Students to attend in-school classes in September

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

Rocky View Schools (RVS) will be welcoming students back to class in September.

The Government of Alberta announced on July 21 that all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will re-enter school this fall under Scenario 1: in-school learning with class resuming at near-normal operations and health measures.

“This is in-line with the preference of students and parents, and RVS is appreciative of the government’s early announcement, which will allow our jurisdiction time to finalize its plans under this scenario,” said a letter sent to parents on July 22 that was signed by RVS Board Chair Fiona Gilbert and Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach.

“With the safety and well-being of students and staff at the forefront of all efforts, RVS will be changing some school routines and practices to adhere to provincial risk mitigation strategies by employing multiple layers of protection.”

One of these measures includes 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.

Other procedures include:

  • 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 coughing/sneezing etiquette
  • Outlining shared material and equipment handling
  • Assigning mandatory seating plans on buses

According to the letter, given the evolving nature of the pandemic, RVS will be working to minimize risks under this scenario. However, the letter reminds everyone that circumstances may change, which may see the province mandate that schools move to a blended or at-home learning format with very little notice.

“We recommend that you have contingency plans in place to support your children and family should such an event arise,” states the letter.

The detailed description of the RVS preliminary re-entry plan for Scenario 1 is accessible on RVS’ public website by clicking here.

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.

“RVS recognizes parents and staff will likely have questions in the coming weeks as we all prepare to return to school,” states the letter.

“We encourage you to submit your questions through our website when the form we are creating opens Aug. 4. Parents and guardians are also asked to watch for an email on or before Aug. 28 with more details of what they can expect for their children when school returns.”

The provincial government has also provided a re-entry tool kit that provides detailed information on the screening process, what will happen if a case of COVID-19 is reported in a school, cleaning procedures and more.