New Guidance for Return To School - January 10
As you know, the Minister of Education confirmed that students are returning to in-class learning Monday, January 10th. We look forward to welcoming students back to classes and are working hard to keep our students, staff and schools as safe as possible.
To maintain a safe learning environment, we ask that you review and be sure to follow the necessary protocols. We were provided with updated provincial guidelines late Friday afternoon and have been working to reflect those in our school and Division practices. For specific information, you can reference our Division-wide COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols.
Daily Checklist - now more than ever, if your child is showing symptoms or not well, you must keep them home. The updated Daily Screening Checklist from AHS should be reviewed every morning before sending your child/ren to school.
If your child has any of the core symptoms, you are legally required to isolate. If they test negative on a rapid Covid test, they must still stay home and away from others until symptoms resolve.
For fully vaccinated students (2 doses) who test positive on a rapid test for COVID-19:
Isolate for 5 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer.
For students not fully vaccinated (1 dose or less) who test positive for covid on a rapid test:
Isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer.
Additional isolation information can be found here.
Preparing for Shifts to Online Learning
There is the potential that we will need to move a class or grade to temporary remote learning. Should this be required, parents will be notified by the school regarding the next steps. Temporary online learning may occur when it is not possible to continue in-person learning due to operational viability.
Rapid Test Kits and Masks
The Government of Alberta is providing rapid test kits and medical-grade masks for use by students and staff members. These are expected to start arriving at each of our schools next week. Mask use is required for all Grade 4-12 students and staff. Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 3 is recommended but not mandatory. Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students who ride buses are still required to wear masks.
Information on requesting rapid test kits for students will be provided to families next week. The rapid tests come in a box of five that will provide them with enough tests for 2.5 weeks; a second shipment will follow. It is recommended by the Medical Health Officer that rapid tests be used twice per week, 72 hours apart (e,g, Sunday and Wednesday or Monday and Thursday). Information regarding administering Rapid Test Kits can be found in the following links:
Reporting Student Illnesses
To keep our schools as safe as possible, please continue to inform your school if your child is exhibiting symptoms, or will be staying home from school for any reason. Schools will continue to monitor school absenteeism due to illness so this is important information for us to receive. The Division will have a dashboard of student absenteeism for each school on our websites. Alberta Health Services (AHS) has ended the COVID-19 positive case notification process therefore families no longer receive letters home regarding positive cases in schools.
Additional Health Measures
We continue to focus on the following prevention strategies in our schools:
Enhanced disinfecting and cleaning protocols continue.
Hand sanitizer in every room and at multiple entrances.
Wearing masks from Grade 4 - 12 in schools and Pre-K - Grade 12 on the buses.
K-5 cohorting remains in place, 6-12 continue to be mindful of physical distancing.
All outside speakers/presenters will need to be cancelled for the month of January.
Focused on Teaching and Learning
We believe the best learning takes place in school and we want to provide for regular classroom experiences as much as we can. Part of that focus includes authentic and appropriate student assessment. Alberta Education has shared that the January diploma examinations for high school students have been cancelled. Our high schools have also modified final exams and have notified their students and families directly.
We appreciate your support
Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation during these challenging times. We will continue to provide school and Division information through our websites, emails and social media if and when needed.
Superintendent of Schools