About Greg Kostiuk

Principal Father Leonard Van Tighem School Lethbridge, AB "Try to feel, at your heart's core, the reality of others."

FLVT School Council 2020-21

school-council

School Council is a very important part of our school. It is a place to give parents a voice and provide valuable input to the school. Please join us for our next School Council meeting on September 14, 2020, at 7 pm.  During this first School Council we will be holding elections that were postponed and there will be an opportunity to ask questions about our school re-entry plan. The meeting will be a virtual meeting using Google Meet.  Here is the link to the Meet:

meet.google.com/uvc-ejwz-rjh

When entering the Meet, please turn off your mic as there may be a lot of feedback.  Please turn on your mic when you want to speak.

We look forward to hearing from you.  Thank you and we hope to see you on Monday.

Welcome to FLVT!

@photofunia

Dear Students and Parents:

This September 1st will be my 30th first day of school as an educator and my 24th first day of school as a school administrator.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the start of the 2020-21 school year will be like no other.  I hope the experience and skills I have acquired will help our school community adjust to our new reality.  Although there will undoubtedly be many challenges and mistakes, I 2020-21 will be a gratifying year.  I believe that our school staff will work incredibly hard to make student learning a positive experience, whether students are on-site or choosing at-home learning.  The COVID-19 pandemic will make for a unique experience, but please know that your children will be cared for and loved while they are in our care.  We will be applying our Van Tighem Virtues of Honest, Accepting, Wise, Kind, Spiritual to all that we do at school. 

Recently I noticed a gif from the Institute of Child Psychology. The 2020-21 school year would be a great time to follow this check list:

@instituteofchildpsychology

From past posts, many parents know that I typically do not sleep before the first day of school—not due to anxiety about the start of the school year, but due to feelings of joy and excitement for beginning another year.  Despite the current uncertainty, I still have a sense of excitement and joy.  We do need to be aware that many of our students, parents, and staff are very anxious and worried about the start of this school year.  We will support the wellness of all the members of our learning community.  I welcome all the members of our learning community to the 2020-21 school year at Father Leonard Van Tighem School.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to hold our Welcome Back BBQ.  Our Family Blessing will be done differently this year; final details will be sent to parents soon. 

We are getting bigger, both physically and in numbers.  Our new portable is not quite ready. We hope to be using it next week. 

The biggest challenge for us this school year will be adapting to education in the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, we will be focusing on our faith, learning, First Nations, Metis and Inuit Educations, and wellness.  Also, we are excited about the second year of our Faith Plan.  This year’s faith theme is Transformed by the Journey.  The primary focus is on being grateful and being gracious.  We will continue to integrate our faith plan with the Van Tighem Virtues of Honest, Accepting, Wise, Kind, Spiritual.

Now, for some housekeeping news.  Like last year, you can pay your school fees and other fees online.  Please click on this logo for more information:

Online School Payments

Online School Payments

To help with communication, here are some social media links (please click on the logo):

FLVT Facebook
FLVT Website
@flvthawks
Principal’s Blog
@flvthawks

We look forward to working with you to continue to make Father Leonard Van Tighem School a special place.  On behalf of our staff, I wish everyone a successful school year.

Blessing,

Greg Kostiuk

Jr. High At-Home Learning

August 28th, 2020

We welcome you to the Holy Spirit Catholic Schools Junior High At-Home Learning program which will be jointly delivered by several staff members from both  Father Leonard Van Tighem (FLVT) and St. Francis Junior High (SF). The  Grade 7 and 8 program delivery will be provided by FLVT teachers while Grade 9 program delivery will be provided by SF teaching staff.  

We are all committed to ensuring your child has the skills they need to be successful.  At-home learning will cover all the required areas of the provincial curriculum with teaching focusing on the five core subject areas of English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and Religious Education.  The weekly 25-hour learning commitment guidelines of this alternate learning option has been organized to include a combination of several types of content delivery methods.  

The different types of content delivery that will occur within our “At- Home Learning format include:

  1. Synchronous Learning
    1. Student learning that involves face-to-face instruction through an online learning platform.  This is similar to in-class instruction however delivered over a digital learning environment.
  2. Asynchronous Learning
    1. Student learning that adheres to deadlines but allows the student to learn at their pace with an opportunity to connect with the instructor if needed. This time provides an opportunity for 1:1 instruction or small group learning time.
  3. Independent Student Learning
    1. Student learning is independently completed without the assistance of the instructor. 

To support At-Home Learning: 

  • Teachers will provide instruction at a specific grade or subject level for all students who have signed up for At-Home learning in the division.  It is important to note that since all learners are not functioning at the same academic level, there will be a need to provide ongoing differentiated instruction to support ALL students.
  • Teachers will provide engaging, curriculum-based lessons that require students to actively participate in all lessons and planned activities.
  • Teachers are expected to offer a rigorous online learning program that requires the same degree of attention as an in-school class would have.  
  • Teachers providing at-home instruction in grades 1-9 will follow the sequencing of units and topics as set out by the Division
  • At-home courses will be delivered using Google Meet and Google Classroom and other secure Division applications
  • Teachers will have the flexibility to schedule their synchronous class meetings as well as their office hours (within the confines of the usual school day) in order to best meet the learning needs of their students. 

Assessment:

  • Teachers are expected to assess student learning through a variety of means, both formatively, as well as in a summative fashion.
  • Teachers will follow provincial learning outcomes as identified in the Program of Studies.
  • If a student (and their family) choose to move back into in-person learning, the at-home teacher will provide a summary report of outcomes covered to date and an assessment of student learning to date.
  • Teachers will be required to maintain ongoing communication to report student progress and address any issues or concerns with parents as soon as they arise.

Communication:

  • Teachers will be expected to connect and communicate with parents of students in their cohorts, the way they would in an in-school teaching context.
  • Parents who need to contact the at-home teacher should do so directly with the teacher first, and if there’s a need to contact an administrator, inquiries need to be directed to the ‘designated’ supervising principal of that teacher, not the ‘resident’ principal of the student.
  • There will be ongoing contact between the designated principal and the resident principal, as required.
  • Teachers will need to attempt to contact any students (and their families) who do not engage in the synchronous class meetings or if there are concerns with the completion of assignments as soon as possible. If teachers are unable to contact the student/families they are to inform their supervising administrator(s) in order to plan next steps for re-engaging the students. 

Student “At -Home Learning” Expectations:

  • Students will attend every day at the scheduled login times established by the teacher.  At-home learning is comparable to being in a classroom but in an online environment.  As such, attendance will be monitored.
  • Attendance will be taken daily and submitted in PowerSchool
  • If a student does not attend for 3 days (unexcused absence/without communication between parent/teacher) and or falls too far behind, he/she will be referred to administration.
  • Log-in expectations set by the teacher will be expected for students to adhere to (i.e. cameras on, microphones off, chat or comment protocols, etc.)
  • Google meets and/or secure video platform meetings are mandatory and recordings of these will NOT be posted.
  • Students need to be prepared and engaged. The learning space the student will be using should be free of all distractions (i.e. cell phones must be put away).
  • Regular check-ins on Google Classroom or Holy Spirit email will be required. It is the responsibility of the student to email the teacher if he/she is unclear of expectations, confused about an assignment, or if there is something preventing the completion of work.
  • There will be zero tolerance for plagiarism or cheating on assignments or exams.
  • As per the “Responsible Use Agreement Form”, digital etiquette of being respectful and positive to others at all times is expected.  This applies to the use of language and the sharing of content in written or verbal form. 
  • Students will conduct themselves in behaviours expected of all Holy Spirit students and engage with both the teacher and their peers respectfully.

Although the teachers will be working hard to meet the various needs of the students, the At-Home Learning program is a regular program; teachers will be teaching the Jr. High learning outcomes.  Student success in the At-Home Learning program requires students to be able to work independently.

Most of the teachers delivering the At-Home Learning program are working on-site at their respective school.  These  teachers have on-site classes at their schools with on-site students.  Therefore, At-Home Learning instructional times are set at specific times.  Here are the schedules:  

Grade 7 At-Home Learning Schedule

Monday & Wednesday Schedule

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:54am(74 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 29:58am – 11:10am(72 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 311:14am – 12:26pm(72 minutes) Independent School WorkN/A
Block 41:11pm – 2:37pm(86 minutes)Social Studies 7 / Religious Studies 7  Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMrs. Johnson
Block 52:42pm – 3:20pm(38 minutes)Office HoursMrs. Johnson (Mon) and Miss Giannetti (Wed)

Tuesday & Thursday

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:54am(74 minutes)Math 7 Synchronous and AsynchronousLearningMiss Giannetti
Block 29:58am – 11:10am(72 minutes)Language Arts 7 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMr. Meyer
Block 311:14am – 12:26pm(72 minutes) Independent School WorkN/A
Block 41:11pm – 2:37pm(86 minutes)Science 7 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Tkach
Block 52:42pm – 3:20pm(38 minutes)Office HoursMr. Meyer and Miss Tkach(Tues), Miss Tkach (Thurs)

Friday

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:20am(40 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 29:23am – 10:01am(38 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 310:04am – 10:42am(38 minutes) Math 7 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Giannetti
Block 410:45am – 11:23am(38 minutes)Language Arts 7 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMr. Meyer
Block 511:41am – 12:19pm(38 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A

Grade 8 At-Home Learning Schedule

Monday & Wednesday Schedule

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:54am(74 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 29:58am – 11:10am(72 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 311:14am – 12:26pm(72 minutes) Language Arts 8 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Tkach
Block 41:11pm – 2:37pm(86 minutes)Science 8 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMr. Pollio
Block 52:42pm – 3:20pm(38 minutes)Office HoursMiss Gabruck (Mon) and Miss Loman (Wed)

Tuesday & Thursday

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:54am(74 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 29:58am – 11:10am(72 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 311:14am – 12:26pm(58 minutes) Math 8 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Loman
Block 41:11pm – 2:37pm(86 minutes)Social Studies 8 / Religious Studies 8Synchronous and AsynchronousLearningMiss Gabruck
Block 52:42pm – 3:20pm(38 minutes)Office HoursMiss Tkach and Mr. Pollio (Thurs)

Friday

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:40am – 9:20am(40 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 29:23am – 10:01am(38 minutes)Independent School WorkN/A
Block 310:04am – 10:42am(38 minutes) Independent School WorkN/A
Block 410:45am – 11:23am(38 minutes)Math 8 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Loman
Block 511:41am – 12:19pm(38 minutes)Language Arts 8 Synchronous and Asynchronous LearningMiss Tkach

Grade 9 At-Home Learning Schedule

Monday & Wednesday Schedule

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:14am – 9:12am(58 minutes)ELA 9 Synchronous LearningMrs. Tina Carmichael Young
Block 29:12am – 10:12am(60 minutes)ELA 9 Asynchronous LearningMrs Tina Carmichael Young
Block 310:14am – 11:12am(58 minutes) Religion 9 Mrs. Tina Carmichael Young
Block 411:50am – 12:50pm(60 minutes)Independent Student Work Time(Mrs. Tina Carmicheal Young to follow up on student learning)
Block 512:52pm – 1:50pm(58 minutes)Science 9 Synchronous LearningMr. Brain Leclaire
Block 61:50pm – 2:50pm(60 minutes)Science 9 Asynchronous LearningMr. Brain Leclaire

Tuesday & Thursday

TimeClassTeacher
Block 18:14am – 9:12am(58 minutes)Social 9 Synchronous LearningMrs. Tina Carmichael Young
Block 29:12am – 10:12am(60 minutes)Social 9 Asynchronous Learning Mrs. Tina Carmichael Young
Block 310:14am – 11:12am(58 minutes) Math 9 Synchronous LearningMrs. Jen Hay
Block 411:52am – 12:50pm(58 minutes)Math 9 Asynchronous Learning  Mrs. Jen Hay
Block 512:52pm – 1:50pm(58 minutes)Religion 9 Synchronous LearningTina Carmichael Young
Block 61:50pm – 2:50pm(60 minutes)Independent Student Work Time(Mrs. Tina Carmichael Young to follow up on student learning)

Flexible Learning Fridays (Grade 9)

  • Independent Student Work Time
  • This dedicated time will be an opportunity for students to independently complete any work that requires additional time. 
  • Fridays will be a dedicated time when Mrs. Tina Carmichael Young will be checking in and following up with the learning team, students, families, and resident schools regarding “At- Home Learning” progress.

At-Home Learning will begin on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.  Google Classrooms will be established for At-Home Learning once class lists are final; teachers will contact you soon after.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we deliver this new program.

Respectfully yours,

Crystal Lothian Greg Kostiuk

Principal, SF Principal, FLVT

FLVT Announcement

Please read this important message from our Superintendent.

September 2, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,
We have been receiving many inquiries about the release of the Health Order issued by our Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, and the seeming confusion surrounding messages that are contained within the Order.  In the preamble of the Order, it is noted, 

“Whereas having determined on August 4, 2020 that students in grades 4 to 12, staff members and visitors must wear a non-medical face mask in schools when physical distancing cannot be maintained.”

Our first and most important goal for the opening of the 2020-21 school year is to keep all of our students and staff safe, as outlined in our Re-entry Plan.  I do understand that a few parents are concerned with their children wearing masks while seated for instruction.  I also know that we have an obligation to put measures in place that protect all students and staff and reduce the likelihood of anyone spreading viruses/illnesses.  As a result, we are mandating masks be worn at all times. Students will be permitted to remove masks while eating, while outside for recess and lunch time as well as during breaks, activities and physical education where physical distancing is maintained.  In her briefing today, Dr. Hinshaw indicated that each school division has the authority and ability to make the decision, in consultation with our local Medical Officer of Health, to be wearing masks all the time.  We have consulted with a Medical Officer of Health in the South Zone, who is very much supportive of our direction.

These are measures that further augment the Health Order; we are not ignoring, disregarding or overruling it. The physical classroom spaces are simply not large enough to accommodate all of the learners in a Scenario “Near-Normal” return with physical distancing being maintained.  Even with desks in rows and all students facing the front of the classroom, physical distancing is still not possible and it will be virtually impossible to prevent students from turning in their seats and talking to a neighbour.  There will be occasions when students will need to move about the classroom or go to the washroom.  Should a student in this case accidentally sneeze or cough in the direction of another student or staff member, there could be significant health repercussions. Therefore, to put everyone in a safer space, we are requiring all students from grades 4-12, along with our staff, to be wearing a mask in all class settings where physical distancing of 2 meters cannot be realized.

Our goals are the same as that of our parents – to keep our students safe.  The common good is reached when we work together to improve the well-being of people in our society and the wider world. I implore your support as we begin the school year.  We will be continually reviewing our practices to ensure we are providing the safest and best learning environment possible.  Thank you for your understanding in this regard and we trust in your support.

Ken Sampson, Superintendent
​​​​​​​Holy Spirit Catholic School Division

August 31, 2020

Good Evening Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division
My apologies for communicating so late, but we felt that this was an important message that needed to be sent right away.  

As you are aware, the Chief Medical Officer of Health announced in her release this afternoon that students could be excused from wearing their masks once they are seated in their classroom desks, even though physical distancing will not be possible. Further there is some language in the Health Order that leads individuals to different interpretations of the Order. As you might well imagine, this is problematic, given our long-standing need and desire to provide safe learning environments for our staff and students.  We feel that students should be wearing masks at all times to further mitigate risks.

Given these circumstances, we will need some time to research these opposing interpretations further. Until we are able to secure this information and provide a subsequent update, all students (grades 4 – 12) and staff are required to wear masks in classrooms at all times. 

In the meantime, please join our community in prayer and blessing for our students and staff as we officially begin this new school year.  

Kind Regards,
Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools


August 27, 2020

Good day Holy Spirit Catholic School Division Families,

We have recently received an updated Daily Screening Questionnaire and we wanted to ensure that you had the most current copy. As a reminder, we are asking everyone to complete this questionnaire for their child before school every day.  If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions, please stay home to protect our students and staff.

To further help our staff before school begins, we are asking all parents/guardians who may have a child with pre-existing medical conditions to fill in this Pre-Existing Medical Conditions Form.  This information will help us better identify if a student’s developing symptoms may be caused by COVID-19 or by a known preexisting condition (e.g. allergies). We are asking that this information be provided to us by Friday, September 4, 2020. 

Thank you in advance for your quick response.  While there is still much work to do, I know that our staff are very excited to get back to the business of teaching our students.

Blessings, 
Ken Sampson, Superintendent
 
Holy Spirit Catholic School Division

FLVT Re-Entry Plan

September 10, 2020 Update:

We are just about to end the second week of school, and although we have not had a perfect start to the year, we think it has been a very positive start of the year as we adjust to education during this pandemic. We want to thank our staff for their commitment and excellent work, parents for their patience and support, and students for their understanding and cooperation. We are very impressed with how students have adjusted to our muster points, recess/lunch breaks, and their willingness to wear masks.  As discussed, this school year will be very fluid and open to some changes. In this post, we intend to provide some information about some changes, or clarifications, about our pandemic response.

  1. We will be starting daily announcements over the intercom again. These will be done approximately one hour into our day. Teachers will continue to start the day off in prayer and may start the day with O Canada in their classrooms.
  2. Since we cannot continually clean our gym change rooms, they will be closed for students to change in. There will be one exception, our Jr. High complementary class using the gym will be allowed to use it as they are the last class of the day accessing the change room. Therefore the change room does not have to be sanitized right away.
  3. Initially, students in grades 4 – 9 did not have to mask in the hallway when going to the gym or outside. Students were expected to practice social distancing in the hallway when this occurred. This past week it was clear that students are not social distancing in the hallway.  Therefore, students (Grades 4-9) MUST wear masks in the hallway at all times.  This includes going outside for PE and outside. If students are outside, they may remove their masks only if they are social distancing.  If they are standing or sitting together outside, masks are mandatory.
  4. Jr. High – PM sign-out – We will be sharing some sign-out forms with pd 3 teachers.  Students that have parental consent (email or note to the school) to go home will sign-out from their pd. 3 classes.
  5. Students are not allowed to have their hoods up anytime in the building.  Our school administration is currently reviewing the hat policy.
  6. We have taken a lot of questions regarding what to do if your child is sick? We are planning to put together some clear instructions soon. In the meantime, here are the current expectations of our government:  https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/20d4bb45-0eb4-42cc-8553-94eafc34ee58/resource/46ed4b17-2989-412a-a70c-2bf1ddd3e239/download/edu-covid-19-student-illness-2020-0903.pdf

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we try our best to provide quality education in a safe and caring environment during this pandemic.

August 26, 2020

Preamble

Please note that these protocols are subject to change as we adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic.  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

Holy Spirit Catholic Schools documents https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/division/school_re-entry

Alberta 2020-21 School Re-Entry Plan documents https://www.alberta.ca/k-to-12-school-re-entry-2020-21-school-year.aspx#toc-2

Self-Screening Questionnaire

Questions and Answers

Please see this link for many common questions and answers   https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/division/school_re-entry

NEAR NORMAL OPERATIONS (Scenario 1)                    

Everyone Entering the School

  • 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.
    • For 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 isolate in a separate room.
      • Please leave the school as soon as possible.
      • Please follow self-isolation and testing procedures.
  • New sign-in procedure for permitted visitors
    • There will be a binder in the gathering space/office.  Please sign in every time you come to and leave school. 

First Week of School with Students

  • Talk to your children about the new health measures.  Teach and practice these essential skills: 
  • Washing / sanitizing hands
  • Physically distancing
    • Although we will be doing our best to keep children and staff safe at our school we do want to remind everyone physical and social distancing will not be possible in all our classrooms.  Class sizes do not allow physical and social distancing. 
  • Wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible
    (Dr. Deena Hinshaw has created this video to teach how to put on/take off/wear masks properly) 
  • Good respiratory etiquette
  • Class Lists – Posted outside and emailed on Friday, August 28

Schedule for Week One – September 1-4

  • To help limit the number of people on school grounds, we are requesting only one parent or guardian to be with their child when on school grounds.
  • Although we will be doing our best to keep children and staff safe at our school we do want to remind everyone physical and social distancing will not be possible in all our classrooms.  Class sizes do not allow physical and social distancing. 
  • The first day of school for students (Grade 1 to 9) will be Tuesday, September 1 (1/2 day only)
  • All week          
    • No ELP
    • K orientation (scheduled by the school)
  • Tuesday, September 1/Wednesday, September 2/Thursday, September 3
    • Students will attend half-days to help teach them the new protocols.  There will be no bussing in the middle of the day.  Bussing will be in the morning and at the end of the day.
      • Grades 7 to 9 – AM only – 8:40 am to 12:35 pm
      • Grades 1 to 6 – PM only – 12:10 pm to 3:25 pm
  • Friday, September 4
    •  All Grades 1 to 9 attend to regular Friday times.  The start time is 8:40 am and dismissal is 1:15 pm for elementary grades and 1:00 pm for Jr. High grades.

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

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – Masks

  • It is mandatory for all Grade 4 to 9 students and staff to wear non-medical masks in common areas, hallways, and busses.  Since social distancing is not possible in our classrooms, non-medical masks for Grade 4 to 9 are mandatory for students while they are in the classroom.
    • Masks 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.
    • Regular hand washing is essential in taking masks on and off.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) – Face Shields

  • Please note that a mask is still required when wearing a face shield.

Student Arrival                                       

  • Please do not arrive early to school as the school doors will be locked, and there is no supervision until 8:30 am.  Please plan to arrive just before 8:30 am.
  • To help limit the number of people on school grounds, we are requesting only one parent or guardian to be with their child when on school grounds.
  • Our playground equipment will be closed before school.
  • 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 will need to call the school first and be limited to going to the office.
  • New parking lot
    • It’s a little different, especially at both ends.  Please do not park in the fire lane.  Also, when the school busses are present at the end of the day, please turn right (north) when exiting the parking lot.
  • Muster points.  To assist with social distancing and limit hallway traffic, students will be entering and exiting the building from different doors.  Here are a summary and map:
West ExitLib ExitNorth ExitMain ExitE ExitSE ExitS Exit
Rooms 41, 42, 43, 44Rooms 17, 18, 19, 20Rooms 03, 36, 49, 50Room 34Rooms 14, 16, 51, 52Rooms 21, 22, 23, 24Rooms 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
The new portable doors will not be available until September 7.  Rooms 25-29 will use the front doors.

*If there is inclement weather, the doors will be open, and students would report directly to their classrooms.

  • Students walking to school
    • When walking to school and once you are on school grounds, maintain social distancing and go your muster point.  The playground equipment is closed before the start of the school.  Your homeroom or period one 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 drop-off at school
    • Please do not park in the fire lane.  Maintain social distancing and go to your muster point.  The playground equipment is closed before the start of school.  Your homeroom or period one 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
    • To help limit the number of people on school grounds, we are requesting only one parent or guardian to be with their child when on school grounds.  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 or period one 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.  The playground equipment is closed before the start of school.  Your homeroom or period one 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 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.
    • Although we will be doing our best to keep children and staff safe at our school we do want to remind everyone physical and social distancing will not be possible in all our classrooms.  Class sizes do not allow physical and social distancing. 
  • Students will be taught all their regular subjects.  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.
    • To help limit student movement in the school and the sharing of materials, please ensure your child brings their utensils for their lunches.
    • 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.
    • Students are not allowed to order food delivery for lunch (Skip the Dishes, pizza delivery).  Also, to limit the number of people in the school, we are asking parents not to drop-off fast food orders for their students.
    •  JH between class breaks – students will have to stay in their homeroom during this time.
  • Locker Access
    • Student Lockers – To help with social distancing, lockers for Grade 1 to 9 will be spread out in their cohorts.  Rather than having all the lockers together by grade, they will be spaced apart.
    • Once students enter the building, they will be taken to their homeroom.  Students will be allowed at their lockers at specific times.
      • Period One – Students will access their locker during period one in three blocks of time.  Students are to gather all the learning materials they will need for the day.
        • 1st 10 minutes after announcements – Grades 3, 6, and 9
        • 2nd 10 minutes later – Grades 2, 5, and 8
        • 3rd 10 minutes later – Grades 1, 4, and 7
      • Lunch Breaks – Elementary, and Jr. High teachers will allow students access to their lockers to get their lunches.  Teachers will coordinate with their peers about the timing to limit hallway congestion.
      • Elementary Recess – Students will have access to their lockers before recesses to get their jackets.
      • End of the day
        • Elementary – Teachers will coordinate with their peers about access to student lockers to limit hallway congestion.
        • Jr. High – During tutorial class, teachers will escort their students to their lockers.
  • 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.
  • Extra-curricular Activities and Events
    • Until further notice, there will be no extra-curricular activities of any kind in all Holy Spirit Catholic Schools; this includes sporting teams, fine arts productions (Aladdin Jr.), and clubs.  
    • Our primary goal will be to reduce contacts and ensure that students and staff feel comfortable before any of these activities resume. Also, our schools need to have all students and staff out of the buildings by 5:00 pm so that thorough cleaning protocols and sanitization can occur. 
    • Traditional, we do a school fundraiser in September to raise funds for a variety of events and programs at the school.  We have decided to put this event on hold for now.
  • 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 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.  If this is not possible, the shared equipment will need to be set aside for later cleaning.  Physical Education teachers will be adapting lessons to limit the use of shared 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.
      • Please enter the mezzanine using the east stairs.
      • Please exit the mezzanine using the west stairs.
    • 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 – The library will be closed to student use during the first week of school.  We are currently developing a process for our librarian to deliver books to the classrooms rather than students going to the library.
    • 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.  We are awaiting further direction regarding this.  As we have limited on-site technology, we encourage our Jr. High students to bring their own device to school.
  • Classroom
    • Teachers will be spreading out the desks/tables to encourage physical distancing as much as possible.
    • Although we will be doing our best to keep children and staff safe at our school we do want to remind everyone physical and social distancing will not be possible in all our classrooms.  Class sizes do not allow physical and social distancing. 
    • 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.
    • Teachers will keep their classroom windows open as much as possible and take their classes outside when possible.
  • Water fountains
    • Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school.  Over the summer, our school division installed more bottle filling stations.  We now have four.  These stations 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 faucets 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).  To help limit the number of people on school grounds, we are requesting only one parent or guardian to be with their child when on school grounds.
  • The school playground will be closed after school hours.
  • 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 program will continue to be at Children of St. Martha’s School.

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.
  • Please check out this link for more information about bussing https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/schools/transportation

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 use 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 8 am to 5 pm.
  • The staff room limit is 15 people.
  • Student Lockers – To help with social distancing, lockers for Grade 1 to 9 will be spread out in their cohorts.  Rather than having all the lockers together by grade, they will be spaced apart.
  • All cell phones are to be kept in student lockers during instructional time.  Here is our policy https://gregkostiuk.com/2018/12/06/away-during-the-day/
  • 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.
  • Fieldtrips – Only field trips within Holy Spirit Catholic Schools’ boundaries will be allowed.  No field trips that involve bussing will be permitted.
  • 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.  Parents or guardians are required to notify the school either via a note or phone call.
    • Jr. High students leaving at noon? – Parents or guardians are required to notify the school either via a note or phone call.  
  • New Portable
    • We should have access to our new portable on Monday, September 7.

Positive COVID-19 Cases

Thank you again for your patience and understanding as we do our best to adapt and live with COVID-19.

At-Home Learning

August 31, 2020 Update

At-Home Learning registrations to start this week are closed. If you want to request At-Home Learning please send requests to Mr. Magierowski magierowskit@holyspirit.ab.ca and he will attempt to set it up for next week. 

Our school division tech department is working on building classes for at-home learning and at-home teachers don’t have access to all of the contact information for the students who have registered.  Several of the parent email addresses put into the at-home registration have bounced back due to typos and security settings.  So, please be patient as we get all of the technical glitches taken care of for more effective communication with parents of at-home learners.  While at-home learning will begin tomorrow, we are anticipating a very soft entry into the curriculum-based lessons. 

August 12, 2020

Good evening everyone,

Please read this important letter from Ken Sampson, our Superintendent of Schools, regarding at-home learning. Also, please click on the ‘Question and Answer’ document near the end of his letter.

August 12, 2020

To Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,

We are indeed grateful to families for entrusting your child(ren) to our care.  Mindful of the many pieces of communication that have come your way in the past number of months, the COVID-19 landscape is shifting all the time and we will continue to keep you abreast of what we envision September 1st to be.   As we all know, we are in very unique circumstances, which requires extraordinary measures on so many fronts.  

On July 21, 2020, the provincial government announced that all schools will be starting back physically in September, in a “Near-Normal” context, with a variety of health measures in place, including the mandatory use of masks for all staff as well as for all students from grades 4-12.  Mask use for children in Kindergarten to grade 3 is optional.  At-home learning is designed as a temporary arrangement for students to remain registered at their Holy Spirit school while completing their education program at home primarily in a digital format and supported by a Holy Spirit teacher.  Families opting for at-home learning will have the ability to return to in-school instruction. Requests for change must be provided in writing to school administration at least one month prior to returning.  

While we recognize that the best place for student learning is in the classroom, a number of you have indicated that you would prefer to have your child(ren) enrolled in at-home learning to begin the 2020-21 school year, and we understand and support your decision.  To assist us in determining specific numbers, please register for at-home learning at this link.

Key considerations:

●     Parent involvement / support is the key to the success of at-home learning and essential to the success of younger students. Involvement will look different depending on the grade level of the student. The younger the student, the more supervision and support is required.

●     Students will be required to attend a number of online face-to-face sessions throughout the week with their teacher or teachers, depending on the grade level. In order for students to maximize their at-home learning opportunities, attendance in all online sessions is mandatory, just as if they were attending classes at school.  Students who miss an online session will be required to catch up with a recorded version of the session. Aside from potential lesson content, this will ensure that students have an opportunity to be assessed, ask questions, confirm ideas, participate in classroom collaborative activities and build learning relationships as would be expected of them in a traditional class setting.

●     In addition, there will be opportunities to engage in instruction independently through  pre-recorded videos, digital assignments and practice work provided by the teacher in the online platform.  This is often referred to asynchronous learning.

●     At-home learning will focus instruction in the five core subjects of Religion, English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies in grades 4-9 (Religion, English Language Arts and Math while integrating Science and Social Studies for grades 1-3). 

●     Regardless of the option chosen by parents (in-school or at-home learning), accommodations and adaptations for students with diverse learning needs will continue to be addressed in keeping with each student’s Instructional Support Plan (ISP). Please note that the division must ensure that government guidelines are being followed to mitigate risks to both staff and students, so all face-to-face programming will only take place in the school setting. 

Grades:Time Commitment DescriptionSubjects Taught
Kindergarten5 hours1 hr/day of facilitated play-based learningReligion, Literacy and Numeracy
Grades 1-315 hours1 hr/day of online face-to-face instruction1-1½ hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts and Mathematics (with Science and Social Studies integrated appropriately) 
Grades 4-620 hours1-1½ hrs/day of online face-to-face instruction2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
Grades 7-925 hours2  hrs/day of online face-to-face instruction2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Religion, Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies
Grades 10-1225 hours2  hrs/day of online  face-to-face instruction (depending on number of courses taken)2 hrs/day of independent student work1 hr/day of Office Hours (teacher available for Q&A or individual support)Focus on Core Subjects, but with some flexibility as determined by specific high schools depending on availability

●     Curriculum mandated by Alberta Education will be followed and lessons will be planned and assessed by teachers in partnership with parental support at home similar to the expectations of delivery in traditional schools. Students may not be doing the exact same lessons as those students in physical schools, but the online lessons will address the same curricular outcomes.  For those who have historically been in multiage classes, at-home learning would be provided in a single grade cohort.  An at-home cohort will likely be comprised of students from different schools, facilitated by a Holy Spirit teacher, not necessarily a teacher from your designated school.

●  Google Classroom and the Google suite of tools will be the primary platform for at-home learning.  Another platform might be Zoom.

●     Google Classroom is available on many different devices that are connected to the internet. Because we are anticipating close to 90% of our students returning to school and the need to have devices at school available for these students, it is expected that a student has adequate access to his/her own device that will be primarily used for their at-home learning. Devices include but are not limited to desktops, laptops, chromebooks, or tablets. The device will need a working physical keyboard, speakers or headphones, a microphone and webcam.  In an effort to maximize student engagement, we ask that all students have their camera turned on while teachers are facilitating instruction.

●     Students will need a reliable connection to the internet. Class sessions, student collaboration, assessment, communication with students and parents will all be done over the internet.

●     At-Home Instruction in French: We are expecting approximately 90% of our students to be returning to school.   Unfortunately, because we do not have an adequate number of teachers, we will NOT be offering at-home instruction in the French language.  

Student Expectations:

Parents, please go over these expectations with your child(ren) prior to registering for at-home learning.

Students are expected to:

●     Attend online class sessions as scheduled by their teachers.  Schedule is to be determined.  Attendance in all online sessions is mandatory 

●     Work on the course material during the regular school day timeframe. Regularly attending to your learning is essential for academic success.

●     Connect to your scheduled class sessions a few minutes beforehand. This will allow you time to check your connection and equipment prior to the session beginning. (Younger students may need parent support with this.)

●     Ensure that you have a clear connection. Plugging into your network by an ethernet cable is strongly recommended.

●     Verify that your laptop, computer, or chromebook is able to run Google Chrome web browser plus additional online meeting software as suggested by your online teachers. Additionally, an integrated or connected webcam is essential to build classroom community. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure their device is charged and working prior to class. (Younger students may need parent support with this.)

●     Use a headset with a microphone or equivalent, such as those found included with a smartphone. Use of this type of audio hardware is strongly encouraged to minimize feedback during group discussions and one-to-one meetings with your teachers.

●     Respond and participate through multiple forms of multimedia. At-home learning provides opportunities for interactive and engaging experiences. This includes submitting quality student work assignments and completing quizzes or tests on a regular basis.

●     Follow digital citizenship guidelines and expectations. Students, educational assistants, and teachers create the community of learning in an online school. Digital citizenship through our Catholic values is paramount in ensuring an equitable and respectful teaching and learning environment for all.

Additional information will be provided prior to the first day of classes to all families who register with the school for at-home learning. If you have any questions before this time, please contact the school administration team at your designated school.  

If, after reading this information, you would like to re-do the survey, we will ensure that the most recent entry is the accurate one.  The survey will be extended to midnight on Sunday, August 16, 2020 to allow a few additional days to provide your responses, which will assist us in our planning for the reopening of school.  To provide additional answers for questions beyond at-home learning, we have also developed a “School Re-Entry Question and Answer” for your reference.

May God continue to watch over staff, students and families as we all venture into challenging, yet exciting opportunities in education.  Because the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic continue to cause a shifting landscape, we will continue to keep you informed.  Take care and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools

Will Your Child Be Attending School? (August 22 update)

August 22, 2020 update

Thank you to all the parents that did the recent Holy Spirit Catholic survey. Father Leonard Van Tighem School had an excellent participation rate with 685 responses. Here are the number of students that have chosen At-Home Learning:

  • Division One – Kindergarten to Grade 3 – 15 students
  • Division Two – Grade 4 to 6 – 11 students
  • Division Three – Grade 7 to 9 – 30 students

Next Tuesday our staff will be reviewing our re-entry plan. Once it is completed we will share it with parents.

Please read this important message below from our superintendent.

Dear Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,

We’d like to thank the 85% of our families who provided feedback on our School Re-Entry Survey.  As a result of this information, we now know that over 600 students, roughly 14%, will be opting for at-home programming.  The remaining 86% will be participating in in-school learning.

Pie Chart showing 86% of students will be returning to school and 14% will be working from home.

In terms of bussing, we will be passing along to our transportation partners that 63% of our respondents are either not eligible or not accessing transportation services this year. If you answered “No” on the survey, have changed your mind, and are eligible for transportation (2.4 km or more from your designated school), you may contact your child’s school to make adjustments.  However, please be aware that it can take up to two weeks to process requests. In the meantime, plans for transportation are still being developed and will be communicated as soon as possible.  Please check the division website for the most up-to-date information at: https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/schools/transportation

Pie Chart showing 63% of students will be not be riding the bus and 37% will be.

The survey feedback has certainly reinforced that many are concerned about sending our children to school and that this decision has been a difficult one for many reasons.  We also received messages of support and appreciation knowing that the staff of our entire system are working diligently to ensure that our students will be safe and learn a great deal this next school year. Thank you for all of this feedback. While we will continue to update our School Re-Entry Questions and Answers Document, we wanted to speak to a few of the questions that have continued to emerged in the survey: 

What happens if a case of COVID is confirmed in a school?

If health officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in a school community, we will follow the process outlined by the province. Alberta Health Services provided additional guidelines on August 20, 2020 regarding this topic in the following document: “COVID-19 in School (K-12) Settings: A resource guide for schools before, during and after a COVID-19 outbreak.”  

What do you mean by at-home instruction?

“At-home instruction” does not mean “homeschooling.”  Homeschooling is a very specific program that is directed by the parent/guardian.  While there are school jurisdictions that support “homeschooling”, Holy Spirit is not one of these.  

If a family chooses “at-home learning,” their child will remain enrolled at the school where they are registered for 2020/2021. Students will be part of an online learning group with an assigned teacher. However, the teacher may not be a staff member at their designated school. This learning format will include live online teacher instruction, activities and assignments that students will complete independently. 

If you have opted to have your child learn from home, please confirm this choice by submitting the Home Spirit At-Home Learning Registration Form.  

Will there be “at-home learning” for students attending an Early Learning Program? 

Given the play-based nature of our Early Learning Program, it will only be provided directly within the school.

Will there be co-curricular activities (sports, fine arts, field trips, etc…)?

Unfortunately, not at this time. When our schools first reopen, our primary goal will be to reduce contacts and ensure that students and staff feel comfortable before any of these activities resume. Also, our schools need to have all students and staff out of the buildings by 5:00 p.m. so that thorough cleaning protocols and sanitization can occur. 

While we continue to plan and work for a safe start to our school year, please know that there are some key things that we will be asking our families to do to help us ensure the safety of our school communities: 

  • Before leaving home everyday, complete the Daily Screening Questionnaire for your child. If you answer “Yes” to any of the questions, PLEASE STAY HOME. This is the number one way we can help to protect our children and staff. 
  • Talk to your children about the new health measures and teach and practice these important skills: 
    • Washing / sanitizing hands
    • Physically distancing 
    • Wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible
      (Dr. Deena Hinshaw has created this video to teach how to put on/take off/wear masks properly) 
    • Good respiratory etiquette

I know that our schools have also sent many messages to help prepare for the school year and have invested a tremendous amount of effort into developing specific plans for their school sites.   I am so impressed and thankful for the leadership of our school communities and ask that you keep them all in your prayers as they continue to pour their time and talents into this important work – ensuring the health and safety of our students.

Thank you all again for your support and may you all enjoy these last few days before we begin the school year in earnest!

Sincerely,
Ken Sampson, Superintendent

August 11, 2020 update

Good afternoon Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,

First of all, our apologies to those who may be receiving this information for the first time.  The transfer of our student data to the most recent 2020/2021 information was completed this past Monday.  So, we are aware that this may be new information for some of our Early Learning and Kindergarten families especially.

As a result of this complication, we have extended the deadline on our parent survey to Sunday, August 16, 2020 at midnight.  

For your quick reference, please find below links to emails that were sent previously: 

This survey, which we need completed for each student in your family, is intended to help us to plan for the upcoming school year, starting on September 1, 2020.  We are simply asking parents/guardians to let us know if they plan to have their child attend school in-person or at-home.  We are also inquiring if parents plan to send their child on the bus, if they are eligible for transportation services (living 2.4 km or more from their designated school).  There is space for comments within each question and we will be reviewing this information carefully.  Thank you in advance for your feedback.

We have also heard from many parents/guardians that they would appreciate some additional information before responding to the survey, particularly regarding at-home learning. This information will be provided in the next day or so.  In the meantime, our “Guidelines for Maintaining Safe & Health Schools in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” will continue to be updated, as will our “Response to COVID” webpage. 

Thank you again for your support and assistance.  We know that these are challenging times and difficult decisions and we will continue to pray for you and your family, that you all remain safe and healthy.  

Sincerely,

Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools

August 5, 20202

Good morning everyone,

Please read this very important letter from Mr. Sampson and then complete the short survey to tell us if your child will be coming to school this September or doing an at-home learning program. Please do the survey for each of your children. The survey deadline is Thursday, August 13, 2020. For our June survey, Father Van Tighem School had a response rate of close to 60%. For this essential survey, we are looking for a 100% response.

Thank you,

Greg Kostiuk

August 4, 2020

Good afternoon Parents/Guardians of Holy Spirit Catholic School Division,

As many of you have likely heard, the Government provided an update today, August 4, 2020, that mask use for students in grades 4 to 12, as well as all school staff, will be mandatory as we begin the 2020/21 school year. Staff will be required to wear masks in all settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained, and students will be required to wear them in all shared and common areas, such as hallways and on buses. Mask use for kindergarten to grade 3 students will continue to be optional. Further, the government has committed to providing two reusable masks per student. More information about this can be found on the Alberta Government’s website.

In keeping with the government’s July 21, 2020 announcement, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division continues to plan for opening on September 1, 2020 in Scenario 1 mode, or “near-normal” with health measures in place.  As I mentioned in my email on July 29, 2020, to assist us in developing accurate plans, it is critical that parents/guardians complete this short survey for each student by Thursday, August 13, 2020.  This information is essential to helping schools structure learning in the best way possible. Thank you in advance for your valuable feedback on this matter.  If we work together, we can problem solve and overcome any challenges.  

For the most up-to-date information regarding the division’s response to COVID, please visit our webpage at: https://www.holyspirit.ab.ca/division/response_to_covid

Sincerely, 
Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools

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.

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Good Riddance

As I sat down to write this year-end message, the song Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day began to play on my Air Pods. I found the first verse to be very telling:

good riddance lyrics

Well, the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely a turning point.  None of us could have expected how the 2019-20 school year would end.  I want to acknowledge the many extraordinary events that happened this year, from September to early March.  We had successful extra-curricular events, fascinating field trips, and many exciting learning activities.  We even had a Ski Trip in March. Then all of a sudden: a turning point.  I still remember going around to classes on Friday, March 13, to tell students that while we were planning to have school on Monday, everyone should take their stuff home just in case.

Our transition to off-site learning had a few bumps, and I can say we made some mistakes. But overall, Father Leonard Van Tighem School staff migrated to off-site Edutopia piclearning very quickly.  I could not be more proud of our staff and students.  Also, thank you to our parents for all their support. Although many of us transitioned smoothly, I must acknowledge this has been a difficult time for our community.  Some of our families lost their jobs and income, and I think we all had some feelings of isolation.  We followed the formula of relationships before rigour, grace before grades, patience before programs, and love before lessons.  We must continue to strive to support all the members of our community, especially those in need.

As both staff and students struggled with missing connections, it was terrific to make some connections via home visits, parades by the school, and the Grade 9 Farewell.  During this last week of school, we were able to see many of our students during the resource drop-off and the elementary report card pick-up.  These connections were just as important to the staff as they were for the students.

The cancellation of classes in March affected everyone in the FLVT community.  I do want to shout out four groups who were profoundly impacted by school closures.  These are our Grade 9s, the staff and students involved in our Aladdin Jr. Production, families that are leaving our community, and staff that are leaving Father Van Tighem School—especially Mr. Hauck, who is retiring.  These groups or individuals were looking forward to a special spring, but unfortunately, our plans changed.  For those leaving us, we wish you all the best.

The next school year is still in doubt, and we do not know what September will bring.  Many of us, no matter where we are, will be watching the government announcement on August 1.  No matter the decision, rest assured that the staff of Father Leonard Van Tighem School will do our best to provide excellent Catholic Education for your family.  I am a bit of a space nerd, and recently I was watching the movie Apollo 13.  At one point, the NASA directors were predicting that Apollo 13 would be their greatest disaster.  The flight director responded that it would be their greatest success.  Whatever September may bring, I believe we will succeed as a learning community.  Please know that as soon as we know any specific details about our school in September, we will share them with our entire community.

On behalf of everyone at Father Leonard Van Tighem School, we wish you a safe and blessed summer.  Please be safe out there.  We are in this together.

“God give me clear eyes, a faithful heart and courage to soar.”  St. Kateri, pray for us.

Greg Kostiuk