Thursday February 4th, 2021

RE: New Health and Safety Updates

Dear Parents,

Today the Ministry of Education presented new updates to our health and safety guidelines for K-12 schools.  The updates mainly address masks in schools, and the management of activities in physical education and music classes. It is noted that very little has changed for elementary schools.  Under these new updates, St. Bernadette’s will continue to foster a culture of mask wearing and encourage all students to wear a mask when indoors.  The new updates give new guidance on how physical education is delivered.  Starting Monday February 8th, all high intensity activities will be done outdoors when possible.  Students will be encouraged to wear a mask when participating in activities in the gymnasium.  

I am very pleased with the cooperation and support we are receiving from students and families.  We are fortunate to have a very united and committed community of parents and students who understand the benefits and importance of following the directives from the PHO as we move through this pandemic together.  I ask that we continue to show each other kindness and understanding whenever we are on school property.  This includes wearing a mask while on-site, not gathering with other parents (especially on the parish side of the school) and arriving/picking up on time.

The BCCDC, and the Minister of Education have reinforced that in addition to wearing masks, physical distancing, improved ventilation and other safety measures, when a child is not well, even if they are showing the mildest of symptoms, they must stay home.  The government has issued a new website and app to help families with their daily health checks.  If you are unsure if your child should attend school or not, please complete the K-12 health check at:

St. Bernadette’s will continue to make our students’ health and safety a priority, foster healthy and meaningful relationships between peers and between the students and the staff, and promote a trauma informed practice.  In a time when field trips, sports, special events and other exciting moments for children have been reduced, cancelled or postponed, I have seen great moments of joy and excitement in our school.  As teachers we are privileged to witness children entering into our building each day ready to learn and excited to be here with their friends.  We are very blessed and whatever the future sends our way, we will address it, work through it, and support each other as a community of love, acceptance and understanding.  

Yours in Christ,

Michael van der Pauw