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Peace Wapiti Public School Division
Educating today for success tomorrow
Peace Wapiti Public School Division No. 76
COVID-19

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Information for Staff and Families

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Last updated: Tuesday, March 24 at 2:15 p.m. 


Update from PWPSD: Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 2:15 p.m.
Home learning plans launching today

Read the full announcement on the PWPSD website.

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Ministry of Education Communication: Friday, March 20, 2020, 4:30 p.m. 
Letter to parents and Questions & Answers document

Access PDFs of both documents on the PWPSD website.

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Update from the Alberta Government: Friday, March 20, 2020, 10:30 a.m. 
Ministry of Education announces plan for continuing student learning

Read the full announcement on the PWPSD website.

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Update from PWPSD: Thursday, March 19, 2020, 1:20 p.m. 

Dear Parents and Guardians – A statement of clarity regarding yesterday's media release.

Near the end of yesterday's media release, we stated that, "Schools will be contacting families to provide instructions for accessing the resources and tools."

Following this announcement, our schools received a number of calls and emails, seeking access to the resources and tools. To be clear, our intent is that schools will contact families.

Allow us to further clarify this message with the following statement:

"Once Alberta Education provides further direction, PWPSD will be able to activate the plan to support student learning. After this occurs, schools will be contacting families to provide further instructions."          

Sincerely,

Peace Wapiti Public School Division and its schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                            ******************************************************************************************************


Update from PWPSD: Wednesday, March 18, 2020, 4:15 p.m. 
COVID-19 Update: PWPSD takes precautionary measures, provides learning resources for families

Read PWPSD's media release on precautionary measures and learning resources.

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Update from PWPSD: Monday, March 16, 2020, 3:45 p.m. 
COVID-19 and moving foward with education

Read PWPSD's media release on moving forward with education. 

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Update from PWPSD: Monday, March 16, and until further notice:
All PWPSD school buses routes are cancelled indefinitely following the indefinite closure of classes.

This message has been posted to clarify that buses will NOT run while schools allow students and families to collect personal items. PWPSD bus drivers have also been contacting families directly. http://transportation.pwpsd.ca

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Update from PWPSD: Sunday, March 15, 2020, 5:30 p.m.:
Minister of Education cancels classes indefinitely


Read the update from the Minister of Education. 

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Update from PWPSD: Sunday, March 15, 4:00 p.m.: 
What are "respiratory symptoms"?

Respiratory refers to any part of the body that is involved in breathing – namely, the nose, the mouth/throat and the lungs. If your child is showing ANY illness related to the respiratory system, they will need to stay at home. 

PWPSD staff are aware that this directive also pertains to them. All health directives provided to education authorities by Alberta Education are based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, and are therefore applicable to ALL Albertans. 


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Update from Alberta Education: Saturday, March 14, 2020: 
Parents/guardians of students/children should be informed that there is ZERO TOLERANCE for children with ANY respiratory symptoms attending school or child care centres.


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Update from PWPSD: Friday, March 13:

Peace Wapiti Public School Division (PWPSD) is monitoring and following all updates and recommendations provided by the Government of Alberta. While it is important to remember that the current risk in Alberta is low, this may change in the coming weeks. Our planning will reflect any changes announced by the Government of Alberta. The safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If staff, parents/guardians or students are sick, please do not attend or visit schools. We encourage families to plan for their child's care, should it become necessary.

All school-based non-essential and extracurricular activities have been cancelled, including sporting events and face-to-face Parent-Teacher Interviews. 


New Public Health Restrictions issued by the Government of Alberta

On March 12, the Alberta Government announced the following new restrictions: 

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Alberta has implemented new public health restrictions.

Events
The following mass gatherings should be cancelled:

  • Events with more than 50 attendees that involves international participants, critical infrastructure staff, seniors, or other high-risk populations.

  • Large events with more than 250 attendees:
    • Includes: sporting events, conferences and community events
    • Does not include: places of worship, grocery stores, airports or shopping centres
Events that do not meet this criteria can proceed, but risk mitigation measures must be in place, such as providing sanitizer stations and distancing between attendees.

Schools, daycares and post-secondary institutions
Schools, daycares and post-secondary institutions can remain open at this time, but steps should be taken to ensure no more than 250 people are in the same room at any given time.

Departing travellers
Travel outside Canada is not recommended at this time. Given the rapid global spread of COVID-19, it is no longer possible to assess health risks for the duration of the trip.

Returning travellers

Returned before March 12
  • Travellers returning from Italy, Iran, China’s Hubei province and the Grand Princess cruise ship should self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms

  • Travellers returning from other countries outside Canada should monitor for symptoms for 14 days

  • If symptoms develop (cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing), stay home and call Health Link 811 for testing
Returning after March 12

  • All travellers returning from outside Canada should self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms

  • If symptoms develop (cough, fever, fatigue or difficulty breathing), stay home and call Health Link 811 for testing

  • If you develop symptoms – cough, fever or difficulty breathing – stay home and call Health Link 811 for instructions and testing. Do not go to the ER or doctor's office.


Symptoms

According to the Government of Alberta's COVID-19 information webpage, COVID-19 symptoms are similar to influenza or other respiratory illnesses. Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • extreme tiredness

Symptom of serious illness include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia

If you have these symptoms, call Health Link 811 for instructions.


COVID-19 is transmitted through person-to-person spread by:

  • larger droplets, like from a cough or sneeze
  • touching contaminated objects or surfaces, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Handwashing

It is important for students, staff and families to practice proper hand hygiene to reduce the spread of germs:

Cleaning

PWPSD is being proactive in assessing and reviewing Alberta Health recommendations for cleaning practices. Currently, all hard surfaces are being cleaned daily. 

NEW INFO, as of Sunday, March 15, 2020: All hard surfaces will also receive a mid-day cleaning on school days. 

Any school with an absentee rate higher than 10 per cent will receive deeper and more frequent cleaning. Also, bus drivers have begun using wipes and disinfectant sprays to clean bus interiors daily. 


International Field Trips and Business-Related Travel

Based on the Government of Alberta announcement on March 12, travel outside of Canada is not recommended at this time. All international school student trips are cancelled, effective immediately. Business-related travel outside the province of Alberta is no longer approved for PWPSD staff. 

For those who have recently returned from a trip outside of Canada, please follow self-isolation instructions on the Government of Alberta website. 


Supporting and Talking to Students

COVID-19 can make students (and families) anxious. Teachers may talk to students about their fears and explain how to reduce anxiety by understanding COVID-19, hand washing, etc. This resource from America's National Association of School Psychologists may be helpful: Talking to Children about Coronavirus, which expands on the following topics:

  • Remain calm and reassuring.
  • Make yourself available to students.
  • Avoid excessive blaming.
  • Monitor television viewing and social media.
  • Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.
  • Be honest and accurate.
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.
  • Discuss new rules or practices at school.
  • Parents: Let your school know if your child is sick.