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.
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.
Peace Wapiti Public School Division