School Re-entry – Update

On July 21, 2020 the Minister of Education announced that schools will be resuming under the conditions of Scenario 1; In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures)”.  Pembina Hills School Division posted information on the district and school websites regarding what PHSD will be doing to facilitate student re-entry to school in the fall. Full and specific details cannot be provided at this time because plans are still being made at the Ministry level; however, based on what we know right now, Swan Hills School administration has begun preparing for the next school year. Please remember that, as has happened frequently throughout the past year, plans and details may be required to change quickly.

Each school in Pembina Hills will follow the same guidelines set forth by Alberta Education, Alberta Health Services, and PHSD, but there will be some differences due to school size, population, and dynamics. Ultimately, we want to students, staff, and parents to remain safe, and we all need to work together to help ensure this happens.

The points provided will be refined as we learn more from Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services, but may provide some detail in addition to what PHSD has already provided, as it pertains to Swan Hills School.

  • Parents will screen their children prior to sending them to, or dropping them off, at school.
  • Students riding on the division school bus will have a seating plan designed to establish as much distance as possible between student family groups. Students lining up outside school doors should attempt to maintain an appropriate distance from others.
  • Students who arrive at school demonstrating symptoms, or who develop them during the course of the day, will be isolated in the school’s sick room until a parent can pick them up. Testing may be required, as per Alberta Education’s and Alberta Health Services’ guidelines.
  • All visitors must check in at the school office. Classrooms visits are expected to be limited.
  • Disinfectant will be provided for use at all entrances and in all classrooms.
  • Students are expected to bring water bottles that can be filled at the refill station.
  • Students and staff may wear masks, but they are not mandated at this time.
  • As much as possible, students will be in cohorts according to class and by Division.
  • Hallways will be marked as to direction to help students stay to each side and establish greater distance between they others.
  • As much as possible, students will take all lessons in the same classroom. In instances where this is not feasible, desks, chairs, and equipment, will be disinfected between classes.
  • As necessary, class endings may be staggered to reduce the number of students in the hallways at one time.
  • Desks and chairs will be placed in a design to avoid face-to-face contact between students.
  • Common areas will be limited to smaller numbers of students, and most classes will remain in the rooms for lunch break (as per usual for Division 1 and 2).
  • Staggering of recess breaks is being considered.
  • Course materials will be made available through Google Classroom so students required to miss some days of class due to illness can continue while away from school. These are not planned to be live-streamed, but will provide the material that students in the classroom will be covering during those days.
  • Parents who wish to homeschool their children or to enroll them into distance education programs may do so; however, Swan Hills School’s teachers cannot provide both classroom and online delivery. PHSD’s Vista Virtual School and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre can enroll students by the year or semester if that is the parent’s choice. Please contact Mr. Sekulich at slade.sekulich@pembinahills.ca if you would like information on either of these options.

We expect Alberta Education will provide more information as we get closer to the next school year. As we learn more, the school plan will be refined according to guidelines and what we believe will make our students and staff as safe as possible in these circumstances. Information will be shared with parents and students as it evolves.

Posted on: July 30th, 2020