Citing potential labour implications, the board says all its meetings regarding the guidelines for vaccination policies will be held in-camera. Photo: Unsplash

Citing potential labour implications, the board says all its meetings regarding the guidelines for vaccination policies will be held in-camera. Photo: Unsplash

Kootenay-Columbia board reviewing vaccine policies for K-12 staff

Superintendent to move forward with gathering data and evidence in alignment with privacy rules

Elected members of the Kootenay-Columbia board of education — School District 20 (SD20) — announced on Monday that they are reviewing vaccine policies for staff.

“School District No. 20 has worked diligently over the last 20 months following the guidance from the provincial and regional health office, and the Ministry of Education, to ensure a safe learning environment for our staff and students,” the board stated in a Nov. 8 news release.

“We continue to follow the provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan for K-12 settings and any additional provincial and regional health orders applicable to the school setting. The safety of students, staff, and our school communities continue to be our priority.”

The board says it received the K-12 sector guidelines for vaccination policies on Oct. 22, wherein the BC Ministry of Education outlined the suggested protocols for implementing a staff vaccine policy.

“We are reviewing these guidelines, and the potential of a vaccine policy, as a possible addition to our current safety measures within the SD20 Communicable Disease Prevention Plan,” the board stated. “At this time, we do not have enough information to determine if a vaccine policy would support a safer learning environment for our school communities.”

The SD20 board has asked Superintendent Katherine Shearer to move forward with the first step known as “gathering data and evidence in alignment with privacy rules” as outlined in the guidelines.

The board says this is in line with the work of other school boards across the province.

“While the implementation of a vaccine policy is not a foregone conclusion, the board will continue to take an approach based on data, science, and civic duty to design district policy to achieve the safest environment possible for our students, staff, and communities,” the board states.

“The SD20 board of education believes that vaccines are an important part of the public health response to COVID-19 and encourages eligible employees to become vaccinated.”

Citing potential labour implications, the board says all its meetings regarding the K-12 guidelines for vaccination policies will be held in-camera.

Read more: Kootenay Columbia to offer school-at-home program next year

Read more: SD20 reports small decline in student enrolment



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School District No. 20 Kootenay-Columbia