Planning for next year and COVID-19
Message from Superintendent Peter Barron
First, I would like to thank all of our parents for your support as we moved to online learning this spring. We recognize this has been very challenging for you, the students and our staff. You are all to be commended for your efforts to make the best of a very tough situation.
On Wednesday, Minister LaGrange shared some very good news that the target for re-entry of school in the fall will be Scenario 1. This means students will return to school but with some health measures in place. This decision will not be confirmed, however, until August 1. As long as infection rates are low in our communities, I would expect that this plan will move forward.
Currently, the school division and schools are putting plans in place to ensure your child’s and our staff’s safety. Here is some important information regarding the end of this school year and the start of the 2020-21 school year that you should be aware of.
Completing the 2019-20 School Year
- The last day of instruction for Clearview students will be June 19. After that date, staff will be determining final grades and establishing plans for next year. Teachers will be identifying and discussing any learning gaps that may exist and formulate plans to bridge them in the fall.
- Your school will be contacting you directly about the distribution of report cards and the return of school resources/technology.
- There are no scheduled final diploma exams for provincial achievement tests in June. Some students in the province have requested special permission to write diploma exams and they are doing so on an exception basis.
Starting the 2020-21 School Year
- Re-entry plans are based on 4 key principles that were established by the government in collaboration with education partners.
- The safety of children, students and staff comes first.
- Children and student learning will continue.
- Provincial funding is still flowing to schools.
- School authorities have flexibility to do what is best for their community.
- School will follow public health measures for children and student learning and extra-curricular activities including physical distancing when possible. Additional health measures include screening, environmental cleaning, physical distancing, and hand washing. Specific details on how this will happen at your child’s school will be shared with you in August.
- Clearview may adjust the learning calendar and/or the number and length of instructional days if the Board feels it is necessary. Please note that there is no immediate plan to do so.
- Clearview may reduce time spent teaching non-core subjects to allow for additional instruction time on core (English, Math, Social, and Science) in order to address any learning gaps identified. Again, these adjustments if necessary would be shared in August.
- In this Scenario, Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams will be administered next year.
- Clearview will have the flexibility to offer extra-curricular activities to students. Alberta Education is working with Alberta Health and education partners, including the Alberta School Athletics Association, to explore go forward possibilities for athletic activities and events within the context of health measures being in place.
- Within our context, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is primarily focused on non-medical masks. Practices such as physical distancing, hand washing, staying home when sick, and increased environmental cleaning continue to be priority public health measures. The use of masks is not generally recommended for children; however, families may choose to have their children wear masks.
- Staff may bring and wear masks if they choose to.
- If there are cases of COVID-19 identified within Clearview, the Zone Medical Officer of Health will work directly with us to provide follow-up recommendations and messaging for staff, parents/guardians, children and students.
- The Government of Alberta has put in place mental health supports in recognition of the unprecedented efforts already in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Additional transportation rules will be put in place to safeguard drivers and students.
The detailed re-entry plan from Alberta Education may be accessed here.
Any movement from Scenario 1 to 2 would significantly modify our plans. The triggers for this shift will be contingent on outbreaks in our communities.
I believe the key to success will be largely dependent on our ability to adhere to the health recommendations. It is tempting to relax if there are not any cases in our areas; however, we know that this illness is highly infectious and the situation can change rapidly. Our best hope to maintain in-school classes for the entire year is to be vigilant in abiding by health authority recommendations.