BSD Board of Trustees releases school opening message


Brandon School Division is looking forward to the full return of in-class learning for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students. Brandon School Division also welcomes the ability to offer a wider range of programming and activities.

The Division is equally committed to keeping our students and staff safe as previous restrictions are lifted. While no single protective measure can eliminate the risk of infection, Brandon School Division can reduce the level of risk through multiple layers of measures. Some of the measures to reduce the level of risk from COVID-19 include:

• Students and staff will continue to follow the fundamentals of self-screening, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and staying at home when sick.
• Provision of remote learning for immunocompromised students or students with family members who are immunocompromised.
• Minimize congestion of students through the use of multiple entrances and management of hallway traffic.
• Use of cohorts in K-8 classes.
• Increased ventilation where possible.
• Physical distancing to the greatest extent possible.

While vaccinations are a protective measure, we understand the concern from parents whose children are not eligible for vaccinations. We also understand the increasing concern of a potential fourth wave. Additionally, there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the impact on schools from the full return of students and the loosening of restrictions.

In a further effort to reduce the risk to our students, the Brandon School Division Board of Trustees will be mandating the use of masks in buildings and on buses when 2 metre physical distancing cannot be achieved. This decision will be revisited monthly and will be adjusted accordingly as the Public Health context evolves and the impact on schools becomes clearer.

Masks will be available to students and staff. Mask exemptions are available for individuals who are unable to properly wear a mask or who have a medical condition that does not allow them to wear a mask.

It is understood that there are differing perspectives on the appropriateness of COVID measures. However, there is a shared desire to keep our students and staff safe. Through these temporary measures we can reduce the risk of transmission, reduce the number of close contacts, reduce the number of families impacted by the need to self-isolate, and keep our schools open with full student attendance.