Thank you to all the students who entered our We Are All Treaty People Poster Contest. We had well over 250 entries. We hope that the students learned about the long-standing partnership between all of us. Also, thank you to FLVT School Council for sponsoring the contest. It wasn’t easy to pick from the many excellent posters. Here are our winners:
Honourable Mention to the following students ($10 canteen voucher for each student):
Thank you again for supporting our We Are All Treaty People Poster Contest.
Dear parents/guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,
As I’m sure all of you would agree, it’s been a challenging start to the school year. I am so proud of how our students and staff have risen to the challenge to continually take care of each other.
While I appreciate the significant efforts put forth, I am also aware that this holy work can be draining – physically, emotionally and spiritually. That is why, after discussing the matter with our Board Chair, I have declared that Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 will be non-operational days across the division. This means that there will be no students in school on these days. As always, Wednesday, November 11 will be closed in honour of Remembrance Day. Fortunately, as our schools are well over the instructional time required by the province, the time away for students will not impact their learning significantly.
My hope is that this time will serve as a richly deserved wellness break for our entire divisional family. I pray that you will be rested and rejuvenated when we return to school on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
May God continue to bless each and every one of you.
As cold weather is starting, we want to clarify the protocols for our muster points.
– current protocols are in place until the outside temperature reaches -15C (including wind-chill);
– if the temperature is below -15C (including wind-chill), the school will open the various muster point doors at 8:30 am, and students need to go directly to their classrooms. Students must not arrive early. Please arrive at your muster point doors just moments before 8:30 am.
– current protocols will continue to be in place;
– if you will be late, please contact the school.
Finally, we want to give you a friendly reminder to please have your child dressed appropriately for the weather.
Please read this important message from our Superintendent. We are glad that we have not had a positive case at our school, but we want to make sure that we can quickly deal with it and limit its effect in the school. Notifying the school of positive COVID-19 results would be very beneficial.
October 21, 2020
Dear parents, guardians and staff of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,
Recently, Alberta Health Services (AHS) improved its methods for sending COVID-19 test results by relaying them via text message. This means that parents/guardians are often provided with this information well before the school or division.
As a result, we are asking that, if and when you learn of any positive test results in your home, please share this information with your child’s school administration. This will allow us to follow up with AHS and provide notification to families as quickly as possible about the need to isolate.
We certainly recognize that this may be uncomfortable information to share. Rest assured that maintaining both your dignity and privacy is a responsibility that we take very seriously. Our aim is simply to reduce the spread of this disease and ensure the health and safety of our staff and students.
As the snow is now starting, we want to remind parents to be careful and safe when using our new parking lot. Our parking lot can be very congested and can become a safety concern in the morning and after school. Some areas of concern are:
The very north part of the parking lot (near the baseball diamond) is a ‘No Parking Zone.’ This area does not allow enough room for both parking and vehicles exiting stalls. These extra vehicles can create blind spots that students may be walking in. Also, this area is a fire lane for emergency vehicles.
The very east part of the parking lot (nearest the front doors) is a ‘No Parking Zone.’ This area is a fire lane. Although parents may quickly drop off or pick up students, they may not wait here and definitely not park here.
The very south part of the parking (beside the sidewalk) is a ‘No Parking Zone’ and a fire lane.
To help define some of the areas, we will try to put pylons out on a regular basis.
We are asking everyone to please take extra care and only park in the appropriate parking areas. Often, there are empty stalls in the west area of the parking lot. Always ensure you have a safe route planned to drop off or pick up your child. Please see this map to see the proper places to park, don’t park, and traffic flow direction:
Also, many of our families choose to avoid the parking lot and drop off/pick up their children on the north side of Red Crow Blvd.
Thank you for your support and help in ensuring the safety of our students.
The Government of Alberta has developed steps and benchmarks for easing restrictions for businesses and individuals while protecting the health-care system. Currently, plans are in place to move to Step 1 on February 8, 2021.
For schools, the following changes will come into place on February 8, 2021:
Children’s sport and performance activities are permitted if related to school activities, such as physical education classes.
K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions are allowed to use off-site facilities to support curriculum-related educational activities.
Group or team sports are NOT permitted. At this time, no sports games, competitions, team practice, league play or group exercise of any kind is allowed.
For more information about the Government of Alberta’s plans regarding the easing of health measures, visit their “Stronger public health measures” webpage.
Our students will continue to be grouped in cohorts. This means that our administrators will create groups of students and staff who stay together throughout the day as much as possible. This will minimize exposure to other individuals and reduce the likelihood of spreading any possible viruses.
Our buildings remain “closed campuses.” This means that, in order to ensure we abide by regulations such as appropriate social distancing, we will ask all visitors to make an appointment ahead of time and complete a health screening prior to entering the building. A record of all visitors will be kept for contact tracing purposes.
Field Trips are restricted. Field trips that require students to ride on a bus are postponed. Further, all international and national field trips for the 2020/2021 are suspended due to the uncertainty and risks associated with travel during COVID- 19. Overnight trips remain suspended. At this time, virtual field trips, classroom field trips or socially distanced community walking trips are able to occur with the appropriate safety measures in place.
December 9, 2020 update:
December 9, 2020
Dear Holy Spirit Catholic School Division Families,
As we approach the holiday season, we know that the desire and ability to travel increases. We are providing this written communication in relation to the COVID-19 situation, the upcoming Christmas break, and our ongoing school re-entry plans. Please understand that we all have a responsibility to protect our health, our family, and others around us; including our workplaces.
International travel continues to be impacted by COVID-19. The Province of Alberta provides the following directions and guidance related to International travel:
An official global travel advisory remains in effect. Avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.
The Canada/U.S. border remains closed to non-essential travel.
All non-exempt travelers entering Alberta from outside Canada by air or at the Alberta / U.S. Coutts land border crossing are legally required to follow provincial and federal requirements.
Albertans are legally required to isolate for 14 days if they have returned from travel outside Canada. Additionally, all travelers entering Alberta from outside Canada must complete a provincial isolation questionnaire to demonstrate they have appropriate plans and the necessary supports in place to self-isolate for 14 days.
Please note that the stipulations noted above are contingent upon the Government of Canada/Alberta maintaining a self-quarantine period of 14 days after international travel. If this health order changes, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division will follow the direction of the federal and provincial government related to any travel restrictions.
International Border Pilot Project– Eligible international travelers returning to Alberta may be able to participate in a pilot program that is safely testing reduced quarantine periods.
Holy Spirit Catholic School Division staff and students who may be applying to participate must understand that this includes increased quarantine restrictions for persons in school and child care settings.
This means that, even if you meet all the other requirements of the International Border Pilot Project, for anyone returning to a school setting, you are prohibited from doing so until you:
Have a second test which can occur no earlier than the 6th day after their return; and
Have the result of the second test as negative.
If, despite the available government information, you are still considering travelling outside Canada, understand that:
Given the current government recommendation, 14 days of self-isolation is required upon return from travel outside Canada, even if you have no symptoms whatsoever.
This means that we all know with certainty that, if you choose to voluntarily leave Canada, you will have to be in self-isolation for an additional 14 days upon your return, even if you are perfectly healthy.
As a result, any travel outside Canada now must be planned, booked, and approved to account for your time out of Canada and 14 days following your return.
If you apply and qualify for the International Border Pilot Project you will be required to meet the criteria and quarantine restrictions applied to persons in schools and child care settings.
Thank you for your assistance in ensuring the health and safety of our schools. Should new or updated recommendations from AHS relative to international travel for Albertans be communicated in the near future, we will be sure to update you in a timely manner.
Ken Sampson, Superintendent
Holy Spirit Catholic School Division
November 24, 2020 update:
Good evening everyone. Please watch this Government of Alberta announcement:
Here is a summary of educational changes:
There are clear changes to education. As this is new information, we hope to send information out to our families on how FLVT will respond, especially those families with students in Grade 7 to 9, as soon as possible.
November 23, 2020 update:
We want to thank parents and students for their support of the masking requirements for Grade 4 to 9. Also, thank you to all the students that have been voluntarily wearing masks from Kindergarten to Grade 3. We want to clarify the masking requirement for music class when singing is occurring. Following the Alberta Health Services guidelines, all students engaged in singing need to wear a mask. Therefore, we ask all our Kindergarten to Grade 3 students to have a non-medical mask while they engaged in singing activities at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.
Thank you for all your work and efforts in helping our school be a safe place to be during this ongoing pandemic.
October 26, 2020 update:
Please read this important letter from our divisional office regarding bus transportation:
October 26, 2020
Dear families of students who use Lethbridge Transit Yellow Bus Services,
Lethbridge Transit has advised that, due to recent driver shortages, some bus routes may need to be adjusted or delayed over the coming months. As a last resort, some bus routes may even be cancelled on short notice.
All students must clean their hands (wash with soap and water/sanitize) before the leave home to take the bus and when they leave school prior to taking the bus.
Face masks are required.
Drivers will be assigning students seats. Family members will be asked to sit together. It is extremely important that students sit in their designated seat.
Daily attendance will be taken. Students will confirm their first and last name as they board.
As per Alberta Health Services direction, school buses will be cleaned/sanitized after morning and afternoon routes with an approved cleaning product
The driver’s focus and primary responsibility is to transport students safely to and from school. To help achieve this goal, students must follow the driver’s instructions.
Thank you so much for your attention to this matter, while we continue to navigate these challenging times.
Sincerely, Anisha Gatner, Communications Coordinator Holy Spirit Catholic School Division
October 7, 2020
Good afternoon families and staff of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,
As we are now into week six of the school year, we can safely say that we have made it through what we anticipated to be a very challenging September. School and divisional personnel have gone over and above the call of duty to ensure that schools were ready to welcome children and students back into our schools after a six-month absence. Our staff has done some great work in welcoming students in school communities to ensure they feel loved, safe and included. Further, parents have been extremely supportive of our direction and we definitely appreciate your support throughout the entire process thus far.
Recently, we have begun to see an increase in the number of positive cases in the South Zone. This could very well be an early indication of what is yet to come and seems to be in line with what has been happening in other areas of the province, as well as across Canada. In fact, as you may have heard, over the past weekend Alberta Health Services (AHS) identified a positive case connected to St. Teresa of Calcutta School. I am pleased to report that school and division staff worked diligently with AHS to inform and isolate the impacted cohort as quickly as possible. We continue to follow the lead of AHS and use the Alberta Government’s resource guide to determine how best to proceed in informing those affected promptly, while still maintaining their dignity and privacy.
To assist us in the future, so that we may contact you quickly should your child be part of a cohort that needs to isolate, we ask that you ensure that your child’s school has your most current contact information. We also highly recommend that you enable text messages, or download the SchoolMessenger App, so that you may receive timely information directly on your phone. Please know that the school division will only send you text messages in emergency situations. See our website for more information on this, or contact your child’s school directly for assistance.
We know that we need to remain vigilant in adhering to the health measures put in place by our Chief Medical Officer of Health, along with additional precautions that our division has identified. As such, we continue to ask our staff, students and visitors:
To engage in proper and frequent hand washing or hand sanitization
To ensure physical distancing of 2 meters
To wear masks while in common areas, hallways and in classrooms. This applies to grades 4-12 students, all staff, visitors and volunteers
Our schools will continue:
To maintain class cohorts. This reduces the number of individuals impacted should there be exposure to COVID-19. We are seeing that this is of particular importance
To remain closed campuses. All visitors and parents are required to call ahead and make an appointment before coming to school
To ensure heightened protocols for cleaning frequently touched surfaces
We know that everyone plays an important role in stopping the spread of this relentless virus and other diseases. We also recognize that the current context in which we live is far from ideal. We appreciate the support from our parent community as we endeavour to support our students’ mental well-being on a day-to-day basis in our schools.
As in everything we do in Catholic Schools, we are called to pray for each other. Let us continue to hold each other in prayer as we navigate these challenging times.
Kind Regards, Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools
There is an old story or fable told about a far-off land which was ruled by a tyrant. The tyrant had an ironclad grip over all parts of his kingdom, except for one frustrating area. He was unable to destroy the people’s belief in God. He summoned his counsellors and put the question to them: “Where can I hide God so that the people will end up forgetting him?”
One counsellor suggested that God be hidden on the dark side of the moon. This proposal was debated for some time, but voted down because it was believed that one day scientists would discover a means of space travel and God would end up being found again.
Another advisor to the tyrant came up with idea of burying God beneath the depths of the ocean floor. This was voted down for basically the same reason – it was felt that scientific advancement would lead to the discovery of God, even beneath the depths of the ocean floor.
Finally, the oldest and wisest of the counsellors had a flash of insight. “I know”, he said, “Why don’t we hide God where no one will ever think of finding him?” He explained, “If we hide God in the ordinary events of people’s everyday lives they’ll never find him.” And so it was done – and they say that people are still looking for God – even today.
Although the start of this school year during the COVID-19 pandemic cannot really be described as ordinary, I do believe I have witness God in the many events during our school re-entry plan. I especially see God is the many relationships between students, parents, and staff. I have the pleasure of leading pray at different events and I am always interested in the prayer intentions. Hearing who people are praying for and thankful for. This year focusing on being grateful and being gracious I truly see God in the ordinary events at school.
Fall is one of my favourite seasons. Although I enjoy the colours of fall, the best part of fall for me is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family and friends and be thankful for all the blessing we have. A big part of our blessing is seeing God and what He does in the normal and routine parts of our lives, including our daily adjustments to life in a pandemic. At Father Leonard Van Tighem School I am thankful for the many blessing God has given us.
On behalf of everyone at school, I wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving as we thank God for the many gifts we have received.
Last week we had our School Opening Mass. During this pandemic, it was different with Fr. William celebrating mass in our Gathering Space with only one class, recording it, and having the rest of our school watch it in their classrooms. Traditionally, we do a Welcome Back Family Blessing at our Welcome Back BBQ. Unfortunately, we are not able to gather for either. We still feel it is vital to have a Welcome Back Family Blessing, so Fr. William was able to record a blessing from St. Martha’s Church. Here it is:
Thank you Fr. William for the Welcome Back Family Blessing.