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Apr 27
New early dismissal days for staff to discuss COVID-19 health and safety

The Surrey Board of Education has approved three district-wide, one-hour early dismissal days for staff to review health and safety plans, discuss recommendations and reinforce COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

At the April board meeting, the board approved early dismissal dates for students on April 30, May 14 and June 7 as staff continue to follow the district's health and safety protocols, which meet or exceed provincial K-12 guidelines.

"The intention behind these early dismissals is essentially to provide staff with time to reflect and review health and safety protocols at their site and to understand best practices in infection control in a school-based setting," said Mary Campbell, Associate Director of Employee Health and Safety and COVID-19 Logistical Lead. "Staff and school administration will use this time to ensure that the District's COVID-19 Safety plans are implemented at the site level,  and also provide an opportunity for questions and discussion."

"It's an opportunity for health and safety committees to engage with their staff and discuss the health and safety plan for COVID-19 within their school and to raise any concerns and ask for clarification," said Health & Safety Officer Vanessa Ezaki.

Topics for discussion will include the ongoing importance of following safety protocols, staff and student mask use, and the ongoing need to follow all health and safety precautions even after vaccination. More than 90% of school-based employees in Surrey and White Rock have received their first dose. Discussions may also include reminders about limitations around field trips, grad and other special occasions, and other topics that may arise in the coming weeks as the province continues to make regular announcements related to the pandemic.

Campbell noted parents shouldn't expect drastic changes in schools, and that the meetings are more to keep on top of established protocols.

"We will also continue to share updates with our school communities. If staff identify new initiatives to implement at their site that would alter onsite operations, schools will engage directly with families," she said.

Ezaki added, "Parents can hopefully expect to see their kids bringing home the reinforcements around hand washing, daily health checks and the like as we head into the home stretch. Together we can continue to keep our schools safe."

For more information on the district's Health & Safety protocols, visit the COVID-19 Health & Safety page.

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