On February 26, 2021, Coast Mountains School District 82 received formal notification from the Northern Health Authority regarding a confirmed COVID-19 exposure at its Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School which is located on Federal lands under the jurisdiction of the Gitanmaax Band Council.
The Gitanmaax Band Council, in an effort to allow the Northern Health Authority to conduct a fulsome contact-tracing process in light of this exposure, passed a Band Council Resolution on February 26 that effective immediately access is denied to the Majagaleehl Gali Aks Elementary School (MGA) for the period of March 1 to 7 inclusive. Notification was received by the school district on February 27. The Gitanmaax Band Council will also close its daycare, nursery and language nest facilities for this duration to accommodate a full sanitation process for the return of regular services on March 8, 2021. It is anticipated that MGA will re-open on Monday, March 8 for regular operation.
For clarification, this temporary school closure is not a COVID-19 closure. That directive can only be authorized by the Northern Health Authority and the Ministry of Education. This closure is based on the precautionary safety measures undertaken by the Gitanmaax Band Council for their community. Our appreciation is extended to the Gitanmaax Band Council for their collaborative approach working with the school district on this matter.
During the temporary school closure, a full sanitation will be undertaken by the school district. Staff, where able, will be redeployed to either work from home or from the temporary MGA remote hub located in the Game Changer Program building, separate to Hazelton Secondary School. Access to the MGA remote hub will be permitted to MGA staff only while ensuring all social distancing protocols are followed. The MGA School Principal will determine the specific duties and work location of staff on a case-by-case basis.
The MGA School Principal is presently notifying parents/guardians of the temporary school closure. In the event students report to school tomorrow morning, March 1, the School Principal will be available at the Gitanmaax Band Council road blockade to meet the students and provide assistance. Buses will operate on streamline routes and will not make any stops within the Gitanmaax Reserve for pick-up or drop-off during this temporary school closure.
Parents/guardians will receive a call from a school staff member by Tuesday morning, March 2 providing details of online educational engagement for their child(ren) during this temporary school closure. An MGA reach-out contact number for parents/guardians will be communicated by 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 1.
We recognize this is an incredibly stressful time for the school staff, students and families. Let us all remember to focus on our personal well-being at this time while taking care and supporting one another, our students, staff and families.
We extend our appreciation for everyone’s understanding and patience during these unforeseen circumstances. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (250) 638-4407 or via firstname.lastname@example.org, should you have any questions or you require further information.
Superintendent of Schools