School Back In This Fall
August 4, 2020 - The Minister of Education confirmed that the 2020-2021 school year for Parkland School Division will begin under Scenario 1 as outlined in the provinces previously announced School Re-Entry Plan. This means the return to in-school classes with additional safety protocols.
“Alberta continues moving ahead with our recovery and relaunch plan. I’m proud of our comprehensive plan that supports the safe return to daily in-school learning. The return of more than 750,000 students to near-normal learning in the new school year is indicative of Alberta’s continued recovery as we work to relaunch our economy and return to our regular everyday lives.” - Jason Kenney, Premier
“We are determined to do everything that we can to safely return our students, teachers and staff to school. I appreciate the input and support of school authorities across the province, as well as our education partners, in developing and refining our school re-entry plan. We are providing clear and detailed guidelines and a re-entry tool kit so everyone can do their part and prepare for a safe return to school.” - Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education
“We are committed to doing everything possible to protect the health and safety of students, staff and families during the upcoming school year. There is no risk-free approach to COVID-19 but there are also risks to children’s overall health from school closures. We are continually refining our public health advice for schools based on best available evidence. We also have plans in place to respond quickly when cases are identified. Limiting the spread of the virus in schools will require the dedication and support of all Albertans when the school year begins this fall.”- Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health
Under scenario 1, schools will implement a number of public health measures, which include frequent cleaning of surfaces, placing hand sanitizers at school entrances and classrooms, grouping students in cohorts, and planning the school day to allow for physical distancing, which could include staggering start times for classes, recesses and lunches. Additional public health measures may be established prior to September on the advice of the chief medical officer of health in consultation with the education system.
In addition, students, staff, parents and school visitors will be expected to use a self-screening questionnaire daily to determine whether they can enter the school.
As local school authorities have the responsibility of planning for all three scenarios, Parkland School Division is well-positioned to move forward with the PSD 2020-21 Plan for School Re-entry.
“We are excited to welcome students back August 31st. We recognize some apprehension that parents, students and staff share but are committed to supporting all of our students on their return to school. The Division and provincial plans have been developed with care and compassion. Every child deserves a safe and supportive learning environment and we are confident that we have the plans in place to deliver that.” - Shauna Boyce, PSD Superintendent
Student and staff safety is the centre of all decisions that guide PSD’s Re-entry Plan. Parkland School Division is committed to Student Success and Well-Being. The Division recognizes that, as a system, well-being must be present for all stakeholders, and therefore is committed to fostering physical literacy, lifelong health and well-being at all levels.
Mandatory Mask Wearing for Grades 4 - 12
As announced by the Education Minister August 4th, mask use for students in grades 4 to 12, as well as all school staff, will be mandatory when school returns for 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. Every single Kindergarten to Grade 12 student will be provided with two reusable masks.
This will ensure that students who are required to wear masks will have them, and will allow for our Kindergarten to Grade 3 students to have masks should they wish to wear them. We will also provide all of our teachers, school staff, and bus drivers with two masks.
Healthy Hygiene Update
As part of our school re-entry plan, we indicated that entrances to schools and classrooms will require hand sanitizing stations. To assist our schools with stocking up on sanitizer, Alberta’s government will provide approximately 466,000 litres of hand sanitizer to our school authorities across Alberta.
Every school will be supplied with two contactless thermometers to assist with managing student and staff health. Thermometer use will be at the discretion of the school authority.
Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services are working hard to expand testing capacity and reduce turnaround times for testing, including in-school staff, teachers and students, so that anyone with symptoms or close contacts of cases can be rapidly tested and receive test results promptly.
Key documents include:
- PSD Documents:
- Alberta Government/Alberta Health Services Documents:
- Alberta Education Documents: