The most likely scenario for schooling in the fall is for students to return to daily in-school classes with health measures, according to Rocky View Schools (RVS) re-entry plan that was sent out to parents via email on June 10.
On the same date, the Government of Alberta released its re-entry plan for Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools beginning September 2020.
The government’s plan considers three scenarios:
- Scenario 1: In-school learning – classes resume, near-normal operations with health measures
- Scenario 2: Blended learning – in-school classes partially resume with additional health measures
- Scenario 3: At-home learning – in-school classes are suspended/cancelled
The government announced that its preferred and likely scenario is for students to return under scenario 1, and the RVS letter stated that the school board agrees.
The government is expected to share its final decision by Aug. 1.
“As Rocky View Schools plans to resume school this fall, we emphasize that the safety and well-being of students and staff remains the foundation of all re-entry plans,” states the letter signed by Fiona Gilbert, RVS board chair, and Greg Luterbach, superintendent of schools.
“Given the evolving nature of the pandemic, we will be working to minimize risks no matter the scenario by adhering to Alberta Health Services’ risk mitigation strategies and employing multiple layers of protection. Everyone in our learning communities will need to play their part and follow the protocols. We look forward to working with our stakeholders to ensure our schools remain safe and secure learning environments – after all, we’re in this together.”
Measures that will be enacted in the fall include:
- Asking families, staff, and visitors to conduct daily health checks prior to school entry with strict stay-at-home and pick up policy for anyone exhibiting signs of illness
- Enhancing cleaning and disinfecting practices in schools and on buses
- Encouraging physical distancing where possible
- Simplifying rooms and traffic flow to allow for more physical space
- Cohorting students where possible
- Mandating hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Outlining shared material and equipment handling
- Assigning mandatory seating plans on buses
According to a parent Q and A on the RVS website (click here to view), face masks will not be required and if you want your child to wear one, you will need to provide it.
Hand sanitizer stations have been placed at all entrances and exits. Whenever possible, doors will be propped open to reduce touch points and hallways and exit doors will be designated one-way. Schools also have been asked to identify separate entry and exit patterns for student cohorts and to maximize distancing of desks and/or their positioning, so students are not facing one another.
RVS will ensure enhanced cleaning of its school sites, including daily cleaning and disinfecting of washrooms and high touch surfaces several times a day. Regularly scheduled deep cleaning will take place when students are not present.
According to the letter, much of the guidelines were compiled using the results of the RVS School Re-Entry Survey, which received more than 17,000 responses from parents, student and staff.
“While many stated it is pivotal that everyone stays home if sick, working together to minimize risks while reconnecting with peers and teachers was deemed of upmost importance to the mental health of all those involved and to the learning capacity of students,” states the letter.
“We look forward to welcoming our students and staff to safe and secure learning environments in September.”
To review the results of the survey, click here.
For more information on the RVS re-entry plan, including a detailed outline of all of each of the scenarios and the full parent Q&A, click here.