COVID-19 Response and Update: October 26, 2020

Good afternoon,

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.

Holy Spirit Catholic School Division will endeavour to keep families informed about changes. To ensure you are receiving the most up-to-date information, please ensure that you are subscribed to receive messages from the division by email and/or text.  The division’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are also good sources of information.

To assist Alberta Health Services in contact tracing for COVID-19, Lethbridge Transit has updated and reinforced the following safety procedures in the attached letter, Procedures for School Bus Transportation during COVID-19:

  • 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:

  • Not to come to school if feeling ill, even if you are only a bit unwell. The Alberta Health daily checklist should be completed each day prior to attending school and if your child has any of the symptoms listed, fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811, and remain at home. 
  • 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

Holy Spirit Catholic School Division

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