Frequently Asked Questions
How does Red Deer Public Schools make decisions to protect students, staff and families during this outbreak?
- As with all public health matters, Red Deer Public Schools works closely with Alberta Health Services and other health agencies to monitor and address concerns, and that is the case with COVID-19.
Why did schools have to close?
- These are challenging and difficult times for everyone as we all try to limit the spread of the COVID 19 virus.
- The decision to close the school was made by Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Minister of Education based on providing the best response in these circumstances.
- We support these decisions.
How long will this last?
- The government has closed schools indefinitely, we don’t know that answer.
- It will be based on how soon the pandemic can be managed and be under control.
- Preliminary speculation is that this has the potential to last until September. We don’t anticipate this to be a short term closure.
- Government, families and our schools want students back in school as soon as it is safe to do so.
We work, what am I supposed to about child care?
- We are sorry and understand the challenges in finding child care.
- The government made this difficult decision knowing that it would be a challenge and disruptive for families and employers.
- Governments have also encouraged employers to be flexible in meeting family needs.
- We understand that the government is looking at supports to make up for the challenges families face in this area.
- All families are facing these challenges and the government understands the challenges and is working to minimize the impact.
- Friends and relatives in the community will be aware and understand these challenges. We hope that they will be able to accommodate families in making things work.
- Many employers are also facing these disruptions with a reduction in business for some. Hopefully this will allow them flexibility to support families.
What is going to happen with my child's schooling?
- In its announcement, the government committed that:
- Students will receive final grades.
- Students will progress to the next grade level.
- Provincial Achievement Tests have been canceled.
- Diploma Exams for grade 12 have been canceled for May and June 2020.
- Students will graduate.
- Post Secondary Institutions will be asked to do all they can to accommodate graduates faced with these changes.
What is my child supposed to do about school?
- In making the announcement, the government pledged that school staff will still be working and are expected to support continuity of learning for their students.
- We have developed plans for staff to continue providing learning for all students.
- Information on these plans has been shared by your school. If you have questions, please contact the school directly.
What if we don't have access to the internet for lessons that are on-line?
- We will consider the needs of all families and accommodate lesson materials as best we can.
- If you require access to technology, please call your school directly.
Will there be refunds of fees?
- We will review fees charged to families and potential refunds once the length of suspended classes is determined.
Are we able to come to the school and pick up books, personal possessions and supplies?
- Schools have notified families of a schedule to pick up belongings that students have at school.
- If you were unable to accommodate the schedule, please call the school to make arrangements.
My child is really anxious about all of this, now school is closed?
- It’s important for parents to try and reduce anxiety about this with their children...your attitude influences their attitude.
- Be knowledgeable about the facts of the pandemic, not the myths.
- This is real, but with steps like school closures and being careful to follow proper hygiene, social distancing and staying away if you or others are sick will help to reduce illnesses.
- Our District website includes suggested resources that you can share with your children.
- While there are lots of disruptions, there are lots of normal things that are still safe to do including being outside, playing with others, quality family time, reading books, learning new things on their own.
Are there resources for maintaining good mental health?
The COVID-19 pandemic can have a significant impact on Albertans' mental health. Resources are available if you, or someone you know, is struggling or needs a little extra support.
- Take care of your body – Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Learn more about wellness strategies for mental health.
- Connect with others (virtually) – Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member.
- Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
- Take breaks– Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
- Stay informed – When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
- Avoid too much exposure to news – Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
- Seek help when needed – If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the Mental Health Help Line.
What can I do to stay physically active during COVID-19?
The benefits of physical activity which have always been know to us are still valid at this time. That said, we must all work on finding ways to take care of our daily requirements for physical activity mindfully. Here are a few tips.
- Go outside. If you’re physically able to get outdoors and if you stay six feet away from other people on the street or in the park, by all means, do it. Walk. Run. Skip. Cross-country ski. Ride. Whatever. Breathe fresh air. Catch a few rays. Wave to the others from that respectful distance away.
- Work out inside your home. Try to get your heart rate up enough that you can talk but not sing. If you’re watching TV, stand up to watch. Pick up your cell and pace around while you’re chatting. If you live in an apartment building, walk or jog in the hallways provided you keep away from other hall-walkers. If you have no hallways, put on some music and dance. If nothing else, practice balancing on one foot while you wash the dishes.
- Keep going. Do yoga on the floor. Swing your arms. Do sit ups. Use books or jugs of water as weights to pump iron. Body weight exercises are very beneficial. You do not need fancy equipment to stay fit. There are many online fitness options that folks may follow.
- Avoid staying glued to the computer or TV all day. It may be tempting to become sedentary, but get up at least once an hour and walk around.
- If you do catch COVID-19 and especially if you have a fever, take it easy. But otherwise, get up and move. Your body will thank you. So will your mind.
- Physical Activity for Children and Youth
- ParticipACTION Everything Gets Better
- Build your best day!
- Games & Activities Resource from Twitterverse
Will bus passes still be valid?
- Bus passes continue to be valid on routes being operated by Red Deer City Transit.