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COVID-19

Update January 8, 2021

The following letter was emailed to all division families this afternoon:

Dear St. Albert Public Families:

Welcome back! I hope you all had a restful Christmas break. I know this past week of online learning has been challenging for some, but I’ve seen and heard some inspiring stories of how creative our families and staff have been in their commitment to making it work.

As announced by Premier Kenney on Thursday, students will be returning to in-school classes as of Monday, January 11th, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back to the classroom. We have missed them all! The provincial government has asked us to share a letter from the Minister of Education regarding the return to school - to read this letter, please click here.

Alberta Health Services has closed all “outbreaks” in schools across the province however we will remain vigilant in our efforts to control the spread of the virus. Please be assured we will continue to utilize our safety protocols that were in place prior to the Christmas break. This includes contact tracing, so we remind you to please notify your school principal if your child tests positive for COVID. This will enable us to act quickly to reduce the possibility of spread, and keep our students, staff and community safe. 

It is critically important that we all continue to follow ALL health orders issued by the Chief Medical Officer if we are to keep our students safe, and our schools open and running. We know this is a difficult time and it is sometimes tempting to bend the rules, but it is crucial to follow them if we want schools to remain open for in-school instruction. We all have a role to play in this. Please ensure that you continue to use the daily screening tool with your children and only send your children to school and/or on the bus if they are healthy and symptom-free.

We are optimistic that schools will remain open, however please keep in mind that the provincial directive regarding education could change at any time, and with very little notice. We could be directed to at-home online instruction, or a hybrid model of at-home and in-school learning. Although it’s hard to prepare for the unknowns, we are ready for quick transitions. Parents will be notified by email if such a transition is required. 

Online Learning

For those families considering registering for online instruction for Quarter 3, the deadline for registration is Jan. 12 for elementary and junior high students, and January 22 for high school students. Requests received after these dates will be placed on a wait list and we cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate any late requests. Please refer to our website at www.spschools.org for more information.

Athletics

We are continuing to monitor the pandemic situation in our community and beyond before making any decisions about school athletic programs this spring. The safety of our students is our primary consideration, and the number of COVID cases and the toll on our healthcare system will also be factored in. At this time, all athletics continue to be on hold.

School Information Evenings and Kindergarten Fair

We are unable to host our in-person elementary school information evenings or our annual Kindergarten Fair this year. We are preparing information and videos so families can learn more virtually about our schools and our Kindergarten programs. Again, please watch our website for links to this information.
Please feel free to reach out to our principals or division office staff, as we are always happy to answer questions.

In closing, I would like to thank all of our families for their tremendous support during this most unusual school year. Whatever the next few months hold, we will make the best of them together.

Sincerely,
Krimsen Sumners
Superintendent of Schools


Screening tool

We expect that only healthy students and staff will come to school each day. Before coming to school each day, all staff and students must complete the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 Information Screening Questionnaire to determine whether they can attend or must stay home. The self-screening questionnaire is available in multiple languages.

Pre-existing conditions

If your child has a pre-existing medical condition that causes symptoms that appear on the Daily Screening Questionnaire, please follow the following procedure:

  • If your child is not presenting with symptoms, please send them to school.
  • The first time in the school year that your child presents symptoms of COVID-19 due to the pre-existing health condition, please call 811 and have a COVID-19 test administered for your child if Alberta Health directs you to do so. A negative result confirms that the baseline symptoms of the pre-existing health condition are not COVID-19 related.
  • Upon receipt of the negative result, complete the form provided by your child's school to communicate this information to the school. With this documentation on file, the school will be able to allow your child to attend school even with these symptoms present.
  • If your child had a COVID-19 test during the summer when symptoms were present, you do not need to repeat this step, and can submit the form to the school at this time.
  • You do not require a note from your doctor regarding the pre-existing health condition, but the condition should have been previously diagnosed by your doctor.

Alberta Health Services Resources

Guidance for Parents of Children Attending School and/or Childcare

How long to stay home from school

Updated Guidance for School Re-Entry - Scenario 1
Key updates include:

  • Cohorts – clarifies that teachers/staff should not be in a cohort with each other, unless it is required for operational purposes (i.e., a teacher and a teacher’s assistant who work with the same classroom cohort)
  • In-Person Learning – Provides guidance for off-site activities (field trips), singing and music
  • Auxiliary Spaces – Provides guidance for extracurricular activities and sports cohorts

Map: AHS has  developed an interactive map that shows active COVID-19 cases in schools. Click here to access this map.

Student illness: if a student has COVID-19 symptoms


Provincial government scenarios

1. In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures) 2. In-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures) 3. At-home learning continues (in-school classes are suspended/cancelled)
On July 21, 2020 the government indicated their plan is to return to school in the fall under Scenario 1. Please be aware that deciding which scenario to enact is a government decision, not a school division decision, and we could be directed by the government to switch among these scenarios during the school year with very little notice. Our planning includes strategies which will allow us to switch scenarios rapidly and as with as little disruption as possible.

Provincial government resources

Provincial government return to school info 
Scenario 1 Guidance
Implementing School Re-entry Guidance
Outbreak Guidance
School Resources
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