Re-entry Information for Families
RETURN TO IN-SCHOOL CLASSES UNDER SCENARIO 1
On July 20, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that students would return to in-school classes under Scenario 1, with near-normal daily operations and added health measures. Daily in-school classes for all NGPS students resumed on Wednesday, September 2, 2020.
Scenario 1 includes several provincial safety strategies aimed at reducing the potential spread of COVID-19. In general, these strategies include:
- hand hygiene & respiratory etiquette
- physical distancing
- use of cohorts
- increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection
- daily self-screening
- having staff and students stay home when ill
NGPS 2020-21 COVID-19 RE-ENTRY HANDBOOK
The Northern Gateway Public Schools 2020-21 COVID-19 Re-entry Handbook outlines in detail the strategies and health measures NGPS will implement to support the health and safety of our students and staff. Important guidelines around screening for illness, hand washing, physical distancing where possible, cleaning and disinfecting, cohorts and personal protective equipment (PPE) can be found within the Handbook. Each school will follow this Handbook and also build school-specific information to best fit their community.
ALBERTA GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES SERIES OF ENHANCED COVID-19 HEALTH MEASURES
Effective November 24, 2020 - January 11, 2021
On November 24, 2020, the Alberta Government announced a series of enhanced COVID-19 health measures that impacted various sectors in our communities, including school divisions:
- NGPS students in Grades 7 to 12 began at-home learning on November 30, 2020.
- NGPS students in pre-K to Grade 6 remained learning in-person, at school, until December 18, 2020.
- The winter break (Christmas vacation) for NGPS, as per the Division’s regular school year calendar, remained December 21, 2020 - January 1, 2021.
- Following the winter break (Christmas vacation), all NGPS staff returned to work on January 4, 2021.
- Following the winter break (Christmas vacation), all NGPS students returned to at-home learning on January 4, 2021.
- All NGPS students returned to in-person learning, at school, on January 11, 2021.
Schools and classes look different this year as we follow COVID-19 health measures. These measures include:
Daily, routine health screening for all staff and students
- Before coming to school each day, all staff and students must use Alberta Health's Daily Checklist to decide whether they can attend school or must stay home.
- Families and staff are not required to manually fill out the form or to submit the form to their school. The questionnaire is a tool to assess wellness before coming to school. Students who have any symptoms noted on the questionnaire cannot attend school.
Strict Illness Protocols - showing signs of illness while at school
Parents will be asked to pick up their child from school immediately. The student will be asked to wear a non-medical mask if able to do so safely, and be isolated in a separate room or kept at least two metres away from others. Parents should ensure the school has their most up-to-date contact information.
How Long to Stay Home from School
This summary provides clarity around how long to stay home from school if a child has presenting symptoms or other symptoms.
Parents/Guardians, Volunteers, Visitors and Authorized Individuals
Parents and guardians can attend their child’s school if they are required – to pick up a sick child, to sign Instructional Support Plans, to discuss a matter pertaining to your child and so on - provided established protocols are met: not ill, wearing a mask, completing the COVID-19 Information Screening Questionnaire, completing and signing the Visitor Log upon entry, and awaiting for the attending staff member to take you to the designated physically-spaced meeting area.
NGPS also recognizes that parents/guardians sometimes wish to meet with school staff regarding their child. In such circumstances, we ask that parents make an appointment with the staff member so that all established protocols can be arranged in advance for the parent/guardian meeting.
On August 4, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that the use of non-medical face masks is mandatory for students in Grades 4-12:
- Students in Grades 4 through 12 are required to wear masks in all public school spaces (e.g. hallways, learning commons and on school buses) and can choose to wear them while seated in class.
- Masks are optional for younger students in Kindergarten through Grade 3.
- All teachers and staff - teachers, support staff, bus drivers, etc - are required to wear masks in settings where two metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Effective August 31, 2020, CMOH Order 33-2020 was issued by Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw:
All students attending grades 4 through grades 12, staff members and visitors must wear a non-medical face mask that covers their mouth and nose while attending an indoor location within a school, unless Section 8 of the Order applies.
Mask Exemption Protocol
The NGPS Mask Exemption Protocol will be followed for students and staff who are unable to:
a.) place, use or remove a non-medical face mask without assistance, or
b.) wear a non-medical face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation.
Please see Section 1 - Provincial Health Measures, Pages 9-14, and Section 6 - Appendix R - Request for Mask Exemption, pages 49-50 of the NGPS 2020-21 COVID-19 Re-entry Handbook for complete information.
- Masking, Section 1 - Provincial Health Measures, page 9
- Appendix R - Request for Mask Exemption, pages 49-50
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Quarterly system for 2020-21 and in-person re-entry dates
As we organize for 2020-21, we know that our students need access to high-quality instruction. We also recognize that in-person classes might not be appropriate at this time for all families, depending on their personal circumstances and well-being. For this reason, we are structuring the 2020-21 school year into four (4) quarters:
1. September - mid-November
2. mid-November - January 29
3. February 1 - mid-April
4. mid-April - end of June
INSTRUCTIONAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
1. In-person instruction, Scenario 1
Students who attend school will be assigned to a class where a classroom teacher will support their learning. If a student needs to stay home due to illness, their classroom teacher will provide work to support their learning. The teacher will not provide online instruction.
2. At-home online instruction, Scenario 1
Students who are unable to attend in-person learning in September 2020 can be part of an online learning group with an assigned teacher. This learning format will include live online teacher instruction, directed activities and assignments that students will complete independently.
- Online students will remain enrolled at the school where they are registered for the 2020-21 school year; however, the online teacher may not be a staff member at that school. As well, students in an online learning group may be from multiple schools.
- Online instruction will cover all the required areas of the provincial curriculum with a focus on the core subject areas, and a modified focus on fine arts courses, physical education, and CTF/CTS courses for Grades 5 to 12.
- Quarterly System: students who are unable to attend in-person learning and choose at-home, online instruction will be committed to at-home online instruction for the quarter (See Quarterly System for 2020-21 and In-person Re-entry Dates above).
- Family Choice Following Quarters One and Two. Families who chose online instruction and want to transition to in-person learning have the opportunity to do so at the start of the second or third quarters. Please contact your school for more information.
3. Learning via the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC)
A parent may choose to facilitate distance learning through NGPS, in partnership with the ADLC. To access this distance learning opportunity, the parent is required to contact their child’s resident NGPS school to make arrangements with school administration.
4. Home Education
As per Alberta’s Education Act, Section 20(1), a parent of a student may provide, at home or elsewhere, a home education program for the student…For further information, please see the Home Education Regulation, September 2019. Students who are registered in a home education program for the current school year must remain in that program for the entire school year. (NGPS re-entry points do not apply to students registered in Home Education.)
PROVINCIAL RE-ENTRY TOOLKIT
The province has shared a re-entry toolkit to help prepare students and families for what they can expect in the upcoming year.
GET THE FACTS: BACK TO CLASS FOR 2020–21
The Government of Alberta's GET THE FACTS: BACK TO CLASS FOR 2020-21 outlines COVID-19 information and processes for schools that are currently in place including information about how long students need to isolate after showing symptoms, what happens if a child exhibits symptoms at school, extracurricular activities and much more!
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
This is a stressful time for many Albertans. Resources are available if you, or someone you know, is struggling or needs a little extra support, or advice on handling the stress, or ways to talk to children.
STAY UP TO DATE
For Division information, please continue to check our websites and social media regularly:
LATEST UPDATES FOR FAMILIES AND STAFF
We appreciate that parents have many questions and we will continue to share information and updates on social media and our website. We thank you for your support and good spirit as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year!