Gateway Gazette

Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools Re-Entry Plan

Over the past month senior leaders, site-based administrator’s, teachers and staff have been working under the guidance of Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education to develop a Re-Entry Plan focused on the safe return of our staff and students in the fall.

We are expecting an announcement from the Minister of Education regarding which scenario we will enter into in the fall on August 1st. Until then, we continue to work on our re-entry plan and its refinement. The plan is a working document and, as we receive direction from Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education, we will continue to work to update the plan with new information. 


Individual school Principals in your community will work with their staff to adapt the CTR Re-Entry Plan to include the various additional safety measures specific to their building configuration, student flow, and classroom scheduling.

CTR Re-Entry Plan (Update: June 23, 2020) 

“Please note this plan will be updated as new information becomes available. CTR Catholic’s division Re-Entry Plan is indicated in black text with individual school information in blue. Individual school information is available on their school sites and will be updated no later than August 25, 2020.” 


“We all agree the safety of students and staff will always be the top priority and we have come together to ensure that students will continue to learn in the upcoming school year in whichever scenario.”        — Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education    


Our schools together with CTR Catholic, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Ministry of Education are working together to provide your children a safe return to school in the fall. The school re-entry plan for ECS-12 schools considers three scenarios that could exist when the 2020-2021 school year begins.

  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)

Alberta Education is committed to providing the final plan no later than August 1, 2020 to allow school authorities time to make any additional adjustments to their own plans. It is imperative that school authorities plan and prepare for all three of these scenarios as the Covid-19 pandemic may change at any time and school authorities may be required to transition from one scenario to another with short notice.

Alberta Education will consider a number of factors when deciding which scenario will be implemented in September 2020.  Schools provide more than the opportunity for traditional learning.  Schools support the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of Alberta students.  All of these factors need to be considered in the context of an evolving pandemic.  Not offering in-person schooling has both broad societal implications that need to be considered, and risks to students of loss of educational and social opportunities and supports that must be weighed against the risk of infection transmission.

Return to in-class learning in school may vary across the province, dependent on the number of Covid-19 cases in the local area.  If there are areas with high circulation of Covid-19, those areas with minimal cases and lower risk may return sooner than students in areas with more Covid-19.

The safety and well-being of our students and staff is top priority for CTR. Our efforts are to mitigate the risks of Covid-19. Below are some of the health and safety measures that make up CTR’s Re-Entry Plan.


General Building Safety

Our school will implement a plan for building safety upon return. This will include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided to each school. 
  • Classrooms will be equipped with hand sanitizer.
  • Spray hand sanitizer will be administered to students as they enter/exit the school, library and gym. Parents may also provide their students with their own sanitizers and hand lotion to be used when entering and exiting the school. 
  • Students will be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day. Teachers will ensure young children are supervised and assisted as much as possible in hand hygiene. 
  • Area rugs and soft furnishings in the classroom that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed.
  • Posters will be put up in our school at all exits and high traffic areas as well as above every hand washing and hand sanitizing station. 
  • Water fountains can remain open. 
    • Buttons and knobs will be cleaned regularly by custodians.  
    • Students are encouraged to bring water bottles. 
  • Each school will increase the frequency of cleaning/disinfecting of high touch areas and equipment.  Each student is asked to provide an empty spray bottle to assist in cleaning their own desk/table surfaces before recess/snack/lunch/transitions.
  • At the end of the day, custodians will clean and disinfect desk surfaces. Custodians will follow an enhanced daily cleaning protocol. 
  • Doors will be propped open whenever reasonable to avoid using door handles. 
  • Furniture in the atrium, hallways, gathering spaces will be either removed or spaced apart to meet physical distancing guidelines. They will be washed down daily. 
  • Use of shared items or equipment will be avoided where possible. Equipment that must be shared will be cleaned and disinfected after each use where possible.

Screening

  • Before leaving home, staff, children/students, substitute teachers, visitors, and volunteers who will access the school for work or education, must self-screen for symptoms each day that they enter the school using the Screening Questionnaire tool.
  • Parents and children/students will  be provided a copy of the screening tool with the expectation that it must be completed on a daily basis.
  • Anyone that reports symptoms will be directed to stay home, seek health care advice as appropriate (e.g., call Health Link 811, or their primary health care practitioner, or 911 for emergency response), and fill out the AHS COVID Online Self-Assessment Tool to determine if they should be tested.

Responding to an Illness

  • If a student or staff member develops symptoms while at the school, they will be asked to wear a mask and be isolated in a separate room. Parents will be notified and asked to pick up their child immediately. Please ensure the school has an emergency contact listed for your child, in the event you are unable to pick up your child within one hour. 
  • The symptomatic person will be encouraged to access the AHS Online Testing Tool.
  • Students will be required to adhere strictly to any self-isolation requirements by AHS. Teachers will continue to work with the student during the absence.  
  • If there are cases of Covid-19 identified within school settings, CTR Catholic will work closely with the Zone Medical Officer of Health who will provide follow-up recommendations and messaging for staff, parents/guardians and students. 

Physical Distancing

  • Schools will promote physical distancing when possible.
  • Where 2 meters is not possible between desks, the greatest possible spacing is recommended. 
  • Students will be reminded to avoid close greetings (e.g. hugs, high-fives, fist bumps, ‘Sign of Peace’, etc.) and to “keep your hands to yourself”.
  • Singing is considered a high risk activity and will be postponed at this time.
  • Pick-up and drop-off times will be staggered. 
  • Traffic flows will be managed in hallways and common areas.
  • Full school liturgies/masses/assemblies/gatherings will be suspended in favour of small group or virtual events.
  • Gymnasiums will be used to deliver physical education programming.  Whenever possible, physical education may be delivered outdoors.
  • Group activities will be adapted to minimize physical contact.
  • In cases where physical distancing is not possible, additional attention will be given to hand hygiene and cleaning high touch surfaces. 

Cohorting

Cohorting will be used wherever possible. A cohort is a group of people or students who remain together as much as possible. This limits exposure to others. Cohorts are beneficial in the event that schools need to work with AHS to assist with contact tracing.  

  • Whenever possible, teachers will move to classrooms to reduce transitions, locker visits and hallway congestion.
  • All teachers will create and keep a record of a seating plan to aid contact tracing.  
  • In Kindergarten – Grade 6 cohorting is more likely. If students have multiple teachers, teachers will use the same seating plan. 
  • In Grade 7-9, schools will cohort for homeroom instruction in core courses, yet will be intermixed for options and therefore seating plans will be used and strictly enforced. 
  • In Grade 10-12, cohorting is not practical, so seating plans will be used and strictly enforced. 

Masks

  • Staff and students will not be mandated to wear masks.  We recommend, however, that all students have a mask with them as part of their supplies.
  • Teachers will endeavour to ensure students who choose to wear masks are not stigmatized. 
  • Masks may be recommended for particular activities and considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. 
  • Students who ride the bus will be in closer proximity to other students on the bus. Parents are strongly encouraged to consider having their child wear masks while riding the bus.  Masks will be required on buses if AHS deems them mandatory.
  • Teachers and EAs will be equipped with face shields. Face shields allow for visibility of facial expressions and speech perception.
  • Alberta Health Services Guidance for Wearing Non Medical Masks
  • Dr. Deena Hinshaw Demonstrates How to Properly Wear A Mask

Expectations for drop-off/pick up

Please respect physical distancing when dropping off and picking up your child. 

  • Consider not exiting your vehicle when dropping off or picking up your child, unless they are very young. Consider having a designated spot to pick up your child.
  • Schools will stagger entry/exit times. Principals will communicate their school entrance/dismissal plan to you on your school’s website.  

Transportation

  • When possible, drivers will ensure physical distancing between students.
  • Siblings will be required to sit together. The driver will enforce a strict seating plan. 
  • Students will be strongly encouraged to wear a mask on the bus. 
  • Parents should ensure their child’s hands are washed prior to entering the bus. 
  • Busses will be cleaned between each route. 
  • In order to accommodate physical distancing it may be necessary for drivers to perform multiple loops which may impact ride times, arrival and departure and supervision. 
  • Parents are asked to consider alternate ways to transport your children to school such as driving or having a friend or family member drive, carpooling or walking. 
  • At this time we will not be able to accommodate ride-alongs for friends or after school activities that are not child care related. 

Visitors/Volunteering

  • Parent volunteers and non-essential visitors will be limited and may only enter the building with permission by an administrator. 
  • All visitors must sign in and complete the Screening Questionnaire

Belongings/School Supply List

  • Students will be asked to label their personal items and not share. 
  • Students should bring their own filled water bottle to school each day.
  • Students are responsible for opening all containers and packages in their lunch. Please do not send anything in your child’s lunch that they cannot easily open themselves and avoid or limit items that need to be microwaved. 
  • Students should use backpacks/containers to store items. Locker access may be limited.
  • See your individual school website for supply lists. 

Lunch/Hot Lunch/Breakfast Program

  • Parents are encouraged to send all food items with their children in the morning to avoid visiting the school during the day. 
  • Please avoid any microwavable items or hard to open containers. 
  • When possible students will eat in their classrooms. 
  • The sharing of food is not permitted. Birthday treats should not be sent to school.
  • Details about breakfast programs and cafeteria services will be communicated by the school principal.
  • Desks and table surfaces will be cleaned before and after eating. 

Extra Curricular Activities

  • School authorities continue to 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.
  • Performances, such as concerts and drama productions, will adhere to the AHS guidelines on the health and safety of students, staff and audience members.

Classroom Learning 

Administration is working closely with teachers to resume in-class learning during the 2020-2021 school year.  As part of planning, teachers will consider which concepts were taught during the spring and how this will impact classroom instruction in the fall. New routines and understanding the importance of hand hygiene, physical distancing, and respiratory etiquette will be infused into daily instruction.

Support for Students with Special Needs 

Each school has support in place to assist students in this transition, including administrators, teachers, support staff, and Family School Liaison Workers (FSLW’s) and Connections Workers.  FSLW’s and Connections Workers have spent significant time preparing for students’ arrival and are available to provide assistance to both students and parents.  Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s school with specific questions or concerns regarding this transition back to school.

Moving Scenarios – Learning Together Online and In Class

In the event the Ministry calls for total distance learning due to a second spike, or in the event that CTR Catholic determines there is a significant, prolonged, and school-wide spike in absenteeism due to Covid, schools are preparing to transition to deliver live-streamed lessons to large numbers of students learning at home by necessity. The live-streaming delivery can be used in either scenario, and unlike distance learning this spring, students will receive direct instruction and normal assessment on the full curriculum throughout the day with the possibility for more interaction, engagement, and support.  

This option will only be used in the event the Ministry limits the number of students allowed in the school at one time (ie 50%) or if at-home learning is mandated.  If the Ministry announces additional health measures reducing occupancy, schools may need to divide students into two groups.

CTR would likely divide students into two groups on a two-day rotation according to last names.

  • Last name A-K on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • Last name L-Z on Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • Fridays would alternate A-K and L-Z

Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)

  • A return to in-school classes includes the administration of diploma exams for the 2020-21 school year, which will continue to be mandatory.  Results will continue to constitute 30% of a student’s final diploma course mark.
  • Alberta Education will continue to administer Grade 6 and 9 PATs. The administration of PATs is limited to English Language Arts, French Language Arts and Mathematics. Students will not write the Social Studies and Science PATs in the 2020-2021 school year.
  • In the event that in-school classes are suspended/cancelled, Alberta Education will determine whether or not Diploma and PATs will be administered.

Check the Christ the Redeemer website for updates.

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