COVID-19 FAQ

This document is to be a central location for you to access information pertaining to St. Jude School during this period of Covid-19. As new information becomes available, we will update this document.

Read our full plan by clicking StJudeSchoolCOVID19Plan

Last Update: June 2, 2020

Is St. Jude School opening for in-person instruction on June 1, 2020?

St. Jude School is opening its doors for the voluntary return to in-person instruction. We have been working hard to make sure that St. Jude School is ready for staff and students for June 1, 2020.  You can read our full plan here. 

What do we know about Covid19?

The BC Center for Disease Control has published the following key information in its May 14, 2020 COVID-19: Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings

  • In BC, COVID-19 virus has a very low infection rate in children and youth. Less than 1% of children and youth tested have been COVID-19 positive. Most children and youth are not at high risk for COVID-19 infection. 
  • Children who are considered more vulnerable can receive in-person instruction. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to consult with their health care provider to determine if their child should attend in-person instruction if they are uncertain. 
  • There is no documented evidence of child-to-adult transmission. 
  • There is no conclusive evidence that children who are asymptomatic pose a risk to other children or to adults. 

• There is no evidence indicating children of health care workers (HCW) are at increased risk of COVID-19 infection than children of non-HCW. This is likely due to careful monitoring of HCW for symptoms and follow-up of their household contacts. 

How is the school cleaning and disinfecting to make sure it meets PHO Guidelines and WorkSafe BC guidelines?

  • St. Jude School is hiring an additional daytime custodian who will be able to clean surfaces throughout the day and clean the washrooms every hour between the hours of 10am to 2pm.
  • Evening cleaning will also occur each day during the school work week.
  • Cleaning of the classroom will be performed in the following manner:
    • cleaning starts at the doorway and works around the room in a clockwise direction which will ensure no areas are missed.
  • Cleaning of the washroom will be performed in the following manner:
    • For washrooms a separate clean microfiber cloth will be used, disinfecting will happen working from top to bottom.
  • St. Jude School will provide each classroom with a disinfectant kit so that teachers can frequently clean the high touch areas. Oxy Q Virus Disinfectant Spray Bottles are in each classroom.
  • There will be no sharing of electronic devices and no sharing of toys or supplies.
  • To reduce the number of surfaces, excess furniture will be removed and classrooms will be decluttered. Tops of shelves will be cleared for easy cleaning.
  • Unused desks and furniture will be removed from the classroom to be stored in other locations of the school.
  • Daytime and evening custodians will maintain clean surfaces. Outdoor handrails will be added to the cleaning protocol.
  • Briarwood will ensure that garbage cans are emptied, disinfected, and returned to their exact classroom location to ensure that there is minimal touch of the garbage container. Further, students are encouraged to bring snacks to school that do not produce garbage. Any containers left behind will be thrown out.
  • Additional liners will not be allowed in the bottom of the garbage container or hanging over the side.
  • Every classroom and washroom has soap and water and paper towels readily available. The PHO states that washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective means of stopping the virus. The temperature of the water is inconsequential.
  • Staff will be trained on how to remove gloves according to the following protocol: the outside of the gloves are contaminated. Grasp the palm area of the gloved hand and peel off the first glove. Slide fingers of hand under the other glove at wrist and peel off. Discard in regular waste.

The City of Vancouver has opened their playgrounds, will St. Jude School open theirs?

  • St. Jude School is able to disinfect the playground Monday to Friday and so we will open the playground for students to use
  • The PHO encourages children to practice proper hygiene while on playgrounds
  • Please review the following with your child:
    • Keep their hands to themselves
    • Maintain as much distance from others as possible
    • Cover the mouth if they feel a sneeze or cough coming
    • Immediately wash hands if they sneeze or cough
  • At this time, we are only permitting primary students on the playground so that we can mainting effective spacing

Is the water fountain open for students?

  • As a precaution and following the PHO guidelines, we have disabled our water fountains
  • Students are allowed to bring their own water bottle from home

What steps is St. Jude School taking to follow the recommendation that “the number of students in a space should not exceed the ability to maintain health and safety measures”?

  • Students are being spread out in the classrooms. There is a 6 ft distance between each student and we have taped around the teacher desk to remind students of the rule to practice social distancing as much as possible. 
  • St. Jude School is following the recommendation of the Ministry of Education to have K to 5 students attend two days a week on Tuesday and Thursday. Gr. 6 students will attend one day a week on Tuesday and Gr. 7 students will attend once a week on Thursday. ESW students may attend 5 days a week. 

I have decided to send my child back to school for the voluntary return. What time do I need to drop them off at?

Drop off Routines: 1 parent or caregiver will accompany their child (if in grades K to 4) to the classroom fire exit door that faces East 15th (the supervising staff member for your child may provide further details). Gr. 5 to Gr. 7 students can line up outside the classroom door independently provided the parent can guarantee that they will follow social distancing rules and be able to answer questions pertaining to their health.

  • Parents and students must maintain 2-meter social distancing while waiting outside (rain or shine).
  • Supervising staff will open their classroom fire exit doors and:
    • One child will enter at a time after the teacher has gone through a verbal confirmation of symptoms check with the student, parent or caregiver (see appendix A) – Parents should perform a daily check before leaving the house so that they are not turned away once at the school.
    • The child will head directly to the sink to wash their hands for 20 seconds, then they will head to their desk/workstation. Once seated the next student will enter to wash their hands and so forth. If a parent has more than one child in primary, they must keep both children with them. Once one has been received into his/her classroom then the parent can accompany the second child to the next classroom.

DROP OFF TIMES:

    • Kindergarten and Gr. 4 – 8:40am
    • 2 and Gr. 5 – 8:45am
    • 1 and Gr. 3 – 8:50am
    • 6 and 7 when in session – 8:45am

Can I drop off my child before the time provided by the school?

We are following our protocols strictly in the voluntary return to in-person instruction. There is no outdoor supervision in the morning or after school. Parents will have to arrange their schedules to ensure that they can drop off and pick up according to the timelines. We are following the PHO guidelines to ensure we have clear protocols and staggered drop off and pick up so that social distancing can be more attainable. 

When do I pick my child up?

Pickup Routines: Parents of primary students will need to pick up their children from the classroom exit doors facing East 15th.

  • PICKUP TIMES:
    • Kindergarten 2:45pm
    • 1 and Gr. 2 at 2:50pm
    • 3 and Gr. 4 at 2:55pm
    • 5 (and Gr. 6 and 7 when in session) at 3:00pm
    • Students in Gr. K to 3 will need to be picked up from their classroom fire exit doors that face East 15th
    • Students in Gr. 4 to 7 will be dismissed from their classrooms to the parking lot where parents can pick them up.
    • Students are to be reminded to keep their distance and avoid touching surfaces.

I need to pick up my child early, what should I do?

Call the office. You need to make arrangements with the office so that your child will be ready for when you arrive. 

Can I bring my child hot lunch to eat?

No. We are limiting access to our building. Your child should come to school with a bagged lunch. The lunch can be in a thermos provided your child is able to open the container independently. 

It's my child's birthday, can we bring cupcakes (or other food/gifts) for the other students to enjoy?

No. We are not permitting the sharing of food or supplies (gifts). 

Can my child keep their supplies at the school?

In order for the school to properly clean and disinfect surfaces and rooms, we need to limit the amount of objects. All students will have to take home their supplies each day. We are also limiting access to garbage and compost. Students will need to bring home their lunch garbage and compost, which can be disposed of there. 

Does my child have to wear their uniform?

We are encouraging students to wear clean clothes. If a uniform can be cleaned daily then it should be worn daily. If the uniform is unable to be washed daily, then other non uniform clothing may be word. All clothing must be neat, clean, and appropriate. 

Can my child wear a mask?

Masks are optional. If your child is to wear a mask they must be properly trained on how to wear it and to do not constantly touch or play with the mask – if the mask is too distracting for them it is best kept off. All people, staff and students included, wearing masks are to be respected. 

Why do I have to answer questions about my child's health for them to be allowed to attend in-person instruction?

The PHO Guidelines says that “parents and caregivers must assess their child daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school.” Given this protocol, our daily check is a recorded documentation that the daily check happened. If your child does not pass the daily check do not bring them to school because they will not be granted access. 

What questions will be asked of my child as part of the daily screening?

Staff will complete this health check daily before students enter. Children must not enter St. Jude School if, 

  • There is a ‘yes’ to any of the health check questions, 
  • The child is ill with any common cold, influenza or COVID-19 like symptoms or 
  • The child has unusual or persistent respiratory symptoms. 
Date: Name: 
*Does the child have a cough or worsening? YES NO
*Does the child have congestion? YES NO
Is the child experiencing nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea? YES NO
Is the child having trouble breathing? YES NO
Has the child experienced sudden loss of smell? YES NO
**Is anyone in your household ill? YES NO
       

 

*If a child is presenting baseline symptoms (such as such as seasonal allergies, please inform the parent that they need to have a doctor’s note indicating that it is seasonal allergies and that the student is not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.)

**If a child is residing with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms or has been linked to an outbreak, must self isolate. Only after a period of self isolation (14 days) and with a doctor’s note will the child (ESW children included) be allowed to attend in-person instruction.

All doctors’ notes must be current. Any notes that are older than a week will be considered out of date.

If a student is ill with any common cold, influenza, or COVID-19 like symptoms, they must stay home and either isolate for 10 calendar days, following onset of symptoms, or until symptoms resolve. Contact 811 for guidance if you are unsure of the symptoms. If returning before 10 days, provide a medical note. 

How is the school organizing the delivery of remote instruction for students who choose to continue to learn remotely?

o K-Grade 5 will be provided a weekly overview of instructional tasks and learning opportunities. Teachers will be available from 9:00am to 3:30 pm. However, during instructional days, teachers will not be able to support students remotely as quickly as before. If teachers are scheduled to be providing in-person instruction they will not be able to provide online support. Teachers have been given time in the weekly timetable for online instruction and support. Students who are choosing to stay home will continue to receive instructional tasks that they can complete independently.

o Grade 6-7 will be provided with daily online learning opportunities in much the same way as before. Teachers will not be able to host as many video conferencing sessions or the sessions may be scheduled at different times. In some cases, the students at school will be participating in the same online learning experiences.

How is the school organizing the delivery of in-class instruction?

o K- Grade 5 will attend school in person for 2 days a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. ESW parents who need 5 days a week for their child will be permitted to send their child 5 days a week. Due to the nature of the classroom set up, and the need to space children out, the work assigned to students will be independent seat work that aligns with online learning opportunities. There will be opportunities for students to go outside for light exercise and fresh air.

K to 5 students will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays according to drop off and pick up times.

o Grade 6 – 7 will attend school in person for 1 day a week. 

  • Gr. 6 students will attend on Tuesdays
  • Gr. 7 students will attend on Thursdays

Due to the nature of the classroom set up, and the need to space children out, the work assigned to students will be independent seat work that aligns with online learning opportunities. There will be opportunities for students to go outside for light exercise and fresh air.

What can I do to help my child prepare for the return to in-person instruction?

Be honest with your child. Talk to them about what they will see that is different. Such as:

  • a lot less students
  • classrooms that have spaced out desks
  • different teachers and staff working with them

You can also prepare them by practicing the following:

  • socially distance from each other at home so that they get used to the idea of how far 2 meters or 6 ft is
  • practice hand washing – say an Our Father and Hail Mary while washing hands (20 seconds). Make sure that they have lathered up enough soap and not just quickly rinsed the soap off of their hands

What types of learning opportunities will be available to students during June?

o During the month of June, students will be provided with year end review work focussing on Numeracy and Literacy. Because teachers are being asked to deliver online and in-person instruction, few new concepts will be taught in June. Teachers will be checking for completion of assignments. In person learning opportunities may focus on other subjects such as Science, Art, and Christian Education.

Why is St. Jude School continuing to charge tuition?

The school understands that this new model of online learning is taxing on parents and that some parents may wonder why the school continues to charge tuition if the primary mode of instruction is online.

It is important to note that the school still retains most of the same expenses as it did pre Covid-19. Major expenses include salaries of staff, custodial as the building is still being cleaned and maintained, telecommunications, leases on technology, and building maintenance costs (such as a recent repair to our boiler). There are minor savings in garbage pick up, supply usages such as paper and ink, and in the use of electricity. The school is looking to cut expenses where it can so it can continue to offer tuition assistance and relief to families in need.

The school’s primary sources of income are Government Grants, Tuition, and Fundraising. As an independent school, we receive 50% of the per student funding that the public schools receive. We have many if not all of the same expenses as the public school yet with only half the funding. The school therefore relies upon Tuition and Fundraising to cover the rest of the costs. Without tuition our school would not be sustainable.

Lastly, the CISVA Board of Directors is overseeing schools through this Covid-19 Pandemic. As such, they have created the mechanism for providing tuition assistance and relief for families.

How has the school supported families needing tuition assistance?

Any family needing tuition assistance or tuition relief due to loss of job or business because of Covid-19 has been supported. By cutting expenses where we can, we are able to aid families that have been hit hard by Covid-19. Any family needing tuition relief or assistance is asked to email the Principal, Chris van der Pauw, at cvanderpauw@stjude.ca and the PEC Chairperson, Richelle Akol, at echairperson@stjude.ca

When will the school charge fees and tuition amounts for the 2020-21 school year?

St. Jude School is waiting until after the 2019-20 school year to make any withdrawals for the 2020-21 school year. On July 2 we will withdraw the funds for Activity Fees, Emergency Fees, and Re-registration fees. On August 1, we will be withdrawing tuition amounts for the school year for those who opted for the lump sum payment. August 1 will also be the day we withdraw September’s tuition amount for those paying monthly. Families will be given a two week notice before any EFT withdrawals.  

What is the financial expectation for the Walkathon?

We are going to host a virtual walkathon as a unifying event for our community. We want this to be an opportunity for all of us to connect to each other over social media platforms. We do not expect any financial contributions but we would welcome any donations from those in our community with the means to support the school. All financial contributions will go towards our library and a new scoreboard for the gym. If you are able to donate to our Walkathon then please click here.

How has the school offered support to Emergency Service Workers?

Under the direction of the CISVA Superintendent, St. Jude School has asked any frontline workers (those who work in public health and health services, social services, law enforcement, first responders and emergency response) who have no other child care options to contact the school. The support for child care may mean coordinating our efforts with other Catholic schools in the area.

What parent participation needs are there at St. Jude School?

The primary needs of the school are that of outdoor yard maintenance. We have a lot of grounds to maintain and to save costs to the school we have not hired a yard maintenance company. The jobs needed are weeding, trimming, cutting grass, and picking up debris and garbage around the property. As the school is a ministry of the Parish of St. Jude, we also join forces and assist the parish with their yard maintenance. The Parish of St. Jude has had to lay off their cleaning staff as their main source of revenue (donations) has been significantly impacted due to Covid-19. As such, the Parish is asking for parent help in maintaining the facility. The parish also has a lot of outdoor yard maintenance.   

My family wants to help with yard maintenance but we do not know when we should come. What should we do?

Desiree Suganob is our maintenance coordinator. Please contact Desiree at emaintenance@stjude.ca to get more information about schedules and jobs.

What steps will St. Jude School take to ensure that PHO guidelines are followed for parents who volunteer?

First, parents will be scheduled to limit the amount of people on site. Second, we are asking parents to bring their own gloves and wear a mask (can be homemade). Required supplies will be ready and will be disinfected prior to and after use. Parents will be assigned to different areas of the school and parish grounds so as to maintain social distancing. Only the downstairs washrooms of the main school will be available so that exposure to the school is limited. Only parents who are scheduled are to be on site.

My family is unable to complete our parent participation hours. What should we do?

Please contact Ann Tang, parent participation coordinator, at eparticipation@stjude.ca

Why is St. Jude School using Zoom and not Google Meet or other platforms?

The enterprise level of Zoom that the B.C. Ministry of Education meets the standards of privacy and security. The government purchased the enterprise version of Zoom for all public and independent schools that requested licences. The B.C. Ministry of Education has a helpful FAQ website that can be accessed by clicking here.

What level of Zoom is St. Jude School using?

St. Jude School has the enterprise version of Zoom provided to us through the Ministry of Education. The government has contracted Focused Education Resources to set up the enterprise licenses for schools. The Ministry of Education has assured us that this is a safe and secure platform and it is more robust than the free versions.

How is St. Jude School preventing Zoombombing?

All teachers must use a unique password and meeting id. This is not to be shared with anyone outside the students and their parents. If students and parents share the meeting id and password then they are putting the meeting at risk to unwanted visitors. All teacher accounts are also mandated to have a waiting room. Teachers have the full authority to admit and remove individuals. Teachers are requesting that students follow the naming procedures as outlined in their communications.

Do you have any advice for parents who are struggling with teaching their children?

First, go easy on yourself. If you feel yourself getting frustrated then put the work aside. Second, reach out to the teacher. The teachers are there for you. Reach out and let them know where you are feeling frustrated. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to figure things out instead of asking for help. We are afraid we will be judged. You will not be judged. Your feedback, questions, and concerns, are welcomed without any judgment. Third, habits and routines are king. Children feed off of habits and routines. Think back to what school was like before Covid-19. We have bells, schedules, shapes of the days, routines and such. At our home we have created a loose but simple plan for our days. You have to try and find what works for you and your family.

My child finishes work too quickly, what can I do?

Teachers were instructed to create opportunities for extension and challenge. If your child is going through the extended activities with ease and success then please reach out to your child’s teacher. Teachers, by process of trial and error, are trying to figure out the right amount of work to be assigned. Without your feedback they will not know if the work is too little or too much.

I want to follow St. Jude School's Facebook page. How do I do that?

To follow us on FaceBook please click here.