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Administrators and Districts

Sector leaders can find K-12 guidance and tools to support in-person learning in schools.
Last updated: September 13, 2023

Students, staff, and others can take preventive actions to reduce the spread of communicable diseases in K-12 school settings. Students can attend school safely when we work together to follow public health recommendations.

  • Everyone stays up to date on all vaccinations including COVID-19 and influenza.
  • Schools implement and update communicable disease plans.
  • Students, staff and parents/caregivers follow school communicable disease plans. 
  • Regions provide additional guidance when there is greater risk in a community.
The current public health guidance for schools for the 2023/24 school year:

Guidance for prevention

Every school in B.C. must have a communicable disease plan to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Plans include multiple layers of protection, such as:

  • Ensuring ventilation systems are working effectively
  • Providing frequent opportunities for hand cleaning
  • Regular cleaning and disinfection
  • Following food safety practices and any requirements of regulated food services
  • Sharing evidence-based information on vaccination and promoting vaccination opportunities
  • Ensuring students, staff and visitors are aware they should not come to school if they are sick and unable to participate fully in routine activities.
These plans also support staff, students and their families to practice personal prevention measures like monitoring for symptoms of illness and staying home when sick.

Public health guidance informs the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 School Settings, developed by the Ministry of Education with Indigenous rights-holders, K-12 education and health partners. Schools and school districts must follow these guidelines. 

When someone in school is sick
Most communicable diseases within school settings can be managed by the individual or family and through routine preventive measures, such as staying home from school until well enough to participate in regular activities.

Resources are available to support management of routine communicable disease:

Public Health Response

Public health works closely with education partners to support the health and wellbeing of students and staff in school settings. Public health may become directly involved if certain reportable diseases, such as measles, are identified where there are effective interventions available to prevent further spread and protect against severe disease. Additional time-limited public health measures may also be implemented at the discretion of the Medical Health Officer or Provincial Health Officer in response to broader risk of communicable disease transmission in the community. 

School or district administrators can contact public health if they have concerns about communicable disease transmission within the school setting and require additional support.

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