Dear First Nations Schools,
The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) are sharing new public health guidance for K-12 school settings, announced on March 10th by the BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Ministry of Education. First Nations schools should refer to the following guidance documents while planning for and providing in-class instruction. The Ministry of Education’s instructions to public schools and non-First Nations independent schools are that these new guidelines come into effect on the first day of a school’s spring break.
- The BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools
- The BC Ministry of Education’s Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings
In the updated guidance, the BCCDC advises that the decision to wear a mask beyond when it is recommended by public health is now a personal one, based on individual preference.
The Ministry of Health, BCCDC, and Ministry of Education fully respect the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about the operation of First Nations schools in the best interests of their students, schools, and communities. This includes the authority to decide if and how to use this guidance to inform planning and if and how to reopen their schools.
FNESC and FNSA will be updating our resources for First Nations schools to reflect the new guidance.