Dear Wolf Creek Public Schools’ families,
As in-home learning wrapped up this past week, I would like to again thank parents/guardians and students for your tremendous resilience and adaptability as we changed the learning model to navigate the public health emergency of COVID-19.
As you know, we at Wolf Creek Public Schools are developing plans for the 2020-21 school year, based on guidance from Alberta Education and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. As we have communicated in the past, there are three (3) scenarios that Alberta’s Education Minister has directed school divisions to prepare for.
Those scenarios are:
- Normal school operations are able to resume
- Schools are partially reopened, with some level of restrictions
- Teacher-directed at-home learning continues
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said that although it is still uncertain, as a province they are hoping and aiming for Scenario #1 (Normal school operations are able to resume) with additional health measures, and safety procedures in place, but admitted scenarios can change as local health needs dictate.
Wolf Creek Public Schools has spent considerable time in creating a Re-Entry Guidance Plan for September to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment, while preserving the kind of classroom structure students are accustomed to. The Re-Entry Guidance Plan, which has been shared with all staff for feedback, focuses on several areas essential to a safe return to schools in the fall and a commitment to the health of students, staff and the public health at large.
The broad focus has included:
The frequency of school cleaning will increase, with a deep clean and disinfection of schools, especially high-touch areas and equipment. We are also expanding the number of custodians and moving cleaning schedules to focus on enhanced cleaning and sanitizing during school hours. Buses will be cleaned and sanitized after each run.
Screening and daily precautions:
WCPS and your school will be communicating further before the fall on self-screening, before students leave the home, to ensure that a student or staff member does not attend school if they have symptoms or are ill. A screening information tool will be provided to each family upon registration.
Procedures are being finalized to address staff and students who develop symptoms either on the bus, on the way to school, or at school. For students that will include providing them with a mask before taking them to a designated room where they can be comfortable until parents/ guardians can come to the school and pick them up. The room would then be cleaned and sanitized.
Visitors of the school will be asked to do the same self-screening prior to attending the school. Restrictions will also be in place to limit the number of visitors allowed in each school.
Procurement of Protective Personal Equipment (PPE), staffing and resources:
WCPS Board of Trustees has approved $400,000 in regards to supplies, staff, resources and contingency as part of school re-entry plans for September. This commitment will greatly enhance the preparedness of the school division and our schools in our continued planning and response for the 2020-21 school year.
Communication with families:
Additionally, we are setting up a COVID-19 section on each school website, as well as updating the section on the Division website at www.wolfcreek.ab.ca. Please watch this link for updates in August. These sections will contain updated information over the summer months and into the school year, and your individual school Re-Entry Plan will be posted in these sections, once those plans are finalized. We will also be continuing to communicate with you as more details are available via email, and social media.
The Government of Alberta has stated that by August 1, 2020 they will inform school divisions and all Albertans what scenario for school Re-Entry we can expect. As stated, we are all hoping and focused on Scenario #1, while preparing for all three scenarios. Each community and each school has its own unique realities, and as such each school will be taking the overarching protocols, procedures and guidelines and developing individual school plans to address school Re-Entry and the 2020-21 school year. As we continue to work over the summer, school plans will be finalized by mid-August, based on direction from Alberta Education and Alberta Heath, and shared to parents in advance of the school year commencing.
I understand there are a lot of additional questions and it is our commitment to address these concerns. But, as work continues, I wanted to give you the broad sense of some of the preparations that are underway. I do hope you and your family have an enjoyable, safe, healthy and relaxing summer. We will be updating you again over the summer months, as we all hope for a return to students in the classroom learning with their friends and guided by teachers and school communities.
Have a great summer.