Thursday, January 20th, 2022
January 20, 2022, Nelson, BC -
The Board of Education - School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) passed a resolution on January 18 that directs Superintendent Trish Smillie to create and implement a Proof of Vaccination Procedure for all staff and contractors. It will not apply to students.
The purpose of the Proof of Vaccination Procedure is to safeguard the health and safety of employees and students from COVID-19.
“Our board is tasked with making decisions that support our staff and our students to remain healthy so teachers can teach, and students can learn. We recognize that when adults get vaccinated, they protect their coworkers and students from COVID-19,” said Board Chair Lenora Trenaman.
The procedure will require SD8 staff and contractors to provide proof of vaccination to the employer unless they are legally entitled to accommodation for medical reasons or under the Human Rights Code of British Columbia or Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms. The procedure will ensure the School District’s privacy obligations are met during the collection of employee information.
As part of this procedure, SD8 is required to keep a record of each staff member’s vaccination status. Anyone who does not provide that proof will be deemed to be unvaccinated.
“Employee representatives including unions and joint health and safety committees, as well as parents, Indigenous partners, and community partners will be consulted as this procedure is created and implemented,” said Trish Smillie.
All staff will be required to provide proof of their vaccination status by March 11, 2022. Staff who are unvaccinated or who fail to disclose their vaccination status by the deadline will be required to undergo regular rapid testing in order to continue work, or take an Extraordinary Leave Of Absence (unpaid). The proof of vaccine requirement will not apply to students.
This timeframe will allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated employees enough time to get vaccinated. It will also enable the district to set up a process for collecting vaccination status information from employees in a way that protects their privacy. Further information will be available once the Proof of Vaccination Procedure has been finalized.
When developing the procedure, the school district will follow the framework and guidance developed by the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). This will ensure that the proof of vaccination requirement for employees is aligned to other school districts in the Province.
For more information:
Trish Smillie, Superintendent of Schools/Chief Executive Officer
School District No.8 (Kootenay Lake)
About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):
The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.