Skip to content

Burnaby school district cancels international trips due to coronavirus

Trips to NYC, Washington State and Europe will not go ahead, says superintendent.
B.C. Provincial School for the Deaf, Flying Hands
Students and staff at the B.C. Provincial School for the Deaf at South Slope Elementary School prepare for the Flying Hands Competition in Washington State in March 2016. This year's trip has been cancelled because of coronavirus concerns.

The Burnaby school district has cancelled seven international field trips because of growing coronavirus concerns.

In a letter to parents Thursday, superintendent Gina Niccoli-Moen announced three trips to New York City, three trips to Washington State and one trip to Germany, Italy and Switzerland would not be going ahead because of the “rapidly evolving situation” surrounding the spread of the deadly virus in countries around the world.

The trip cancellations will affect students from Burnaby South, Burnaby North, Burnaby Mountain, Cariboo Hill and the B.C. Provincial School for the Deaf.

“We know that a great deal of planning goes into these trips and many students, staff and families will be disappointed,” Niccoli-Moen wrote. “We certainly share that disappointment. However, our top priority remains the safety of our community, and, as the list of countries and regions impacted by COVID-19 continues to grow every day, we believe it is prudent to act with an abundance of caution.”

School administrators or teacher sponsors will get in touch with families impacted by the cancellations directly to work on next steps, including reviewing travel insurance policies with travel providers, according to the letter.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact their school directly.

The trips noted in the letter represent all the international trips approved by the board this year.

Niccoli-Moen said the district will continue to monitor field trips as well.

Should they need to be cancelled, she said the district will work with the schools directly.

A number of school districts around the province, including Surrey and Vancouver have already cancelled trips because of the rapid spread of coronavirus worldwide.