Ross Glen Road Runner Reporter

January 2022

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Ross Glen School

Vision

“Fostering responsible citizenship through holistic development”


Mission

“As a professional learning community, we are committed to nurturing holistic development, promoting life-long learning and encouraging our students to become responsible citizens.”

Ross Glen School Goals

1) In what ways will deepening our understanding and implementation of research-based literacy practices impact student learning?

  • Professional Learning around the Science of Reading and the five pillars of literacy

  • Impactful instruction (ELP-grade 6 small group instruction, differentiated instruction, skill inventories, implementing sounds walls, heart words. morphology

  • Collaboration with Division Optimal Learning Coaches

  • School Literacy Committee

2) To what extent can our focus on the wellness of students and staff contribute to the overall sense of wellbeing at Ross Glen School?

  • Motivational Morning with Nick (our FSLW)

  • Relationships (among peers/adults)

  • Comprehensive School Health team (Health Champion, Wellness Champion, FSLW, Success Coach, admin) will plan staff and student activities

  • School Wellness Committee

  • Connection- opportunities to connect with others

ENGAGED COMMUNITY

January School Events

January 10th- Classes resume

January 12th- Deadline to order Spirit Day lunch

January 21st- Spirit Day

January 28th - Professional Learning Day - no school for students

January 26th - Bell Let's Talk Day - dress as a superhero

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MHPSD Communication

Emailed on January 9th

Dear Families,

Below you will find a summary of the most significant changes to our 2021-2022 MHPSD School Plan. These changes have been made after a review of the most recent guidance provided to school divisions (Government of Alberta Guidance for Schools (k-12) and Busses). That guidance was received early Friday evening. Please note that, in most cases, where the government used the terms “strongly recommended” and “recommended” we have accepted that recommendation and placed it in our own plan.

Throughout the pandemic Medicine Hat Public School Division’s focus has been fixed on three guiding principles:

  1. The safety and well-being of students and staff is the TOP priority.
  2. High quality teaching and learning will be supported through sound inclusion practices, flexible learning environments, and high value professional learning.
  3. Protect families and our community from disruptions to learning.

This latest wave of the pandemic may prove to be our most challenging yet. Because we no longer receive information from Alberta Health Services regarding positive cases in schools (students or staff) we have no reliable data to help us project student and staff absence levels. We are thankful to our staff and families who share information about absences so we can plan ahead, however, we fully expect that there will be occasions when do not have enough staff to serve a class, grade level, or school.

As this email is being written, we are receiving notifications from staff that they are unable to report to work face to face due to the onset of symptoms or because they have tested positive. We are also aware that our substitute teacher and educational assistant pools have been depleted because they too are experiencing symptoms or are testing positive. It is likely that shifts to at-home learning will be necessary due to staffing challenges.

Please know that we look forward to returning to a place with less disruption and challenge. Like the community we serve, no teacher or staff member is the creator of this challenge, nor are they the architects of the response. They have been working hard under extremely challenging circumstances for a very long time. They care about your children and our community and are doing the very best they can. They have invested in learning a broader range of tools to support our students.

I am constantly amazed by the commitment of the staff who serve our children and youth and am thankful for the tremendous support the community has given us throughout the pandemic. Thank you.

Be Well,

Mark Davidson, Superintendent
Medicine Hat Public School Division


SUMMARY OF CHANGES to our 2021-2022 MHPSD School Plan based on updates from the most recent Government of Alberta Guidance for Schools (k-12) and Busses.

DAILY SCREENING PRACTICES - ILLNESS: Each day, before leaving home, staff, students, visitors, and volunteers who will access the school for work or education, must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms using the applicable checklist for their age group by completing the Alberta Health Daily Checklist. Parents can follow the Student Isolation Requirements Flow Chart to help make their decisions

MASKING IN SCHOOLS AND ON BUSSES: Staff and students in K-12 are required to properly wear masks at all times while on school buses when inside MHPSD schools and properties. Students in ELP will be required to wear a mask on school busses but will not be required to wear masks during the school day. Parents may choose to send their children to school wearing a mask at their discretion.

SPORTS AND EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND PERFORMANCES:

Sports: Athletic games and practices are permitted, as is league play. Spectator attendance is not permitted at this time. Schools will continue to provide live streaming options when possible.

Performing Arts: Singing & vocal performance, dance and live instrumental music are permitted as part of the educational curriculum, within limitations. Students are able to participate in an extracurricular performance activity, however audiences and spectators are not permitted at this time.

STUDENT GROUPINGS/COHORTS:

Kindergarten through grade 6: A student’s assigned class will be considered their cohort. Cohorting should be maintained during activities outside the classroom, such as recess and lunch breaks. If students from two different cohorts wish to socialize, they should remain 2 metres apart.

Grades 7 - 12: Middle schools and high schools cannot reasonably cohort while offering a full range of programming.

PROHIBITED EVENTS: To reduce interactions between cohorts, multi-classroom/cohort gatherings such as assemblies, whole grade, or whole school groupings are not permitted at this time. Virtual assemblies are encouraged.

STUDENTS ENTERING/EXITING THE SCHOOL: Schools have designated entrances and exits to support cohorts and distancing for staggered entry. Each school will have a plan in place to encourage distancing and to ensure masking prior to school entry.

VISITORS/PARENT/VOLUNTEERS & SERVICE PROVIDERS: In accordance with MHPSD Policy 546 all persons over the age of 12 are required to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative rapid test result in order to enter all Division facilities. A self-test completed offsite or self-produced documentation of a negative test result is not valid. This requirement does not apply to students attending school or regular curriculum events. Any visitor that enters an MHPSD building will be required to wear a mask; mask exemptions will not be accepted. Any visitor that is not able to wear a mask may meet with school staff virtually.

EDUCATIONAL EXCURSIONS/FIELD TRIPS: Excursions to outdoor destinations are permitted. Distancing between cohorts is expected.

Excursions to indoor settings are permitted so long as cohorts travel separately and do not mingle at their destination. Host businesses and organizations must assure the teacher that volunteers and staff are either fully vaccinated or have provided proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours.

SHIFTING TO AT-HOME LEARNING: Within Alberta Education’s plan school jurisdictions may shift an individual class or grade level to at-home learning based on the level of absence among students and the availability of qualified staff. The decision to shift an entire school to at-home learning rests with the Minister of Education, in consultation with school jurisdictions.

We will make every effort to ensure that the decision to shift to at-home learning is communicated with as much advance notice as possible, however advanced notice may not always be an option. It is very possible that we will have circumstances where a staff member must leave due to the onset of illness, and we have no qualified replacement. In these limited circumstances, we may need to engage a fan-out to send classes home. We are prioritizing our teaching resources for younger grades in the hopes of avoiding the need to send them home.

It is critical that families begin to consider what they might do if this circumstance arises.

If a shift to at-home learning occurs, your child’s teacher/school will communicate, as soon as possible, direction regarding the start-up of at-home learning. We remain committed to the effective use of Google Classroom/Edsby to support learning. As has been the case for nearly two years, schools will support families who do not have a device to support on-line learning. Families are asked to contact their child’s school to sign out a device.

Mask and Rapid Test Distribution: Masks and rapid tests will be sent home with students, through their classroom/homeroom teachers. Families will receive an email prior to masks/test being sent home, so they can watch for their arrival. We understand that some families do not want or need these supplies and we do not want them to go to waste. If you prefer that your child DOES NOT bring home masks and/or a rapid test kit, please contact your child’s school and let the know. Masks and rapid tests are being provided to families to use at their discretion; it is not mandatory to use either. We recommend that you follow the guidance provided from AHS, see below.

MASKS: Ten government issued masks will be sent home with each student; it is not mandatory to use a government provided mask. Students may wear any mask that meets AHS guidelines. It is mandatory that students in k-12 come to school each day with a mask on and follow MHPSD masking expectations*. The remaining 10 masks will be distributed at school for midday mask changes. A mid-day mask change is not mandatory but is strongly recommended. Please review the AHS guidance on masks.

*Staff and students in K-12 will be masked at all times regardless of seating arrangements. Student can remove their masks to eat, for recess and to participate in physical education.

What types of masks will be provided? We expect to get more details about the type of masks being provided, currently this is what we have heard from AHS:

  • Adult masks are Level 3 and child masks are Level 2. Level 3 masks have greater than 98% filtration efficiency and protect against heavy levels of aerosols, spray and/or fluids. Level 2 masks have greater than 98% filtration efficiency and protect against low to medium levels of aerosols, spray and/or fluids.

RAPID TESTS: The rapid tests come in a box of five. Each ECS-12 student and staff will be given one box for each distribution that will provide them with enough tests for 2.5 weeks. School staff will NOT administer a rapid test to a student at any time. Our only job is to get them from the government to you. You are NOT required to use them. We are passing these tests to staff and families, use your own discretion. AHS has provided the following guidance:

  • The rapid test is recommended to be used twice per week, 72 hours apart (i.e. Sunday and Wednesday or Monday and Thursday). Additional information is available online.
  • A how-to video and a rapid test program fact sheet translated into multiple languages offers tips on how to use the rapid test kits. Both are available online.
  • Rapid tests should be stored between 2 degrees and 30 degrees Celsius. The BTNX tests should not be frozen. If they are accidentally frozen, they can be thawed for 30 minutes to room temperature and then can still be used.
  • There is no requirement to report a positive rapid test result to AHS or schools.
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Daily Health Checklist

Please refer to this updated Daily Health checklist prior to sending your child to school. Children who show symptoms will be sent home. Your cooperation in keeping our school community healthy is appreciated.

Masks

New masks are being supplied by the government. These should arrive at the school by January 15th.


Please remind your children about how to properly wear a mask. We will review this with students as well.

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Safety

Please ensure you are following all parking signs and rules. NO Parking areas are designated to ensure that students and families can cross the road safely without their (or the driver's) visibility being blocked. Please DO NOT park in the designated staff parking lots.

Please remind your children to cross at crosswalks and to walk across the street after they are certain the vehicle has stopped for them.

We need to work together to ensure our students are safe. Thank you for your cooperation.

Edsby

Please refer to Edsby as the main platform for school communication. We have updated the calendar with important dates and add news to the River of News (the banner at the top). If you have had issues logging into Edsby, please call us at the school and we can assist you.

Success Coach

We would like to welcome Miss K. to our RG team as our new Success Coach. She will be working with students as she delivers universal programming around topics such as healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and physical and mental wellness.

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Hot Lunch/Spirit Day Lunch

Please keep in mind that if other lunches are dropped off, they are required to be delivered to classrooms by a staff member, and makes additional work for the staff. We encourage you to order hot lunch or pack your child a regular lunch.

Thank you for understanding.

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Ross Glen School Clothing Items

We are happy to announce we have a new line of Ross Glen clothing, and other items, available to our school community for purchase! We know school clothing, and other items, creates a sense of belonging, builds a feeling of community, and encourages school pride. We are excited to offer this to our students and school community!


This year, options will include masks, neck gaiters, mini hand sanitizer bottles, and fanny packs (to keep masks, and other items, safe while the students are enjoying playing at recess).


Sales will take place directly on our online store. Families are able to order and pay for their choices directly. There is no cost for shipping as items will be shipped directly to the school and sent home with your child.


The link for ordering is https://www.teamfs.ca/store/c84/Ross_Glen_Elementary_School.html.

School Council

Thank you to our School Parent Council members for their hard work in supporting our school.

Chairs: Jessie Ruckaber

Secretary: Megan Knodel

Treasurer: Nicole Nikiel


There is no School Council meeting in January.

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Tru Earth

All products purchased ship directly to the purchaser, with no shipping charges. The campaign remains open until the end of the school year, so you can place orders at your convenience and replenish your stock as needed while supporting our cause. When you use Tru Earth Eco-Strips, you will feel confident that you are taking care of your family and their future on this planet. If we all make the switch to Tru Earth, our profits will really add up!

Please share our school store https://fundraising.tru.earth/rossglenschool with friends and family everywhere. Our school will earn profits on their purchases as well. Our school store is open now. Be sure to check it out and place your orders right away!

Ways to Connect

There are many ways to stay in touch with our school.
Please feel free to connect with us through our multiple platforms.

Our website is: http://rossglen.mhpsd.ca/

Email: rossglen@sd76.ab.ca

School Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RossGlenSchoolMedHat/

Twitter: @RossGlenSchool