Update #6: August 20, 2020
Supports to help prepare students for school re-entry in September
Update #5: August 7, 2020
Wellness and well-being of students, staff and school communities is a priority of PWPSD’s relaunch. In our sixth and final update to families, we are providing supports to help prepare students for school re-entry in September.
The most important thing to remember right now is that your children will be returning to the familiar, welcoming environment of their school, to teachers and staff who care for their well-being. We provide a range of supports and services to address students’ physical, social and mental well-being. Our staff regularly attend sessions and complete further education to better support student mental health and wellness.
We focus on a well-rounded approach of positive behaviour supports, including:
- Meaningful connections
- Routine, stability and flexible learning environment
- Predictability and consistency
- Foundational wellness practices for all students
We will follow three principles in our school re-entry process:
- Collaboration: Student engagement, school and division collaboration, parent engagement, and collaboration with outside service providers.
- Assessment: Identify where students are in their mental health and well-being. Provide continual check-ins for ongoing monitoring. Outline a clear process to ensure early identification for those in need of further support.
- PWPSD’s Student First Framework for Learning: A document that guides staff in providing increasing levels of support to students – from promotion to prevention, to early identification, intervention and specialized services.
Resources to use when talking to your child about school re-entry:
Parents who wish to continue with remote learning should contact PWPSD Central Office at (780) 532-8133 by August 24.
PWPSD School Re-entry Plan for the 2020-21 School Year
Update #4: July 23, 2020
Today, Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) released its School Re-entry Plan for the 2020-21 School Year. (Updates since the release of this document by PWPSD on August 7, 2020 are noted throughout as NEW.) The plan was developed by Central Office and school administration who formed the PWPSD Relaunch Committee after the move to at-home learning in March, and follows direction provided by the Government of Alberta in their 2020-2021 School Re-entry Plan.
In addition to today's re-entry plan release, PWPSD has been sharing regular updates to families via email since early June, which can also be accessed on the dedicated PWPSD School Re-entry Plan 2020-21 webpage and the division's Facebook and Twitter feeds. Topics covered in the updates ranged from a survey early in June to determine parents' willingness to send their children back to school in September; answers to frequently-asked questions; recommended hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning measures for schools and buses; and the province's self-screening tool and announcement that students and staff will return to school in September under Scenario 1 – in-class learning with enhanced health and safety measures. PWPSD families can expect to receive a final email update mid-August outlining the mental health supports available to students, a vital element in the school re-entry process.
Near the end of August, some schools may opt to share school-specific operational information with their families on what to expect when school reopens.
PWPSD Re-entry Plan offers teaching and learning options for families
A one-page Teaching and Learning supplement was also released for any parents wishing to continue with remote learning as an alternative to the planned Scenario 1 return to in-school classes in September. To accommodate this model, the 2020-21 school year will offer parents of Grades 1-9 students three term re-entry points for a possible return to in-school learning, and two semester re-entry points for Grades 10-12 students. Parents who prefer to begin the school year with teacher-led remote instruction should contact PWPSD Central Office at (780) 532-8133 by August 24th to ensure their child's seat in a school will be reserved should the family decide to return to in-school learning at the next available re-entry point.
Direct mail piece includes self-screening tool
Later this month, PWPSD families will receive a direct mail piece covering the plan's highlights, along with instruction on the required daily use of the enclosed self-screening tool that was published by the province in July.
We look forward to welcoming our students and staff back in September.
Alberta Education School Re-entry Plan: Scenario 1
Update #3: July 2, 2020
This is our fourth update to families. Earlier this week, the Government of Alberta announced that students across Alberta will return to classrooms for the 2020-21 school year under Scenario 1: In-class learning with enhanced health and safety measures.
The following documents, published by the Government of Alberta, include highlights from the announcement.
The PWPSD School Re-entry Committee is continuing its planning work during the summer months and we will continue to provide regular updates throughout the month of August.
Recommended hand hygiene for students and staff, and enhanced cleaning measures for schools and buses
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.
Update #2: June 26, 2020
PWPSD School Re-entry Planning Survey Results, FAQs, and the Screening Tool
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:”
- Return to school full-time in September: 73% said they would choose this option.
- Return to school part-time in September: 18% said they would choose this option.
- 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.
In our email to families on June 26, we included answers to questions and concerns submitted via the parent survey. They are included in the "Frequently Asked Questions" link below. We also provided 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.
View this PDF document for answers to the questions submitted by families who completed the PWPSD School Re-entry Planning Survey. The survey closed on June 14, 2020.
We understand that you may have many questions and concerns. Please know that we are parents also, and we share in your feelings. This is a unique time that requires a very careful approach to planning.
For this reason, we have developed a 2020-21 School Re-entry Committee consisting of PWPSD Central Office Administration, including Transportation, and School Principals who represent the variety of schools in our division, including high school, elementary, K-12, large and small schools, and urban and rural schools.
Please remember that we will be providing regular updates to families during the summer months that will reflect the latest guidance from Alberta Education and Alberta Health. Answers to some of your questions will depend on direction from these ministries.