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COVID-19 Updates 

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Dear QMS Parents & Guardians, 

The daily health check list for COVID-19 symptoms in children has been updated by Dr. Bonnie Henry’s office. There are now only seven (7) symptoms on the checklist (full checklist below):
• Fever
• Chills
• Cough or worsening chronic cough
• Shortness of breath
• Loss of sense of smell or taste
• Diarrhea
• Nausea and vomiting

If your child has any of these symptoms that are not related to a pre-existing condition, such as allergies, then they should stay home from school and monitor the symptoms for 24 hours. If it gets worse, or other symptoms develop, then they should receive a health assessment by calling 8-1-1.

If your child develops any of the symptoms listed above while they are at School, then we will isolate them and call you to have them picked-up as soon as possible.

For non-COVID related illness, we have attached our QMS guidelines to help you make your decision.

This is the season of runny noses and colds, and we understand that there is likely some confusion over whether your child is healthy enough to come to school, especially these days. Keeping your child home from school is a tough call to make, and we hope these guidelines will help.

If you have any questions, please contact our Health Services at nurse@qms.bc.ca.

Sincerely,
David Robertson, Head of School


SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
We have further enhanced our safety processes at our Shirley Burr Equestrian Centre. We invite you to read the complete COVID-19 safety document below.


SEPTEMBER 4, 2020
Dear QMS Parents and Guardians,

I trust that you are all feeling as reassured as you can be in these uncertain times. From our point of view, the School is ready to resume as safely as it could possibly be and we are all excited to have your children back with us. Please read the ministry approved version of our Return to School Plan carefully, as it is the very latest and is quite comprehensive. We have all been preparing for weeks for the opening of school and now it is upon us at last. Please contact the appropriate member of our team if you have any queries or clarifications. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. 

With my warmest regards,
David Robertson, Head of School


AUGUST 21, 2020
Dear QMS Parents and Guardians,
                                                
I want to follow up on my communication yesterday regarding our amended Return to School Plan and, hopefully, clarify a few misconceptions. In British Columbia, independent schools are obliged to follow the regulations and directives issued by the BC Ministry of Education. It is different in Ontario where independent schools do not receive funding of any sort. We do enjoy a degree of freedom as to how we run our schools, but we do not when it comes to matters of health and safety. That is why we have had to submit a very comprehensive Return to School Plan, structured according to their template, for official approval. These requirements are even more clearly expressed when the province is still in a ‘State of Emergency’, which we are.
                                               
Our team here at QMS meets daily to scour the documentation and keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape before we amend or tweak any of our procedures. I know that emotions can quickly run high during these stressful times, but we are all trying to sift through the available information as well as the misinformation, to make decisions which will be in the best interests of as many different people and constituencies as possible. Keeping as many people as we can safe and healthy remains our main aim. As always, I am happy to take a call or have a socially distanced meeting if there is something that you would like to discuss? Thanks for your understanding and your ongoing support. 

My best,
David Robertson, Head of School


AUGUST 20, 2020
Dear QMS Parents and Guardians, 
                                      
As I’ve mentioned before, we are sensitive to the different perceptions, decisions and directives that are evolving constantly during these trying times as we attempt to get our children back to school and functioning safely. The comprehensive Return to School Plan which we sent a week ago has been tweaked again to reflect the increased emphasis on mask-wearing in particular. Specifically, it is our position now that masks will be worn by all staff and students (Grades 4–12) except in the following circumstances: when the students are in the confines of their learning group classroom they will be able to remove their masks as long as they are socially distanced or, additionally, they will remove their masks when they actually sit down to consume their food. They will automatically put their masks back on as soon as they finish or move from those situations. Teachers will substitute face shields for masks, for the most part. 
                                      
I hope that these details are not confusing and, as always, I trust that you will let us know if you have any concerns or queries. I hope too that you will bear in mind that the masks are only one aspect of the many steps being taken to safeguard everyone’s health and well-being. 

With my thanks for your ongoing support and my best regards,
David Robertson, Head of School


AUGUST 12, 2020
Dear QMS Parents and Guardians,
                                                
As you will no doubt be aware, there are some potentially confusing messages and mixed reactions around right now about ‘Return to School’ in BC. Please be assured that the information we sent to you on August 11, 2020 is an accurate description of what we at QMS intend to do. To confirm, we will be operating five days a week for students in Kindergarten through Grade 12.  Our school year will start on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 as published and, of course, we will be in touch again soon with the details of our daily arrival schedules and processes. If we are mandated to do anything different then we will be in touch with you immediately.
                                         
We are all working hard to ensure that nothing is missed in terms of examining and re-examining every aspect of how the school day will unfold. As you can imagine, our emphasis on being nimble and continually planning will remain our approach. Thank you all again for your support and encouragement. 

Warm regards,
David Robertson, Head of School

AUGUST 11, 2020
Dear QMS Parents and Guardians,
                                                                        
Recent announcements from the Ministry of Education about the return to school in September may well have got you wondering what it’s all going to look like for your children. At QMS, we have been preparing for a full return to campus and, indeed, we are very excited about it. We do respect, however, that everyone’s circumstances are different, but we hope that the attached Return to School document will provide the detail that you need to feel as comfortable as you can about the whole process. 
                                                             
Please peruse it carefully and do not hesitate to contact the appropriate person if there is something that requires further clarification: Ander Monro, Deputy Head of School, Susan Cruikshank, Junior School Principal or Alison O’Marra-Armstrong, Director of Academics or indeed, myself. There are very few problems that we can’t solve as long as we know about them and I feel very confident that we can create both a very safe and a very productive school experience again in the coming months. 
                                                            
Once again, we will rely on your cooperation when it comes to the pre-arrival measures and then we will continue to use our thermal screening process for all when coming on campus. Together, I’m sure that we can meet the challenges of our times and rise above them so that a fulfilling and rewarding QMS experience results for all. Again, please do not hesitate to be in touch. 

With my warmest wishes and best regards,  
David Robertson, Head of School