January 7, 2022

Happy New Year, VCS Families,

We are prepared and excited for all K-12 learners’ return to campus this coming Monday. It was a blessing this past week to work closely with students who have unique learning needs, as well as to support essential service families. We are also grateful to have had time to plan meaningfully for the weeks ahead, in anticipation of high absenteeism and potential shifts to periods of hybrid or remote learning.

As you and your children prepare to return Monday, please review the campus updates below
(click here for comprehensive VCS campus safety measures)

  • The most critical expectation is for all students to complete a daily health check and stay home when at all sick. Please use the PHO’s updated resources:
  • Revised Dismissal Schedule
    • Primary (Gr. K-2): 2:50pm
    • Intermediate (Gr. 3-6): 2:55pm
    • Middle School (Gr. 7-9): 3:00pm
    • High School (Gr. 10-12): 3:05pm
      *Parents are encouraged to exit the campus as soon as possible to alleviate congestion and to maintain parking-lot flow.
  • Personal protective practices
    • Masks – Everyone who is able to must wear a mask indoors at school. Please ensure that your child comes to school Monday prepared with a well-fitting mask.
    • For those with an exemption approved by the school, please review the adaptations you have agreed to with your child.
  • Visitor Access
    • Visitors entering the school will be limited to those that support student learning and wellbeing programs.
    • All parents/visitors are required to contact the office prior to entry, and are limited to the front entrance area.
  • Gatherings/events
    • VCS will hold school gatherings and events virtually until further notice.
    • Sports – no spectators are allowed at games/practices, and tournaments are not permitted at this time.
  • Designated Student Entrances/Exits at SC: before & after school
    • Gr.7-9 (South external doors)
    • Gr.10 (Front doors)
    • Gr.11-12 (North doors)
  • COVID-19 – updated public health procedures (announced January 7):
    • Management of COVID-19 will be shifting to include rapid tests, online reporting of results, and personal notification to close contacts.
    • Parents will specify with the school if their child’s absence is illness-related.
    • Schools will monitor rates of absenteeism due to illness and report signals of concern to IH, which may trigger a closure (class, department, or campus).
    • Schools will notify parents when there has been a reported signal of concern.

While we recognize that increased and shifting measures may feel diappointing, we remain so grateful that BC’s Health and Education authorities have continued to prioritize on-campus learning (which is not the case in many other jurisdictions), as this is so important for student learning and well-being, and so precious to us at VCS. We are thankful that all curricular and extracurricular programs can continue, and we are committed to serving all students well, equipping them for a life of discipleship by providing excellent education in a Christ-centered community.

We ask in advance for your full cooperation with school procedures and with public health guidance, as these measures will help protect our capacity to operate and to thrive in our
mission through the unknowns of the coming weeks.

In the uncertainty of what the near future will bring, I am reminded that the ultimate direction has been revealed. We can be assured that the current “order of things” is passing away, and that everything is being made new! This future reality is beautifully visioned in Revelation 21:

“Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They
will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe
every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for
the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am
making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5, NIV).

Let Hope Shine,

Sincerely,

Matt Driediger
Principal

Additional Resources: (links)

Start Time (M/W/F)

  • Elementary Campus (EC): 8:20am bell
  • Secondary Campus (SC): 8:30am bell

Start Time (Tu/Th)

  • Elementary & Secondary: 8:55am bell

Entrance & Exit Plans

  • Elementary Campus:
    • Preschool to Grade 4: External door use in each classroom
    • Grade 5 & 5/6: West gym entrance (lakeside)
    • Grade 6: Enter through portable
  • Secondary Campus:
    • Gr. 7-9: South doors
    • Gr. 10: Front doors
    • Gr. 11-12: North doors

Mid-day Breaks

  • Elementary – Staggered Breaks
    • Break 1:
      • K-2 → OUT 10:20-10:40, EAT 10:40-10:55
      • 3-6 → EAT 10:25-10:40, OUT 10:40-11:00
    • Break 2:
      • K-2 → OUT 11:55-12:25, EAT 12:25-12:40
      • 3-6 → EAT 12:10-12:25, OUT 12:25-12:55
  • Secondary – Shared breaks (no cohort requirement)
    • AM Break (Mo/Tu/Th/Fr): 10:05-10:15
    • LUNCH (Mo-Fr): 11:40-12:15
    • PM Break: 1:35-1:45
  • Designated rooms/zones (lunch & breaks):
    • Middle School: south wing, classrooms & Commons
    • High School: north wing & classrooms
  • Wednesday Chapel Schedule:
    • High School: 10:00-10:40
    • Middle School: 10:55-11:35
    • Chapels will be held virtually (or with a 1-class in-person limit).

Day-End Staggered Dismissal:

  • Primary (K-2): 2:50pm
  • Intermediate (3-6):2:55pm
  • Middle School (7-9): 3:00pm
  • High School (10-12): 3:05pm

Upon dismissal, students report to parent in parking lot.

2:50-3:15: teachers supervise & support dismissal & outdoor transition.

Pick-up:

  • Elementary Campus Students Only: 2:50-3:00pm
  • Secondary Campus Students Only: 3:00-3:10pm

For parents with both EC/SC students: please arrive at the SC pick-up time. Parents are encouraged to vacate the campus as soon as possible at pick up time to avoid crowding and alleviate traffic congestion.

SC After School:

  • Campus will close at 3:20pm – students should exit to transportation.
  • Supervised spaces will be provided for students who have staff permission to stay later (ex. athletics, after-school clubs).

EC Supervision/Playground Schedule

VCS offers supervision before and after school for specific times, as well as during recess and lunch breaks. During these times, the school will be responsible for students in the building or at specified outdoor areas.

  • Before School: supervision in the playground and on the west side of the building
    • M/W/F 8:00-8:20am
    • Tu/Th 8:15-8:55am
  • Daily Breaks
    • 10:20-10:40: K-2 break 1 (all areas supervised)
    • 10:40-11:00: 3-6 break 1 (all areas supervised)
    • 11:55-12:25: K-2 break 2 (all areas supervised)
    • 12:25-12:55: 3-6 break 2 (all areas supervised)
  • After School:
    • 2:50-3:15PM: supervision in the playground

Prior to 8:00am and after 3:15pm, parents are responsible for their children and are expected to be present.

Traffic Flow and Parking

Our traffic flow and parking plan from 2020-21 will remain in effect for this coming year. To assist with the flow of traffic this year, we have made the following enhancements:

  • Parking lot lines re-painted (lane markings, cross walks, parking spaces): Please follows the markings as indicated in the diagram below
  • Sidewalk widened at waiting area: To increase student safety during drop-off/pick-up, we have widened the sidewalk thanks to a very generous donation by a VCS family

VCS Parking Lot

  • Lane 1: designated lane to the Preschool and K-2/Appointment Parking Spots
  • Lane 2: drop-off/pick-up ‘staging’ lane and for merging in/out of the drop-off/pick-up lane
  • Lane 3: drop-off/pick-up ‘staging’ lane
Please review the following information regarding our parking/pick-up/drop-off procedures:
  • Parents with EC only children are at campus for pick-up between 2:50-3:00pm.
    • Kindergarten – parents pick-up students at exterior door
    • Grade 1-2 – option to either have children proceed directly to parking lot or have parents pick up at playground
  • Parents with at least one SC child do not enter the pickup lane before 3:00pm.
  • Cars in the pick-up lane always pull as far forward as they can before stopping along the curb, and move forward as soon as a gap opens in front of them.
  • Students are diligent to watch and wait in a place where they can see that their parent has arrived in the pick-up lane.
  • Please have children exit/enter the vehicle on the passenger side whenever possible.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended in any of the lanes.
  • Do not stop on crosswalks at any time.
  • When exiting the parking lot, please turn right between 8:00AM-3:30PM.
  • Cell phones should never be used while driving.
  • Traffic attendants will help direct vehicles & pedestrians during drop-off and pick-up.
  • Students who are waiting in the upper lot are to remain on the sidewalk and not play on the grass hillside.

Parking Spaces

  • Please remember that parking stalls are reserved after school for Gr. PreK-2 parents until 3:00pm.
  • *NEW*: After 3:00pm, stalls are available for any parents/guests as needed since the vast majority of K-2 parents have by then been able to leave with their children.

Parent/Visitor Access

VCS will once again leave the front, main doors unlocked for visitor access during school hours. However:

  • Visitors entering the school will be limited to those supporting activities that are of benefit to student learning and wellbeing (e.g. teacher candidates, meal program volunteers, etc.).
  • All parents/visitors are required to contact the office prior to entry, and are limited to the front entrance area.
  • Visitors will be required to complete a daily health check prior to entering either campus.
  • A sign in/sign out process will continue to be used. This process will include individuals’ contact information and acknowledgement that they have completed a Daily Health Check.
  • Parents/caregivers and other visitors should respect others’ personal space while on school grounds, including outside.
  • All visitors must wear a non-medical mask when they are inside the school

Community Use

After hours community use of facilities is allowed per relevant local, regional, provincial and federal public health recommendations and orders.

Daily Health Check

Parents, caregivers, school staff and other adults routinely entering the school are required to assess themselves daily for key symptoms of illness prior to entering the school.

The following resource can be used to support daily health checks: K to 12 Daily Health Check

Symptoms of Illness and Return to School

For complete information on what to do when experiencing symptoms, please click the following link:

COVID-19 Symptoms, Testing & Return to School

Hygiene

Students will be encouraged to wash hands frequently but especially:

  • Upon entering the school and before leaving at the end of the day
  • Immediately after sneezing, coughing, using a tissue
  • Immediately after using the toilet
  • Whenever hands are visibly dirty
  • When moving between different learning environment (eg. outdoor-indoor transitions)

Personal Protective Equipment

Masks continue to be required by all staff, students and visitors in schools and on buses, based on the BCCDC’s identified benefits of wearing masks:

  • Masks have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19, by helping to stop the spread of droplets from a person’s mouth and nose when talking, laughing, yelling, singing, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Masks provide protection to the person wearing them and to those around them.
  • Masks complement and build on the other safety measures in schools. They work best when everyone who can wear a mask is wearing one.
  • Mask requirements in K-12 schools are similar to requirements in other indoor public spaces (e.g., shopping malls, grocery stores, recreation centres, post-secondary institutions, public transit, etc.).

Updated Exceptions for Staff, Students, and Visitors:

  • If the person is unable to wear a mask because of
    • A psychological, behavioural or health condition, or a physical, cognitive, or mental impairment, or
    • They are unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person.

Strategies/options to support those with exemptions include:

  • Can the person wear a different type of mask, or a face shield (without a mask)?
  • If the issue relates to having to wear a mask all day, can the person wear a mask during face-to-face classroom activities and hallway transitions but be able to take the mask off while working alone at their desk/workstation?
  • Can they use existing opportunities to remove masks more often, like spending breaks outdoors when the weather allows?

We will need to re-authorize mask exemptions in order to comply with the new PHO standards. Please contact the Principal at your child’s campus for a link to the Mask Exemption Form.

Further Directives
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own approved, non-medical mask to use.
  • VCS will make available disposable, non-medical masks in the event that students forget theirs at home.

VCS will support student mask use through positive and inclusive approaches. VCS does not require a health-care provider note (i.e. a doctor’s note) to determine if a person does not tolerate a mask.

Guide: How to Wear a Face Mask

Physical Distancing & Space Arrangement

Although public health no longer recommends learning groups and physical distancing of 2M as communicable disease measures for the K-12 setting, there are a number of strategies that VCS will implement to help create space between people and to support students and staff in returning to school:

  • Remind students and staff about respecting others personal space.

Buses

  • Bus drivers are required to wear a non-medical mask, a face covering or a face shield (in which case a non-medical mask should be worn in addition to the face shield) on school buses except while driving.
  • Students in Grades 4 to 12 are required to wear non-medical masks or face coverings when they are on the bus. Students in Grades K to 3 are encouraged to wear a non-medical mask or face covering on school buses but are not required to do so.
  • 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 (see the Daily Health Check section for more information). If a child is sick, they must not take the bus or go to school.

Carpooling

For carpooling related to school activities:

  • Students, staff and other adults must follow the mask requirements outlined in the Personal Protective Equipment section.
  • Spread out vehicle occupants as much as possible.
  • Travel with the same people whenever possible.

Vaccines

Public health strongly encourages all eligible students and staff to be fully vaccinated (i.e., receive 2 doses) against COVID-19 to protect themselves and those around them including those who are not eligible to be vaccinated.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, including where to get immunized, please visit ImmunizeBC.

We are excited to have students back and we are SO thankful that we can still be together on campus!

Some of our school events will need to be reimagined, similar to what you may have been used to last year.

  • Sportswill continue, however no tournaments will be played at this time. 
  • “Lion King” PerformancePlanned for April 2022, however in person gathering limitations may restrict us from performing this.