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PWPSD School Re-Entry Plan: Update #3, July 2, 2020

In our second update on June 26, 2020, we shared the results of the PWPSD Re-entry Survey, provided answers to your questions, and included a screening tool that must be used at home for daily self-assessment. Beginning in September, anyone who will access our schools for work or education must self-screen for symptoms each morning before leaving home.  

 
For now, we continue to target Scenario 1 in our re-entry planning: a return to normal school operations with health measures in place. In the event of a regional COVID-19 outbreak during the summer months, Alberta Health and Alberta Education will advise us on the next steps, which could include a move to Scenario 2 where schools are partially reopened, with restrictions; or Scenario 3, a temporary return to home learning until the situation is brought under control. The same may be true if cases rise during the school year. 

Today’s update focuses on the recommended hand hygiene and our enhanced cleaning measures to help keep students and staff safe. As the first line of defence against the virus, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hinshaw regularly reminds us of the importance of good hygiene and disinfection. Here are some ways students, families and our school staff can support this advice: 

Recommended hand hygiene for students and staff: 
  • Wash your hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer often while at school. A sink and/or hand sanitizer may be available in high traffic areas, such as entrances, classrooms, and near high-touch equipment such as microwave ovens and vending machines.

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering a classroom; after returning from recess; and before eating. 

  • Avoid touching your face to reduce the chance of transmission through your eyes, nose and mouth.  

  • Label personal items and do not share them. Do not share food, drinks or utensils. 

Enhanced cleaning measures for schools and buses: 
  • More frequent cleaning of high contact surfaces such as microwave ovens, vending machines, water fountain knobs and buttons, washrooms and shared equipment; and in high traffic areas such as libraries and cafeterias. 

  • Items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed from schools. 

  • Buses will be equipped with hand sanitizer, to be used when boarding the bus. 

  • Buses will be cleaned following morning and afternoon runs. An assigned seating plan will see students from the same household seated together, where possible. 

The PWPSD School Re-entry Committee is continuing its planning work during the summer months and we will continue to provide regular updates. The final decision from Alberta Education will be announced by August 1st.


Schedule of PWPSD School Re-entry Planning Updates to Families:

  • Update #1, June 8, 2020: Launch of PWPSD’s School Re-entry Planning process and survey.  

  • Update #2, end of June 2020: We reported on the PWPSD School Re-Entry Survey, and provided a screening tool and answers to your questions

  • Update #3, mid-July 2020: This is your current update, which focuses on the recommended hand hygiene and our enhanced cleaning measures. Please note that Alberta Education will be providing final direction on the re-entry scenario by August 1st

  • Update #4, end of July 2020

  • Update #5, early August 2020

  • Update #6, mid-August 2020: This update will include our finalized school operations plans for the 2020-21 school year, including transportation plans. 

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Sears, Angela7/2/2020 11:38 AM02 Jul, 2020
School’s out for summer – PWPSD wishes students, families and staff an enjoyable, much-deserved break

Grande Prairie, AB – Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) is pleased to join with 6,000 Kindergarten - Grade 12 students and their families, the 375 teachers, 600 non-teaching staff and a number of part-time and casual personnel in 36 schools and three offices today to celebrate the end of the 2019-20 school year. Central Office in Grande Prairie will maintain regular office hours throughout the summer, with the exception of Friday afternoons during July 3 - August 14 when the office will be closed to the public.

PWPSD commends students, families and staff for rising to the challenges of home learning. A second regular update on school re-entry planning was shared with families today, and more will be sent out during the summer months. Alberta Education will announce a final decision on the re-entry scenario by August 1. 

Upcoming school year calendars
The first day of school is Tuesday, September 1. Families may subscribe to PWPSD's online calendar at http://www.pwpsd.ca/Calendar to receive alerts of important dates on their computer or mobile device. Families should also review a printable PDF of the 2020-2021 school year calendar, available at http://www.pwpsd.ca/Resources/ParentResources/calendars, and be mindful of official school holidays when booking vacation time. 

School supply lists, online registration, and school fees
Important back-to-school information will be posted under the 'Registration' tab on all PWPSD school websites, including links to school supply lists, online registration, and school fees. 

Online registration for new students and the Returning Student Update Form |
New families may access PWPSD's online registration at any time by clicking the 'Registration' tab on the PWPSD website and all school websites. Families will be contacted near the end of August once school staff are back in the office and approving applications. In September, families of returning students will be emailed a Snap Code to complete the Returning Student Update Form to verify demographic information such as address, phone number and emergency contacts. Schools provide computer access to those who do not have Internet service. 

Bus safety and e-notifications
When school reopens, trained PWPSD busing representatives will conduct free safety presentations at participating schools, that may include a safety talk, video and drills. Prior to the return to school, school bus drivers will contact families to share pick-up times. Once school begins, families can sign up for email notifications on the status of individual or multiple bus routes at http://transportation.pwpsd.ca.

Kindergarten start-up
Registered Kindergarten students and their parents may be scheduled for staggered entry or orientation sessions when school reopens. Staggered entry provides a smaller group setting for first-time students and eases the transition for both parents and young children. Kindergarten start-up dates vary by school and will be published under the 'Registration' tab on school websites.

PWPSD wishes all students, families and staff a safe and enjoyable summer – we look forward to seeing you when school reopens!

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Sears, Angela6/26/2020 4:22 PM26 Jun, 2020
PWPSD School Re-Entry Plan: Update #2, June 26, 2020

In our first update on June 8, 2020, we shared that Alberta Education was considering three possible scenarios for school re-entry in September. Since that time, the Minister of Education has announced they are targeting Scenario 1 – Normal school operations are able to resume, with health measures in place.


The decision to target Scenario 1 was partially based on feedback provided in a province-wide survey conducted in May by the Alberta School Councils' Association (ASCA), on behalf of Alberta Education, with 86% of survey respondents saying they are in favour of a return to school plan for K-12 students in September.

In our first update to families, we also included a survey to gather feedback on the three possible scenarios. A total of 1,332 people completed the PWPSD survey.

When asked, "If I had a choice, given the current situation, I would choose to:"

  1. Return to school full-time in September: 73% said they would choose this option.
  2. Return to school part-time in September: 18% said they would choose this option.
  3. Continue with full-time at-home learning: 9% said they would choose this option.

 As seen in the province-wide ASCA survey feedback, the majority of PWPSD families indicated their preference for a return to full-time schooling in September.

For now, our target is Scenario 1, a return to normal school operations with health measures in place. In the event of a regional COVID-19 outbreak during the summer months, Alberta Health and Alberta Education will advise us on the next steps, which could include a move to Scenario 2 where schools are partially reopened, with restrictions; or Scenario 3, a temporary return to home learning until the situation is brought under control. The same may be true if cases rise during the school year.

The PWPSD School Re-entry Committee is continuing its planning work during the summer months. We will provide regular updates to families in July and August, and we will share the final decision from Alberta Education, to be announced by August 1st

The virus has created a new normal for us all, and with it has come unique challenges that we have had to face, head on. We commend our students, families and staff for rising to these challenges, and we take comfort in the knowledge that this virus will not last forever. Until then, we must work together to support the necessary changes.

The attached four-page document provides answers to questions and concerns submitted via the parent survey. A screening tool that must be used at home for daily self-assessment is included on page 4. Beginning in September, anyone who will access our schools for work or education must self-screen for symptoms each morning before leaving home.

Thank you,
Peace Wapiti Public School Division

Sears, Angela6/26/2020 2:53 PM26 Jun, 2020Attachment