Guidelines have been developed to support school boards and independent school authorities in their decisions on implementing vaccine requirements for their employees.
"From the beginning of the pandemic we have worked together - to keep students safely learning in-class, to encourage all eligible British Columbians to get vaccinated and to make sure school safety plans are robust and supported," said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education.
"With guidelines now available, trustees can make decisions around vaccination policies that work best for their communities as we work together to continue to support a culture of vaccination in our schools."
The guidelines were created by the Ministry of Education and its partners including the BC School Trustees Association, the BC Teachers' Federation, CUPE, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, the Federation of Independent Schools Association, and school district leadership associations, in consultation with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer. This work was also supported by the BC Public School Employers Association.
The guidelines provide a roadmap to enable school boards to make an informed decision on a mandatory vaccination policy and help school boards to ensure that the continued delivery of safe in-person education is a top priority.
The Ministry of Education will continue working with school boards to ensure they have the tools, resources and information they need to support this process.
These guidelines build on the existing K-12 health and safety measures including daily health checks, hand washing, staying home when sick, masks for all students and staff and improved ventilation systems.
Government will continue to be responsive to changes in the pandemic and will continue working with parents, teachers, school districts, First Nations, Indigenous Rightsholders and all education partners to make sure schools are safe for students, teachers and staff.
The guidelines are available online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/download/8944B0CE48D644D1B46951369F458B86