September 18, 2020Communications Procedures In The Event Of A Covid Exposure

Dear Aberdeen Hall Community,

We have had a very good first week of school with plenty of smiles and re-connection with students and teachers. We are pleased with the way our students and employees have adjusted to the new routines and safety protocols. However, we cannot be complacent, and we will continue to ensure that all guidelines are being rigorously followed in the coming days and weeks.   

Current Situation & Safety Plans 

Kelowna and the Interior are presently in a very good position. There are minimal new cases of Covid-19 in the Interior Health region. That being said, as we learned in early July, this can change rather quickly and here at Aberdeen Hall, we have prepared detailed containment plans to best ensure our students' and employees' safety.  

The reality of the current situation is that we all need to prepare ourselves for the possibility that someone from our community will be exposed and/or test positive. Though we feel confident that the safety and hygiene protocols in place at Aberdeen Hall are effective for the reduction of transmission, there is no way to control the accidental exposure that our families may have to the virus through their work and other activities. 

Communications Procedures

We are very grateful for everything that our Health Authority, the Ministry of Education and our faculty and staff have done to manage the situation. Despite all of this, there is a chance that Covid-19 will still be inadvertently contracted by a member of our community, and I want you to be aware of the process for communicating to you should this occur. 

Most important to note is that in the event of an exposure, Interior Health takes full control of communication with parents, employees and students. Although Aberdeen Hall will distribute the news bulletins, all communication is coordinated, approved and directed by Interior Health.  

Confirmed cases of Covid-19 are reported to Interior Health and a team of contract tracers complete the tasks listed below. They:

  • Contact the school on behalf of the Medical Health Officer (MHO)
  • Request schedules and learning group-based student and faculty lists to determine who may have been potentially exposed, based on MHO contact tracing and exposure criteria
  • Contact individuals on the list for assessment based on MHO exposure criteria
  • Provide instructions to the individual regarding isolation or symptom monitoring
  • Provide the school with updates and instructions, including additional cleaning methods

The focus of the contract tracer team is to quickly and efficiently isolate individuals who may have been exposed, at the levels outlined in their criteria, so that there is the least amount of impact to the wider community. Only once they have done this, will they, in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, send notification to our broader parent and employee community. 

Aberdeen Hall has a legal obligation to not communicate directly with parents, students, and employees unless specifically authorized by the MHO. More so, we will not be allowed to disclose the name, class, or grade of any student or employee who may have contracted the virus. While we know that this will cause some anxiety, this is necessary to protect the privacy of individuals and families.

Given the tight networks within our community, as well as the prevalence of social media and other communication tools, it may be the case that impacted individuals choose to share information before Aberdeen Hall is allowed to do so. 

Please know that official communication from the school will come as quickly and transparently as regulations permit but is unlikely to be as timely as you have come to expect due to the reasons above.

What will happen with schooling

If you or a member of your immediate family are contacted by Interior Health and instructed to be tested or self-isolate, please do connect directly with your principal so that we can proactively develop a support plan to best meet the needs of your family. This would be done in utmost confidence. In this situation, Aberdeen Hall already has robust measures in place to maintain academic learning at home and are currently doing so for the small number of students who are quarantined by travel or who are immuno-compromised. While there is no substitute for face-to-face, in-class learning, when children cannot attend school, this support is available. Please understand that this is a short-term measure and that while our teachers will do their absolute best to provide guidance for students at home, their main priority has to be those in school.

Your Principal’s Contact information is below:

Grant Ozechowsky, High School Principal, Deputy Head

Ashley Bryden, Middle School Principal

Casey Turnpenny, Junior School Principal

Tiffani Weaver, Director of Preschool

Daily Health Assessments

Please be sure to continue the daily health assessments of your children, as this is crucial to our management strategies.  

As always, thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts to create a safe learning environment. Your words of encouragement during our first week of school have meant a great deal over the past few days. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about what I have outlined above, please don’t hesitate to be in touch. 

Warm regards,

Chris Grieve 
Head of School 
[email protected]

AdmissionsApplications to Aberdeen Hall are accepted year round and are increasingly competitive.

At Aberdeen Hall, we seek to admit well-rounded students who choose to be at our school. We are looking for students who demonstrate leadership through academic performance, involvement in co-curricular activities and civic engagement. We care about our students and seek those who value education and are prepared to enrich our incredible school community.

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