February 8, 2021
Dear First Nations Schools,
To support First Nations schools, the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) are sharing recently updated public health guidance for K-12 school settings. First Nations schools should refer to these updated guidance documents while planning for and providing in-class instruction. The updates were announced on February 4th, 2021, and will soon be included in a revised version of FNESC/FNSA’s First Nation Schools Reopening Considerations and Template resource, which will then be re-distributed.
The following resources containing health and safety considerations for K-12 schools have been updated:
- The BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 School Settings. Important update: See the BCCDC Addendum (March 30, 2021) for significant changes to mask and face covering guidance.
- The BC Ministry of Education’s Provincial Health Guidelines for K-12 Settings.
These updates clarify expectations on public and non-First Nation independent schools. First Nations and First Nation schools are advised to consider this new information in developing or updating their school reopening plan.
In addition to the updated guidance, the BCCDC has created a new website with information and resources about COVID-19 prevention in schools, with specific information for students, parents, staff, and administrators. Find it at www.bccdc.ca/schools.
FNESC and FNSA fully respect the authority of individual First Nations to make decisions about school operations in the best interests of their students, schools, and communities, and we further recognize that a number of schools will opt to remain fully or partially closed. First Nations are under no obligation to reopen their schools.
You can find all of our organizational updates and resources related to COVID-19 at www.fnesc.ca/covid19.