February 7, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I am writing to provide an update regarding the novel coronavirus. As you know, the situation is
extremely complex, and the perspective of health authorities has continued to evolve each day. The
Richmond School District receives updates and guidance from health authorities and the Ministry of
Education, and these updates have been shared on the school district website. Today we received a
letter from the Provincial Health Officer, which is attached to this message.
As you will see in the Provincial Health Officer’s letter, she has recommended that students or staff
returning from Hubei Province, China should consider staying home for 14 days after leaving Hubei. It is
important to note that this revised position does not provide the school district with the authority to
require parents to keep their children at home. Ultimately, individual parents will make decisions about
their child’s attendance at school.
With that being said, the district will continue to monitor student attendance as well as new registrations.
If a school administrator has reason to believe that a student or their family may have recently travelled
to Hubei province in China, direct contact will be made with the family for further discussion. The family
will be encouraged to remain at home for the 14-day quarantine period. If, for some reason, this protocol
is not followed, the district will work with local health authorities to ensure the safety of all students and
Health authorities remain focused on risk reduction and the district is committed to supporting this
approach. We ask that schools and families focus on reducing the risk of coronavirus, colds and flu by
following the steps outlined in the attached letter. The district continues to supplement ongoing cleaning,
disinfecting and sanitizing of schools out of an abundance of caution. We also know that there are many
conversations happening in classrooms about the importance of proper respiratory hygiene, as well as
factual information about the coronavirus itself.
In my previous letter, I spoke about the importance of maintaining an inclusive, respectful and welcoming
approach. I would like to thank all the staff members, parents and members of the community who have
continued to ensure that our students feel safe and welcome in schools. I am proud to see the best of
the human spirit being demonstrated by both the adults and students in our school communities as we
have come together to face this challenge side by side.
Moving forward, we will remain in contact with the Ministry of Health, Vancouver Coastal Health and the
Ministry of Education, and will provide updates to our community as they become available.
Superintendent of Schools