Vancouver Film School is transitioning back to on-campus learning for the Fall.
Updated: September 1, 2021
As VFS plans for a return to on-campus instruction for the fall, a series of FAQ’s has been compiled to support students, faculty, and staff.
List of protocols that change and/or will remain in place:
- For the Fall Term, masks will be required in all areas on campus including common areas, classrooms, studios, and offices.
- VFS will be limiting congregation in common areas and encouraging everyone to maintain a respectful distance.
- VFS will continue to focus on high-touch surface sanitization and actively promote personal hand sanitization.
- Staff and students will be required to stay home if they’re feeling any kind of communicable illness. Supports will be provided to accommodate absences in the event staff or students need to stay home due to illness.
I am a student. Should I plan to move to Vancouver this Fall?
Yes. Our intention is to return to as much in-person campus activity as possible, including on-campus educational delivery. Based on current guidance from the BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO), VFS programs are working toward in-person instruction, with the expectation that students will attend on-campus.
When exactly will students be allowed back on campus?
VFS campuses will fully reopen on August 30, 2021.
What will back-to-campus look like?
We are currently reviewing our communicable disease protocols to ensure the transition back to campus is carried out safely and smoothly across all our programs.
Will any programs remain online?
No. Our goal is to restore all programs to in-person instruction as soon as it’s appropriate. However, our short duration programs and workshops (VFS CONNECT) will remain online for the time being.
VFS will have in place Hyflex online learning setups wherever possible so that if a student is sick and needs to study from home, there will be the opportunity to do so. Additionally certain activities may be scheduled to be delivered online wherever they have been found to work as effectively or more effectively online than in person.
What if I cannot get to Vancouver by the end of August?
If current students are unable to return to Vancouver by the end of August, we will work with them individually on a case-by-case basis to plan their return to campus.
What information is there to support International Students’ return to campus?
Details on a return to campus for our international students will become clearer in the coming weeks, and is based upon federal and provincial advice. VFS’s plans will consider how to best support international students if they are not yet able to return.
The VFS Admissions and Student Services departments will send students key information on coming to Vancouver including documentation, quarantine requirements, housing and accommodations options, and more.
What if I am not comfortable going back in person full-time?
If current students are not comfortable returning to campus, we will work with them individually on a case-by-case basis to determine how to proceed.
What is VFS’s approach to communicable disease safety planning? What safety measures will be in place for in-person classes?
Safety measures will be in place to ensure the safety of all students and staff, including increased sanitation measures and reorganization of spaces to minimize the gathering of large groups. Our safety measures will be in accordance with all requirements and recommendations by the Provincial Health Officer, the BCCDC, the regional health authorities, the Go-Forward Guidelines and WorkSafeBC. It’s important to note that we have been operating several programs over the past year with an excellent track record. There have been zero on-campus COVID transmissions since the beginning of the pandemic, our Return to Campus safety plan was one of the first among all private post-secondary schools in the region to be approved by Education Quality Assurance, and we also passed our health & safety audit from WorkSafeBC with great praise from auditors.
Where can I find VFS’s updated communicable disease safety planning resources?
Students with specific questions or concerns not covered in the VFS Advisory should reach out to the VFS Safety & Facilities Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Vaccine Card?
A vaccine card is BC’s way of showing proof of immunization. You’ll be able to show proof using the BC vaccine card website, available September 13. You'll be able to save your vaccine card to your smartphone and show it when accessing events, services and businesses. A secure paper option will also be available for September 13. The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers:
- Indoor ticketed concerts, theatre, dance, symphony and sporting events
- Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars
- Nightclubs and casinos
- Movie theatres
- Gyms, pools and recreation facilities
- Does not include youth recreational sport
- Indoor high intensity group exercise
- Indoor organized gatherings like weddings, parties, conferences, meetings and workshops
- Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities like pottery and art
- Does not include K to 12 school and before and after school programs
Events, businesses and services will ask to see your proof of vaccination and valid government ID.
Will masks be mandatory?
Yes. At VFS, masks will be required in all areas on campus including common areas, classrooms, studios and offices.
I’m an international student who has been fully vaccinated. Will I need to quarantine upon arriving in Canada?
The Government of Canada has announced that fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to quarantine. They must fulfill all of the criteria below:
- Already be permitted to enter Canada
- No tourists/non-essential visitors
- Students with valid study permits are eligible
- Received 2nd dose at least 14 days prior to entering Canada
- Be vaccinated with one of the following: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
- Can receive vaccine in any country
- Provide paper or electronic documentation of vaccination in either English, French, or with a certified translation
- Meet requirements of pre- and on-arrival testing
- Need to have a negative COVID test no more than 72 hours in advance
- Must take a COVID test upon arrival at the airport
- Be asymptomatic
- Provide COVID-19 related information through the ArriveCAN app prior to arrival in Canada
- Still have a suitable quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine in case the border officer deems the requirements not fulfilled
- Still follow public health measures in place:
- social distance
- wear a mask in public
- keep a copy of vaccine and test results
- keep a close list of contacts for 14 days after entry into Canada
Currently, students who do not fulfill these criteria will need to quarantine fully, including the 3-night hotel quarantine if arriving by air.
Starting August 9, 2021, the government of Canada is eliminating the need for the 3-day quarantine. Unvaccinated travellers will need to complete a 14-day quarantine at a suitable location.
Do I need to get vaccinated in order to attend in-person classes at VFS?
No. Vaccinations are not mandatory to attend VFS classes, however we strongly encourage everyone to do their part and get vaccinated, as vaccinations are the best and most effective way to mitigate the spread and effects of COVID-19.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer for the province of B.C., noted that vaccination mandates are based on the level of risk, and based on data collected throughout the pandemic, in-person educational experiences do not pose an undue risk to students, staff and instructors.
At VFS we need to ensure we are not limiting access to education, and with respect to vaccines, there are additional factors including human rights, privacy and equity-based considerations that help inform VFS policies and procedures. As a result, VFS will not be introducing any measures that go over and above the PHO recommendations and requirements.
What if I am not vaccinated?
Vaccinations are encouraged but are not a requirement in Canada and not required to return to VFS campuses. We base these recommendations on those of health authorities and their strategies towards mitigating risk as much as possible and for as many people as possible. Towards these goals the health authorities ask that you please do your part and get yourself vaccinated. For the safety of our communities (at VFS & the greater community at large) we are very supportive of what the health authorities are campaigning for & ask that you do what is within your powers/beliefs towards the same goals.
If I have not yet received my two vaccination shots, how can I do so & can I do so if I am an international student?
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you may find it difficult to access some events, services, and businesses.
- Go to a Drop-In Clinic
You don’t need to register online or phone before you arrive.
- Make an Appointment
If it works better for your schedule, you can make an appointment. You must be registered with the Get Vaccinated system.
Will the updated approach to the communicable disease safety plans still require people to do COVID-19 self-assessments, stay home if they are sick, and wash their hands?
Yes. Effective communicable disease safety plans combine layers of protection to keep people safe, so it is highly likely that these controls will continue to be recommended for the fall. Safety plans need to meet the requirements set out by public health and WorkSafeBC. These measures reduce the risk of other transmissible diseases including influenza, “the flu,” and the common cold.
Will I need to do any specific communicable disease safety training before I return to campus?
If you are a domestic or PR student you will likely not need to do anything specific prior to returning to campus, however, if you are an international student coming to Vancouver there are some specific requirements you need to be aware of and plan for. If you are an international student coming to Vancouver and you have not received an email from the VFS Student Services department containing the required information, please email them at email@example.com.
What if there is a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus?
VFS has a robust health and safety plan including a comprehensive communicable disease response plan to address any COVID-positive cases on campus. In the event of a case on campus all affected parties will be contacted by members of the VFS Safety & Facilities Committee to offer support, conduct detailed contact tracing, and provide more information and details on next steps.
For more specific information please contact your program Head of Department or Program Manager, Educational Administration at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the VFS Safety & Facilities Committee at email@example.com