Students of Ditidaht Community School (DCS) returned to class for the first time in several months after the province went into a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Children arrived 8 in the morning of Sept. 8 for a half day of classes.
According to principal Emily MacLennan, there are 46 DCS students attending classes from Kindergarten to Grade 12. They will be returning to class full time beginning Sept. 9.
“We have implemented safety measures under the direction of the BC Centre for Disease Control, the BC Ministry of Health and Worksafe BC,” said MacLennan.
This means that teachers will maintain small class sizes while staff adhere to a regimen of frequent cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, students and staff members will practice frequent hand hygiene by using sanitizer or washing with soap and water. Hand hygiene will occur when students and staff transition from one space to the next. Hand sanitizing stations have been set up throughout the school.
Staff and students will be required to stay home if they are ill.
“We will close from 12:00 to 1:00 daily; we will disinfect while the kids are at home having lunch,” said MacLennan.
The school has purchased plastic chairs for ease of sanitization and will be closed in the late afternoon for cleaning.
“Our goal at Ditidaht Community School is to minimize transmission of COVID-19 and maintain a safe and healthy school environment for students, families, and staff,” Principal MacLennan wrote in an Aug. 19 letter to parents.
School staff took part in a two-day training program before the school opened. In addition, families will be invited to a school picnic where they can learn about the new safety protocols and have their questions answered.
“Right now, I am feeling pretty confident about how the students will be returning to school,” said MacLennan.