Delta School District superintendent Doug Sheppard issued a notice to parents this week that the district has received confirmation that educational staff are deemed essential service workers to safely maintain the operation of schools.
As a result of the current provincial state of emergency, the province has implemented temporary emergency orders to prioritize fuel for essential vehicles, limiting how much fuel can be purchased by the general public and to restrict non-essential travel in some areas.
“School-based staff will continue to be in schools supporting students, staff and communities. While it is important for schools to stay open for in-person learning given how crucial it is for students’ intellectual, emotional and mental well-being, school districts have been asked to eliminate non-essential travel and take measures to promote and support carpooling, public transit and alternate methods of transportation among their staff,” Sheppard stated in his notice.
The school district has implemented several measures including enabling staff who are able to work from home to do so, provided there is no impact on the level of support and services to schools, while also encouraging carpooling, public transit and walking or cycling to work.
The district will also move face-to-face events online or reschedule them until a later date.
That rescheduling includes field trips, sporting activities, meetings and any events that require travel both within and outside the district.
The district is also reviewing and reducing the driving of facilities and maintenance vehicles.
Sheppard also encouraged parents and children to walk, cycle or use public transit to commute to work or school, as well as consider carpooling while adhering to the current COVID-19 health protocols.