January 4, 2022

In light of the recent rise in cases of COVID-19 due to the spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant and the corresponding updated guidance to schools on December 29, 2021, we are implementing additional preventative measures to prepare for the return of staff and students on Monday, January 10. 
Additional Preventative Measures
Stratford Hall will: 
  • Implement strategies to prevent crowding during class transitions and break times.
  • Hold student assemblies and staff-only gatherings/meetings virtually.
  • Restrict access to visitors. Only those visitors who support activities that are of direct benefit to student learning and wellbeing and essential contractors will be permitted in the school buildings. 
  • Spectators for sporting events will not be permitted.
We will continue to do the following: 
  • Remind students to perform regular hand hygiene and respect each other’s personal space.
  • Enforce the mask mandate and remind students to follow proper mask etiquette. Please ensure your child has a properly-fitted mask as per the BCCDC guidelines.
  • Maximize space between people, limiting face-to-face seating arrangements and consider different desk/table formations.
  • Minimize the number of people in attendance at gatherings and events, not to exceed 50% operating capacity.
  • Only allow school sports practices and single games during the month of January. Tournaments have been temporarily suspended.  
Daily Health Checks
Self Management of COVID-19 Cases
We anticipate absences may be far higher than previously experienced during the pandemic. We have been advised that case and contact management by the health authorities will be replaced by self management. As such, the school will respond to cases as notified of them by parents/guardians and staff. It is therefore critical, as above, that the school knows as soon as possible if a student/staff member will not attend school and the reason for the absence.
Individuals with symptoms: Symptomatic students and staff will be required to self-isolate for 5 days or until they feel better if they are double vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals with symptoms need to self-isolate for 10 days. 
Individuals who are exposed: Students or staff who come into close contact with an infected person are required to self-monitor for 14 days if double vaccinated and isolate for 10 days if unvaccinated. 

Preparations for a School Closure
A health closure, which is determined by the local Medical Health Officer (MHO) from Vancouver Coastal Health, may be declared due to the COVID-19 case count in, or related to, the school. A decision to close will be made after consultation between school administration and the MHO.

A functional closure is a school closure due to insufficient staff for a class/grade, division or the entire school. We are preparing for the possibility that we may have a functional closure related to the ability to deliver educational programming due a lack of staffing.

We will be reviewing our absenteeism rates for students and staff on a daily basis and will consult with our MHO if absence rates due to COVID-19 exceed 10% of the student population per class, grade, division or the entire school. Please note that if there is a schoolwide transition to online learning, a 2-day transition period will be required to prepare teachers, students and parents/caregivers for the transition.

Please look for a note from your child’s principal before the end of the week with further information on what to expect in each division.

The health and safety of our students, staff, and families remains our top priority. The continuity of learning for our students remains a priority as well. I ask that you continue to follow BC’s Health and Safety guidelines in school settings, adhere to the BC Restart Plan outside of the school setting, and if eligible, get your vaccine as we all work together in limiting the spread of COVID-19.