by Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on Thursday January 20 2022
One of the city’s schools could be under investigation by public health.
Based on a review of attendance patterns, it has been determined that Rosemont School has met a potential activity signal — a new term coined to refer to a threshold based on school attendance — according to a letter sent out by the school.
One the threshold has been met it means public health will investigate further to determine if absences are related to a health matter and additional actions are needed.
A large number of absences at the school — which is a kindergarten to Grade 5 school located in the Rosemont neighbourhood of Nelson — prompted suspicions that there might be COVID-19 activity in the school.
Currently, no additional actions are being recommended although attendance throughout the week has been low.
If a school is to be closed it will be announced as early as possible so people can arrange childcare, with the principal communicating to staff and all families informing them of the closure as well as how long it will be closed, noted the SD8 website.
According to School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake), closures of schools are “made separately based on what is happening in the school. Most students affected by closures will transition to remote learning.”
The types of possible school closures include:
• health closure of a school determined by the local health authority due to the COVID-19 case count in, or related to, a school; and
• functional closure of a school determined by the school or school district due to a lack of staff to provide the required level of teaching, supervision, support, and/or custodial to ensure the health and safety of students. This would likely be due to a high absenteeism of all staff or certain employees required for a school to function and the inability to replace those absences.
The decision to close schools is under the authority of the Medical Health Officer or the Superintendent (School Act ss.90(2)).
• A transportation closure would be due to a lack of staff to provide the required level of transportation services for students — and the district not able to replace those missing — leading to a school closure.
Source: School District No. 8