What Will School Look Like?

Preamble

On August 5, 2020, Holy Spirit Catholic Schools will be sending out a survey to all parents.  One part of this survey will be asking parents to decide if they plan on sending their child to school in September or continue with an at-home learning program.  To help parents make this decision, we thought we should share new protocols that will be in place at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.  Please review these protocols before you complete the August 5 parent survey.

Please note that these protocols are subject to change as we adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our staff has been unable to review this document, so please consider it to be a draft.  A finalized document will be sent out to parents before school starts.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we do our best to address together with the many issues that face us.

Guiding Principles for Re-Entry Planning

  • The health, safety and well-being of students and staff is a priority.
  • Holy Spirit Catholic School Division will attend to the protocols established by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education in all aspects of schooling, with the main focus on student learning.
  • We respect that parents are the first educators and primary decision-makers for their children.
  • Students and staff who are vulnerable require attention to accommodations.
  • Students will have quality learning opportunities that are guided by Alberta Education mandates and the provincial Programs of Study.
  • Staff will have access to the professional learning, collaboration and support they need to grow the instructional practice in all potential methods of delivery.
  • Consistency of program delivery over time is important for the sound allocation of staffing and resources.

Background and Direction from Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services

The provincial government considered three different scenarios when classes start again in the fall:

  1. A return to near normal operations and routines in school (NEAR NORMAL OPERATIONS).
  2. Schools are partially re-opened, with some level of restrictions. These restrictions will be determined by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education. This means that a combination of in-school and at-home learning opportunities may exist (HYBRID OPERATIONS).
  3. Schools remain closed, and students continue learning from home (AT-HOME LEARNING).

On July 21, 2020, the government decided on scenario 1.

Key Documents

Guidelines for Maintaining Safe & Healthy Schools in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

2020-21 School Re-Entry Plan

Get the Facts

Self-Screening Questionnaire

NEAR NORMAL OPERATIONS (Scenario 1)                     

First Week of School with Students

  • All staff and students are to do the daily Self-Screening Questionnaire 
    • If you are symptomatic, you are legally required to self-isolate and should be tested for COVID-19.
    • If you decide not to test for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for ten days.
    • With any positive COVID-19 case, the school will follow established guidelines from Alberta Heath Services.
    • If sick at school:
      • Please put on a non-medical mask, and the staff/student will isolate in a separate room.
      • The school will notify parents/guardians to come and pick-up students immediately.
      • Please follow self-isolation and testing procedures.
  • Class Lists – Posted outside and emailed on Friday, August 28
  • The first week of school may not be a typical week.  We are looking at different grades, starting on different days for us to be able to teach students the various new safety protocols and routines.

Parents choosing to have their child educated by at-home learning

  • We are awaiting direction from our divisional office on this issue.
  • Once parent survey results (August) are in, we will have a better understanding of at-home learning.
  • Depending on the number of students, we may have to create some multi-age cohorts.
  • As per Mr. Sampson’s letter, July 29, 2020 – he writes to parents, “…your child’s at-home delivery teacher will not be the same teacher if they attend in-school classes, but rather another teacher within the division.”  Also, he indicated students would learn their core subjects.
  • We are unsure of the guidelines for the amount of time for at-home learning.  Scenario 3 guidelines are:
    • ECS to Grade 3 – LA and math incorporating health, religion – 5 hours per week
    • Grade 4 to 6 – LA and math incorporating science, social studies and wellness, religion – 6 to 8 hours per week
    • Grade 7 to 9 – LA, math, science, social studies, wellness, religion – 12 to 16 hours per week

Masks – as per the August 4 update

  • It is mandatory for all Grade 4 to 9 students and staff to wear non-medical masks in common areas, hallways, and busses.  Wearing non-medical masks is not required in the classroom except when social distancing is not possible, and there is close contact between individuals.  When this occurs, non-medical masks are required.
    • It will be optional for all Kindergarten to Grade 3 students.
    • The government will be providing two reusable non-medical masks and some disposable non-medical masks.
    • The school staff will be provided with a face shield.  Wearing a face shield for staff will be optional.

Student Arrival                                     

  • Closed Campus
    • Father Leonard Van Tighem and all other Holy Spirit Catholic Schools will be closed to the public.  This closed campus includes parents/guardians.  Also, this means students are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the school day.
    • Parents/Guardians who need to come to the school are to call the school first and will be limited to going to the office.
  • New parking lot (still under construction)
    • It’s a little different, especially at the west end.  Please do not park in the fire lane.  Also, when exiting, please turn right (north).
  • Muster points.  To assist with social distancing and limit hallway traffic, students will be entering and exiting the building from different doors.  We will share more information and a map once our muster points are finalized.
  • Students walking to school
    • When walking to school and once you are on school grounds, maintain social distancing and go your muster point.  Your homeroom teacher will meet you at the muster point, organize you into a line, and bring you into the school.  Once you get to your classroom, you will need to sanitize your hands.  During the first period, students will be allowed to go to their lockers at staggered times.
  • Students being dropped off at school
    • Please do not park in the fire lane.  Maintain social distancing and go to your muster point.   Your homeroom teacher will meet you at the muster point, organize you into a line, and bring you into the school.  Once you get to your classroom, you will need to sanitize your hands.  During the first period, students will be allowed to go to their lockers at staggered times.
  • Students being brought to school by parents
    • Once on school grounds, maintain social distancing with other families.  Please go to your muster points.  Parents are not allowed to enter the building.  Your homeroom teacher will meet you at the muster point, organize you into a line, and bring you into the school.  Once you get to your classroom, you will need to sanitize your hands.  During the first period, students will be allowed to go to their lockers at staggered times.
  • Students taking the bus to school
    • Once you get off the bus, maintain social distancing and go to your muster point.  Your homeroom teacher will meet you at the muster point, organize you into a line, and bring you into the school.  Once you get to your classroom, you will need to sanitize your hands.  During the first period, students will be allowed to go to their lockers at staggered times.

School Day

  • Cohorts
    • Students will spend their day together as a homeroom cohort.  There will be no mixing of the cohorts during the school day, lunch hour, and breaks.  Traditionally, some students move to other classrooms, especially Jr. High students.  This year, teachers will be moving from class to class, and students will stay in their homeroom.  There may be some minor exceptions to this rule for specific learning scenarios.
  • All subjects will occur.  There will be a different process for Jr. High Options.
  • Student breaks
    • Microwave – there will be no access to microwaves for students.  Students are not to bring food that needs a microwave.
    • Elementary nutrition breaks and recess breaks – although we are piloting the Balanced School Day approach, we will have to make some schedule adaptations.  Students will stay together in their cohorts and will be eating in their classrooms with no access to microwaves.  We hope to have limited access to our canteen.  Different homerooms may have different nutrition break times and recesses than other students.  The timing of the breaks will depend on the availability of staff supervision.  Students will have to social distance, and classes will have to follow a break schedule of time and location.
    •  JH lunch – students will stay together in their cohorts.  Students will be eating in their classroom with no access to microwaves, and we hope to have limited access to our canteen.  After students have eaten, they will take a break as a cohort.  FLVT is now a closed campus meaning students are not allowed to leave the school grounds during the school day.  The timing of the breaks will depend on the availability of staff supervision.
    •  JH between class breaks – grade level students will have different class break times.  For example, Grade 7s may be dismissed before the class break bells to go to their lockers, Grade 8s may have their break during the bell times, and Grade 9s may have their break after the bell times.  This new routine will assist with hallway congestion.
  • Hallway Movement
    • During the first days of school, students will be taught how to follow the floor decals and directions to assist with the flow of student traffic in the hallway.  As much as possible, everyone is to support social distancing practices.  Ideally, student lockers will be near their classroom, but often this is not possible.
    • Elementary recess – students will be entering and exiting by their muster point doors, therefore limiting hallway congestion.  Also, different classes may have different break times.
  • Common Areas
    • Canteen – Students will not be eating in the canteen.  We hope that our canteen will be able to be open for their usual services, except all purchases will have to be individual serving (no buffet-style meals like Taco in a Bag).  Students will need to enter via the south doors, exit via the west doors, and follow social distancing practices in the canteen.
    • Gym – The gym will be open for Physical Education classes.  When there are two classes in the gym, the middle curtain will be down.  Shared items will be disinfected after student use.  Physical Education teachers will be adapting lessons to limit the usage of equipment.  All students will have to sanitize their hands before and after entering the gym.
    • The Mezzanine – Students will not be able to use the mezzanine individually, but cohorts may use this space throughout the day, especially as a break area.
    • Music Room – When needed, the music room will be available.  Music lessons will be adapted to follow COVID-19 guidelines, and students will have to sanitize their hands before and after entering the music room.  Shared items will be disinfected after student use.
    • Bathrooms – There will probably be an increase in bathroom use due to the need to increase the frequency of handwashing. Restrooms will be limited to a certain number of students (portable bathrooms – 5, other bathrooms 4).
    • Library – We are waiting for direction from our divisional office regarding guidelines for library use.
    • Sick Room – Our current sick room will serve as an isolation room.  Once a student is in the sick room, parents will be contacted to pick up their child immediately.  Our sick room has a limit of two students, and if there are more than two students that need the sick room, ill students will be isolated in other areas of the school.  The sick room, or another isolation room, will be cleaned after a sick student has left the room.
    • Computer Lab/Carts – Electronic devices will be cleaned and disinfected after use.
  • Classroom
    • Teachers will be spreading out the desks/tables to encourage physical distancing as much as possible.
    • Students and staff will sanitize their hands when they enter and leave the classroom.
    • Teachers will place student desks, so students do not face each other.
  • Water fountains
    • Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school; the school will have a small supply of disposable water bottles on hand.
    • FLVT has one bottle refill station near the front doors.  This station will be open.
    • All other water fountains will be closed to student use.
    • Classes with sinks, water taps will be available for use, provided there is a protocol for cleaning the taps after every use.
  • There will be no intramurals, assemblies, or large gatherings.  Students will be staying in their cohorts.
  • JH Options
    • As JH students must stay in their homeroom cohort, JH Options are now JH Complementary Courses with no student choice.  JH teachers will determine what classes occur during the JH Complimentary Courses time.  We will review this format for Quarter 3 and 4.

Dismissal

  • Muster Points
    • Students will be dismissed and will be exiting the same doors that they entered.  Parents can meet their children at the designated muster points (see above map).
  • Students walking home
    • Once students have exited the building, following social distancing practices, they are to leave school grounds right away.
  • Students getting picked up by parents
    • Once students have exited the building, they can meet their parents at the designated muster points.  Following social distancing practices, families are to leave the school grounds.
  • Students taking the bus home
    • Once students have exited the building, following social distancing practices, they are to line up near their typical bus pick up.  Once on the bus, please follow the instructions of the bus driver.
  • Afterschool Program – It’s a Blast.  We are still looking into how this program will be operated.

Bussing

  • Effective September 2020, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division will only be providing bus transportation to and from school for students who reside 2.4 kilometres or further from their designated school.  As we continue to deal with the challenges of COVID-19, we will no longer be able to accommodate bussing students less than 2.4 kilometres away from their designated school or those students who attend a school of choice.  Please note the distance between the student’s residence and school is determined by a specific program that determines the shortest walking distance to the school.
  • Should your child have additional transportation needs, based on their current Individual Student Plan, our division’s Inclusive Education Team will be in contact with you to make appropriate arrangements when more is known. Also, families of students eligible for transportation can expect to receive a survey in early August 2020, asking if they plan to use the transportation services available to them. This information will help us to establish our rider lists and routes for eligible students.

Provincial and Divisional Assessments

  • All students will be excused from Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs).
  • For the Grade 3 Student Learning Assessment (SLA) in early fall, students will write the digital portion; the performance tasks are optional.
  • Divisional Common Math Assessments (CMA) – The dates are yet to be determined.
  • Teachers will continue to us Fountas and Pinnell as the divisional literacy assessment tool.

General

  • Summary of Health measures will include, but are not limited to:
    • Appropriate hand sanitizing and handwashing, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing (when and where possible in schools and on buses), increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection, student cohorts, and having staff and students stay home when ill or are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms. 
  • Teachers will organize their classrooms to increase learning space.
    • No fabric resources, furniture, or items not easily cleaned.
  • The staff have limited access to the school, Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm.
  • The staff room limit is 15 people.
  • Playground/fields
    • The school will be developing a schedule for student use of the playground and fields.  After students go outside to use the various facility, they will need to sanitize their hands.
  • Co-curricular – All co-curricular activities are suspended.
  • Fine Arts – All current fine arts productions are suspended, a decision regarding the Jr. High production of Aladdin Jr. is pending. 
  • Fieldtrips – Only field trips within Holy Spirit Catholic Schools’ boundaries will be allowed.  No field trips that involve bussing will be permitted.
  • Traditional, we do a school fundraiser in September to raise funds for a variety of events and programs at the school.  At this point, we have not decided if we will be continuing this event.
  • Student Sign-in and Sign-out
    • Late arrivals – if a student is late to school, they are to enter by the front entrance and report to the office.
    • Leaving early – if a student is leaving early from school, they are to report to the office, sign-out and then proceed out the front doors.
  • New Portable
    • At this point, we do not know when our new portable will be completed.

Positive COVID-19 Cases

  • If there are any positive COVID-19 cases at FLVT, we would work with Alberta Health Services and follow their recommendations. 
  • We would follow strict confidentiality guidelines.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we do our best during this pandemic.

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