As we move into the second month of school and see cases of COVID-19 in our schools it is essential for us to ask:
“Is enough being done to ensure the safety of students and teachers, and are the measures in Stage 2 keeping us safe or do we need to push the province to move toward Stage 3?”
Currently, class sizes are no different than in any normal school year and no one is required to wear a face-covering (non-medical mask) in any classroom. Masks, reduced density and contact are known means of ensuring safety and are measures being taken in all other public sectors province-wide.
A move to Stage 3 would mean reducing classroom density through a hybrid learning model, where fewer students would be in buildings at any one time. This move would significantly lower everyone’s chances of exposure to the virus as well as fewer “cluster transmissions” stemming from school settings.
If parents, grandparents and everyone concerned want schools to be safer, by reducing chances for exposure through lower density and less contact in classrooms, and or the mandatory wearing of masks throughout the school day, then make your voice heard. Teachers’ voices are not enough.
Our provincial leaders seem distracted by a provincial election that is just [weeks] away, but our students and teachers are in classrooms now. B.C. has a world-leading education system that needs to be safe during this pandemic. Parents, grandparents, taxpayers, it’s urgent, make your voices heard.
We need safer circumstances in our schools.
On behalf of Sea to Sky Teachers,
April Lowe, president of the Sea to Sky Teachers’ Association