Safe and healthy schools
B.C. schools work to develop positive and welcoming cultures and are committed to providing good environments for learning.
Schools work to prevent problems through community building, fostering respect, inclusion, fairness and equity. Each school:
- Sets, communicates and reinforces clear expectations of acceptable conduct
- Teaches, models and encourages socially responsible behaviour
- Works to solve problems peacefully
- Places high value on diversity and defending human rights
- The BC Centre for Disease Control’s Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 School Settings provides guidance for educators, administrators, and support staff at public, independent, and First Nations Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) schools of what communicable disease prevention measures should be implemented to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, including COVID-19.
- The Ministry of Education and Child Care’s Provincial Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings (PDF) | Directives provinciales pour le système d'éducation en matière de maladies transmissibles (PDF) build on the BCCDC guidance to outline the principles and considerations for boards of education, independent school authorities and schools for communicable disease prevention planning. The guidelines address topics including health awareness, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting, ventilation and masks.
Handling Medical Conditions, Reactions & Pandemics
Ensure student safety by working with parents and guardians to tailor plans for students with specific medical needs. Also find out how to recognize key symptoms and learn what to do in an emergency.
- Heat events, also known as heatwaves, are a series of days that are hotter than normal temperatures for the region. As the climate changes, heat events will become more frequent, longer and hotter in B.C.
- Schools can plan for heat events to support the safety and comfort of students and staff, and take actions like:
- Closing shutters/blinds on south-facing windows.
- Where available, utilizing air-conditioning systems for cooling.
- Opening windows for cross-ventilation (if no air-conditioning system is available).
- Using directional fans for airflow.
- Using the coolest spaces within the school.
- Ensuring students and staff have access to, and are drinking water throughout the day.
- Adapting or pausing activities that generate heat (like moderate or vigorous physical activity).
- If outside, seeking shaded and breezier areas.
- Encourage sun safety when outside including applying sunscreen and wearing hats, sunglasses, and light-weight clothing in breathable materials.
- Staff should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Sharing information with their school communities about expected heat events, and what precautions can be taken at home. Information on preparing for heat events is available from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
- Schools also work with their local regional health authority and use information from the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness website to determine what actions to take.
- Schools should be aware of students who may need more attention during heat events, including:
- Students with disabilities or diverse abilities, with heightened attention to students who use non-verbal communication or experience barriers to communicate.
- Students with physical disabilities, with heightened attention to students who use mobility devices such as a wheelchair or other device that traps body heat.
- Students with ADHD, depression, or similar, with heightened attention to students who use medications that can affect thermoregulation (e.g., Ritalin).
- Students who use substances
- The Ministry continues to work with school districts to determine opportunities for ensuring schools and other district facilities are prepared for heat events.
Utilizing the mandated policies in place helps maximize the nutritional daily standards for students. Find out how to offer healthy food and drink options for selling or vending at your school.
Guidelines at a Glance Brochure:
- Guidelines for Food & Beverage Sales in B.C. Schools At-a-Glance (PDF)
- Lignes Directrices Sur La Vente D’aliments Et De Boissons Dans Les Écoles De La C.-B. Version abrégée (PDF)
Complete Guidelines for Food and Drink Sales:
erase is all about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges, report concerns to schools, and learn about complex issues facing students