Recently, the Government of Alberta released additional guidance for K-12 schools. In response, Black Gold School Division (BGSD) has updated its 2021-2022 BGSD Public Health Emergency Interim Plan to include the most recent information, including mandatory vaccines for staff, on-site partners, contractors, and volunteers. All changes made to the plan are highlighted in yellow.
On October 5, 2021, all school divisions across Alberta received a joint letter from the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health asking us to introduce measures that require all employees to be vaccinated.
After careful consideration and consultation with employee unions, beginning January 3, 2022, BGSD will require that all employees, contractors, on-site partners, and volunteers who enter Black Gold buildings and have direct contact with employees and/or Division students be fully immunized, unless there is an exemption on the basis of a protected legal ground or the individual participates in regular rapid testing to verify that they are COVID-19 negative.
Students and Parents
This vaccination requirement DOES NOT APPLY to students or to parents/guardians and caregivers who are picking up or dropping their children off at Black Gold buildings. Students attending Black Gold schools, regardless of age, are not required to be fully vaccinated to attend classes.
Staff, On-site Partners, Contractors, and Volunteers
Beginning November 15, 2021, employees, as well as on-site partners, contractors, and volunteers who are not fully vaccinated or not willing to disclose their vaccination status will be required to take a rapid test within 72 hours of every scheduled workday or shift to confirm they are COVID-19 negative. COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Screening tests must be administered by an Alberta Health Services approved provider, and at the Division’s expense until December 23, 2021.
As of January 3, 2022, individuals who are not fully vaccinated or not willing to declare their vaccination status must continue to provide a negative rapid test every 72 hours, but this will be at their own expense.
Tenants, volunteers, contractors and other non-staff partners who work within our buildings and have direct contact with employees and/or Division students will also be required to be fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter our buildings. More information about this process will be shared soon.
Throughout this public health crisis, we have been committed to keeping our students and staff safe. As a public school division, we have relied on advice and guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Alberta Health Services. This has stood us in good stead in the past and we will continue to follow their direction in the future.
We want to once again thank you for your ongoing support as we continue to focus on keeping our schools open and keeping your children, our students, safe and healthy.