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COVID-19

Update from Alberta Education - March 1, 2022

The provincial government has provided the following guidance for schools:

Guidance for Schools and School Buses

On February 26, 2022 the Alberta government confirmed that the province is moving forward with Step 2 of the staged approach to relaxing COVID-19 restrictions on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. 

As was announced, effective March 1, Step 2 of the staged approach includes:

  • Remaining provincial school requirements (including cohorting) will be removed.
  • Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
  • Capacity limits will be lifted for all venues.
  • Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
  • The provincial mask mandate will be lifted in most settings. However, masking will still be required in high-risk settings, including on public transit, at Alberta Health Services-operated and contracted facilities and all continuing care settings.

Mandatory isolation requirements are still in place and are included in Step 3 of the phased approach. The timing to shift to Step 3 will be determined based on decreasing hospitalization rates.

Masking

The provincial masking mandate is removed in most settings in Step 2. In alignment with Step 2, school authorities are not able to require anyone entering the school to wear a mask, unless in accordance with isolation requirements. Individual family choices need to be respected and individuals should not be stigmatized for their choice related to masking going forward. Staff and students can continue to wear masks if they choose to. Schools should support students and staff who choose to wear masks.

In the event that your school authority has remaining rapid test kits or masks that had been supplied, please continue to provide them to any students and staff who request them. School authorities may also choose to redistribute the masks to organizations and community groups within the school community.

Please note that while the provincial masking mandate has been removed, there are still instances, such as related to isolation and on public transit, when masking is required.

Cohorting

As part of Step 2, provincial schools will not be required to cohort students. While cohorting is no longer required, this shift does not mean schools need to re-design current timetabling or classroom structures. School authorities may choose to retain their current timetabling and classroom structure for the remainder of the school year to avoid learning disruption and should consider their local school contexts and needs.

Isolation

The mandatory requirements to isolate have not changed. Information about isolation requirements is available here. Additional information related to isolation and masking is available in the Guidance for K-12 schools and school buses.

Mandatory isolation requirements will be removed in Step 3 of the phased approach to relaxing COVID-19 measures, and will become a recommendation at that time. 

Vaccine policies

Vaccine requirements for employees remain within the purview of the employer. Employers should follow applicable employment and health and safety legislation. Should a school jurisdiction wish to retain or remove these requirements you may wish to seek your own legal advice.

School authorities cannot require parents, volunteers or other non-school employees to show proof of vaccination. Parents, volunteers and other non-school employees are required to follow all provincial health orders and guidelines that are applicable in schools.

Shifts to at-home learning

For the time being, the school shift process for provincial school authorities will remain. School authorities have the discretion to shift a grade or class to at-home learning should it be operationally required. Shifts for schools or entire school authorities for operational reasons require Minister approval.
 
 
Guidance for K-12 schools and school buses 
2021-22 School Year Plan
2021-22 Parent Guide


Updated documents from Alberta Education
Alberta Education has provided the following updated documents:
Questions and Answers regarding relaxing COVID restrictions

Isolation requirements can be viewed here. Please continue to go through the daily screening checklist with your children before sending them to school or on the school bus. 


February 9, 2022

Letter from Education Minister LaGrange to school divisions

The following message was sent home to all division families: 

Dear St. Albert Public Schools Families:

The Government of Alberta has announced the lifting of some COVID measures that directly impact schools. As of Monday, February 14, students will not be required to wear masks at school or while riding the school bus. This is a provincial decision that school divisions have been directed to follow. The letter from the Minister of Education outlining the decision can be accessed here.

As of February 14, families will have the choice about whether their children wear masks at school and/or on the school bus. Our schools and our staff will continue to support all children, including those who choose to wear a mask and those who choose not to wear a mask at school.

Please note, under Step 1 in the provincial plan, all adults in our buildings, as well as our yellow bus drivers, are still required to wear masks. This includes teachers, administrators, educational assistants, visitors, and, in the future, volunteers and spectators at sporting events. More information about volunteers and spectators within our schools will be coming in the next week or two.

Many other measures remain in place. These include:

  • cohorting in elementary schools;
  • advanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols;
  • daily checklist requirements;
  • staying home when feeling unwell/symptomatic; and
  • mandatory isolation requirements for COVID-positive students.

We encourage you to continue to be vigilant and respectful of these measures, including doing the daily checklist before sending your children on the bus or to school, and keeping your children at home when they are ill. Isolating if your child tests positive for COVID remains a mandatory requirement. We thank you for and encourage your continued open communication with schools regarding positive COVID test results. We are expecting further shipments of rapid tests and masks from the government and will distribute them when we receive them.

We know that many of you have questions about the decision regarding student mask use. This is a provincial government decision, not a school division decision, and we have asked the government to provide the evidence they used to make this decision. Our intent is to share this with you should we receive it.

While we have many questions, and we know parents do as well, Alberta Education is still working through the details of these decisions and will provide updated guidance in the coming days. We will continue to communicate with all families regarding any decisions that may impact your child and their education as we are made aware of them.

As always, thank you for your ongoing support.

Sincerely,
St. Albert Public Schools


January 27, 2022

If you're wondering what to do if your child has been exposed to COVID, or how long they're required to isolate, please refer to these charts: Isolation Flow Chart
Exposure Flow Chart

January 7, 2022 - Return to school preparations

COVID-19 Daily Checklist 

This message was sent home to all division families Friday, January 7th. Additionally, this message from the Board of Trustees was also sent to families.

How are decisions made to move classes or schools online?

  • School divisions have that authority to shift a class or grade online depending on case numbers and staffing availability.
  • School divisions do not have the authority to shift an entire school or division online. Any such requests must be approved by the Minister of Education and are based on the following requirements:
    • a significant number of students are absent; and
    • there are insufficient staff to ensure continuity of learning.

December 2021 - Update on International Travel Requirements

With the return of international travel, we know that some families will have trips outside of Canada planned over the Christmas break. Please ensure that you are aware of the Government of Canada’s isolation requirements for children following a return from such a trip.

For 14 days after arrival, unvaccinated children under 12 years of age are not allowed to:

  • attend school, camp or daycare;
  • travel on buses that don’t ensure physical distancing; or
  • attend large crowded settings, indoors or outdoors, such as a sporting event.

Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated youth 12-17 years old are also subject to the 14-day quarantine.

What does this mean for your child? If they have not been fully (two shots) vaccinated, they are not allowed to attend school until 14 days after their return to Canada. Please notify the school if you are travelling internationally so they can best support your children during their time away from school.

Please note that these requirements could change depending on the pandemic situation at any time, and are in addition to testing and other requirements. Please refer to the Government of Canada’s website for the most current information.


Letters from Minister Regarding Vaccines for Children

Questions about the vaccine's safety for your children? Please review the following letter from the Minister of Education:

English version French version

Mandatory Vaccine for Staff

We have introduced mandatory vaccine requirements for all staff. Read the news release here

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.

Pre-existing conditions

Families should tell their child's school about any pre-existing conditions their child has and the related symptoms. This will help school staff determine whether the symptoms are related to the pre-existing conditions and other illness. 


Alberta Health Services Resources

Education and childcare resources
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