecting our school district.

Spring Break School Cleaning

Our schools will be undergoing a ‘deep clean’ over Spring Break that will include:

  • Extra sanitization on contact surfaces such as doorknobs, door bars, handrails, desks and tables.
  • Fogging of all schools with a probiotic cleaner. This sanitization process is safe for plants, animals and food surfaces. A bleach-based fogger will be used in school common areas.  Fogging of school buses will be done after Spring Break.

Spring Break Travel

As of March 12th, provincial health officials are strongly advising all British Columbians against nonessential travel outside of Canada. Should you and your family travel outside of the country there is now an expectation of self-quarantining for 14 days upon your return. As such, it is highly recommended that families remain in BC during the Spring Break period to avoid any potential interruption to your child’s schooling when we re-open.

A letter to parents from the Deputy Minister of Education can be found on our district website.

Talking to Your Children

A new virus such as COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for children to understand, especially if someone in their school or family is sick or they observe troubling messages in the media. It is normal for children to feel worried and have questions. You can support your children by reassuring them about their personal safety and health. Telling them that it is okay to be concerned is comforting. Reassure them they are safe and there are many things they can do to stay healthy:

  • Wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing
  • Stay home if they are not feeling well
  • Keep their hands away from their face and mouth
  • Eat healthy foods, keep physically active, and get lots of sleep

We have also prepared a more comprehensive guide for parents on how best to support your child during this uncertain time with COVID-19. There are suggestions for parents of children in Elementary, Middle and Secondary levels.

You can find the information here: Talking to your kids about COVID-19

COVID-19 Health Information Websites

At this time, the province has not issued any order to extend the Spring Break period. As this situation is fluid, it is important that parents continue to monitor the news as well as check our district website for the most current information.

Thank you, again, for your understanding during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Dave Eberwein
Superintendent of Schools

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