PACS Communication Plan

Our Reopening Information for Families

August 26, 2020

Dear PACS Families,

Five months has been a long time, friends, and we are beyond happy that we are only days away from seeing our students in person again. We know that we are coming back to a different time by way of policies and procedures, but we also know that we are coming back to our families, students, staff and community members who are like family. There will be many details shared out over the next while. At the end of the day, the details that are the most important are the ones where we get to be back walking our halls and classrooms and reconnecting in the lives of our staff and kiddos in a safe way. It is ok to feel nervous, excited, worried, happy, scared or whatever emotion is running through you. We will work together to ensure that all students and staff are safe, cared for, and feeling comfortable in any way we can. Whether you will be rejoining us in person or have chosen to participate virtually through the Online Learning Center, please know that we are here to support you and that you will always have a home at Princess Alexandra.

The Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook is our main reference for what school in Saskatoon Public Schools will look like moving into the fall. The Communication Plan, that you are about to read, is intended to provide you with details that are specifically related to our plan at PACS. Our plan will not include every detail that is outlined in the Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook, so please use both to guide you this year.

Yesterday, you would have received a phone call from your child(ren)'s last year's teacher to check-in with you to see how your summer was, ask about your plan for returning to school, and determine if any demographic information has changed since we were last together in March. If we are unable to reach you by phone, we will attempt contact using another way of communication. Tomorrow, August 27, you will receive a phone call from your child(ren)'s teacher for this school year. They will share with you your child's staggered start days.

As always, your wonders, questions and concerns are always welcomed. We understand that coming back to school after nearly six months will not be an easy transition for many of our students. Please know that our staff is busy planning to ensure that your children are as safe as they can possibly be while in our school building. We are Better Together and no matter what this year brings, we will be in it together, and we will make it a year our children will always remember.

Take good care,

Mrs. Karen Macdonald-Smith (Principal), Mr. Arden Wipf (Vice Principal) & our PACS Staff

PACS Virtual Open House

Tuesday, Sep. 1st, 4-5pm

This is an online event.

This time will be spent answering any questions or concerns you have after having gone through our PACS Communication Plan. This Open House will be done over the computer, not in our PACS building. A Zoom link will be sent to all families who RSVP.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

School day schedule

Big picture

Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook

Please refer to the Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook for general information on Saskatoon Public Schools reopening plan. This parent handbook provides detailed information on many important topics including:

  • Safety Precautions
  • Curriculum and Assessment
  • Support Services
  • Food and nutrition programs
  • Facilities
  • Students

The guidelines of the Parent Handbook will be adhered to by our school along with elements specific to our school.

Our PACS Plan

The following information represents our school specific plan for a safe return to school at Princess Alexandra Community School. Please note that the plan is subject to change at any time based on direction from Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer. Changes will be communicated as they occur.

Ongoing Communication

Look for our "Welcome Back" video on our PACS social media accounts that will serve as an open house. It will be posted next week. It will give you a sneak peek at some of the physical changes students will notice when they come back to school and will highlight a few main guidelines.

If you need to meet with the principal, Mrs. Karen Macdonald-Smith, or vice principal, Mr. Arden Wipf, to assist you through a special circumstance prior to September 8, please phone Miss Davies at 306-683-7410 to set up an appointment.

Staggered Start (Grades 1-8)

  • We are not hosting a traditional half-day registration day for returning students.
  • September 8-11- we will have a staggered start for students this week.
  • The students will attend on alternating days (Tuesday/Thursday, Wednesday/Friday)
    • half of the students in each class with attend on Tuesday, Sept. 8 and Thursday, Sept.10
    • half of the class will attend Wednesday, Sept. 9 and Friday, Sept. 11
  • Students will attend for a full day on their staggered start days
  • This will allow for students to see the space and learn routines alongside a smaller group of students
  • Busses will be running during staggered start
  • On Thursday, August 27, your child(ren)'s teacher will be contacting you to let you know which staggered days your child(ren) will be attending. We will work to ensure that families staggered start days are on the same days. If you do not speak with your child(ren)'s teacher by the end of the work day on Thursday, please contact the school on Friday for more information.
  • Regular classes begin on Monday, September 14

**If you have not heard about your child's classroom placement or staggered start schedule by 12:00p.m. September 4, please phone our front office for details.

Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Staggered Start

  • Staggered starts will be the week of September 8 to September 11. Your kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten staggered start date will be shared with you by your child's teacher.
  • All Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten students will attend ONE half day staggered start day.
  • Pre-Kindergarten regular programming begins September 14.
  • Half day Kindergarten programs will start September 14.
  • No buses will be running for PreK/K Staggered Starts

Safety Precautions

  • Please keep sick children at home.
  • Anyone exhibiting cold or flu-like symptoms must stay home. The health and well-being of students, staff members, and families is our top priority. Every morning before your child leaves for school, please check to see if they are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined on page 8 of the Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms do not send your child to school. You will need to contact the Healthline at 811 for assistance. Please also contact the school to report your child’s absence using school messenger, or by phoning our office at (306) 683- 7410.
Big picture


Staff will teach to the specific hygiene practices outlined in the Parent and Caregiver Reopening Handbook. Signage will be available at hand washing stations as a visual reminder of proper hand washing practices. Please practice proper handwashing practices at home with your children.

Big picture

Isolation Space

All schools will be asked to have an isolation space for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms who cannot leave the facility immediately. If a student is showing symptoms, they will be isolated in this space and provided with a medical mask until they can be picked up.

Our isolation space is called the "Space Room" and is a separate room located in the hallway to the gym in Room 1108. Your child will be treated with dignity, kindness, respect and warmth if they ever need to visit the Space Room.

Mask Use

Students in grades 4-8 are required to wear a mask upon entering the building and hallways. Masks are required at all times in the school day where social distancing is not possible, including within the classroom. There may be times in the day where a "mask break" is possible, e.g. during outdoor learning when properly spaced. Students in grades 4-8 returning to in-person learning will be required to wear a mask for most of their school day.

Students in Kindergarten to grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask as well.

All students are required to wear masks while riding the bus.

All visitors must wear masks.

Extra masks are available at school if a student requires one and does not have their own.

All staff members will wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. Some staff may choose to wear additional protective wear such as a face shield over their mask. A face shield is not a substitute for a mask, but may be worn in addition if a student or staff member chooses.

Our staff will provide educational opportunities for students to practice wearing their masks and will teach to proper usage of masks with assistance from the CDC Guidelines and Public Health Agency of Canada.

Recess Plan

Recess and lunch breaks will be staggered, allowing for alternating breaks of two groups (Blue & Red). Student groupings for all break times will remain the same each day. During this outdoor break time, students will be encouraged to physically distance within their designated areas. To promote everyone's safety, staff and students will wash their hands both before and after all break times.

Big picture

Lunch Plan

Where possible, we strongly recommend that students go home for lunch. This will decrease the number of students eating in their classrooms, therefore allowing for increased safety and a stronger possibility of achieving public health standards for eating. When students go home for lunch, they can not come back to the school until 12:55. When they return to school, students need to enter the building through the front door.

Nutrition Plan

All meals will be prepared in the Nutrition Room. We will follow regular cleaning protocols throughout the day. The meals will be prepared by the nutrition coordinator, the community coordinator and the community EA. Anyone handling the food will be required to wash their hands, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, wear gloves and have up-to-date Food Safe certification. Staff admittance into the Nutrition Room will be limited to ensure limited cross-contamination. All meals will be served in the classroom by one staff member who is required to wear appropriate safety equipment.

Breakfast Plan

Breakfast will be served in the classrooms after class begins. It will be served in paper bags. Staff will ensure each breakfast will be individually packaged while being mindful of the food meeting the Canadian Food Guide, as well as being respectful of our class time. The goal is for the food to be as least disruptive as possible and packaging and utensils will be disposable.

Lunch Plan

Lunches will be staggered to ensure proper staff support, food preparation and that the distribution of food is done in a safe manner. As mentioned in the safety plan, there will be limited staff contact with the food and selected servers for the meals. Teachers and support staff have been made aware of appropriate cleaning methods for after the food has been served. Staff will focus on foods that utilize utensils to minimize hand-to-mouth contact.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Community School Coordinator, Kristen Jordan at 306-683-7417.

Mental Health and Social-Emotional Supports

Well-being is one of our four student goals in our school division strategic plan. At Princess Alexandra, it is important to us that our students are known, valued, and believed in.

We want to make sure that families are aware that students who need additional support for their well-being may receive support from our school counsellor, Lisa McCullough. If your children, you, or your family need support, you can contact Lisa directly at 306-683-8220. You can also reach out to your child's teacher or our principal, Mrs. Karen Macdonald-Smith. Lisa will then contact you and work with you to determine the best supports.

Due to COVID-19, we need to limit the number of people in our buildings, but that doesn't change our commitment to supporting our families. Please know that we are here for you and will do our best to support you in any way possible. We believe, as you have seen in messages over and over again, that we are BETTER TOGETHER! :-)

Muster Points

Students will be assigned a "muster point" as an outdoor meeting area. They will meet at their muster point upon arrival to school at first bell, after recess, and after lunch. Muster points will be labeled and we will practice together how to use them. Teachers will guide students from the muster point to their assigned entrance when the hallway is clear. Students in grades 4-8 will be required to wear a mask upon entry. Students in grades K-3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask upon entry.
Big picture

School Entry/Exit Plan

Entering and exiting the school will look different this year. We will be using two entry/exit points. To start the school day, teachers will meet their classes outside at designated muster points before bringing them into the school. To end the school day, staff will direct their students to leave the building through designated exit doors. Classrooms have been assigned an order when entering and leaving the building to help promote physical distancing during these transition times.

Big picture

Parent and Caregiver Entry

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to contact the main office at 306-683-7410 to make an appointment if they need to come to the school. At this point, we request this this occur only if necessary.

An exception to this is during Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten staggered start week, where Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten parents will be assisting their child in arrival to and from class for the first time.

Appointments can be made by contacting us at the information listed at the bottom of this document. If entry is required, parents or visitors will be asked to use the front door. At this entrance, you will fill out a health questionnaire via a QR code posted on the door. Forms must be completed immediately before entering the building, as they are time stamped for contact tracing. Paper copies of the QR code questionnaire and extra masks are available at the front entry if you require one.

When entering the school, parents/caregivers must:

  • sanitize their hands
  • wear a mask

Given that the safety of our students is our number one priority, parents/caregivers will be not be able to enter the building without a mask and only one parent is able to come at a time.

A hand sanitizing station is available at the front entrance.


  • Where possible, we ask that parents and caregivers transport their own children.
  • We encourage all families to consider active transportation — walking, biking, or rolling on your scooter or skateboard to school.
  • For the safety of all, everyone riding or boarding buses must wear a mask
  • Students will be assigned seats on buses, and a record of the seating plan will be kept. Students who live in the same household should be seated together.
  • Buses will be cleaned and sanitized between each run by the transportation provider.
  • No travel for extracurricular activities is permitted at this time
  • Staff are not to provide personal transportation for students

  • Drop off (before school)
    • PreK Students (a.m.) - will be met by a staff member (Ms. Bool; 1:1 EA) and taken to the PreK muster point on the south end of the school (across from the staff parking lot)
    • Grade 1-8 students - will be met by a staff member and taken to their muster point behind the school

  • Loading the bus (end of the day)
    • all bussed students will be brought to the gym before the bell rings at the end of the school day.
    • They will line up behind a pylon in the gym in the order of how they will need to load the bus i.e. the first person in the line will sit on the back seat of the bus
    • Once ready, the supervisors will walk the students to their bus, while respecting social distancing guidelines

  • Because we are the second school to be picked up, there may be a delay for sanitizing. Please follow the time that will be shared by your bus driver.

Parking and Student Drop-off/Pick-up

Because all muster points will be in school yard behind the school, please consider dropping your child(ren) off on Avenue G.

Students Arriving Late

Students who arrive late will come to the front office for a late slip. We are asking students to line up on the "social distancing stickers" and behind the plexiglass by the front entry so Miss Davies can assist students from her desk. If Miss Davies is already helping someone when your child arrives late, please talk with them about standing on the Social Distance stickers outside of the front office.

Storage of Student Materials

Students must have a backpack to store their personal belongings at school. All students are required to keep their personal items in their own backpack and their outdoor clothes on one hook.

Where social distancing is possible, locker use will occur with many of our students on the second floor. Teachers will stagger access to the locker area to discourage crowding.

Teachers are making plans to ensure that all student supplies are separate from each other, whether they are using chair bags, bins or cubbies to store your child(ren)'s materials. Please write your child's name on all of his or her school supplies. Refer to the school supply list on our portal for more information.

All students will be responsible for their own school supplies. Sharing of student personal items such as electronic devices, writing instruments, supplies, and food will not be allowed.

Flow of Traffic Through the School

To support all students/staff maintain physical distancing in our building, green and black arrow decals have been applied to the floors. These arrows will help individual students, small groups, and whole classes transition throughout the building in a safe and orderly manner.

Some important notes on movement through the school and washroom use is:

  • all school staff will assist students with learning the new movement plan through the building
  • movement down any hallway or stairwell should always be done on the right side
  • students will be encouraged to physically distance when moving through the school
  • washrooms are being sanitized more often and include directional arrows and hand washing signage
  • the Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Cooperative will not be an accessible area to staff, students, and visitors during the school day

Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Cooperative

All students who attend the Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Cooperative must use Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Cooperative entrance at the front of the school. From within the school, the doors to the Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Cooperative will be locked during the school day. Admittance through that area will be under special circumstances only.

Students who participate in the program in the morning, will be picked up from teachers from in the PACS school area. After school, PACS students will be taken to the program at the end of the school day. Proper hand-washing will occur prior to leaving classrooms and upon entering the daycare program and vice versa.

Fair Notice Letter and Building Healthy and Respectful Relationships Document

The Fair Notice Letter and Building Healthy and Respectful Relationships document informs you, our parents and caregivers, that Saskatoon Public Schools utilizes a Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) and support protocol to ensure a comprehensive response to student behavior, that may pose a potential risk to the health and well-being of other students, staff and members of the community. Saskatoon Public Schools is one of 22 community agencies signed on to the Saskatoon and Area Community Threat Assessment and Support Protocol.

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor learning is highly encouraged by all classrooms across all grades. Please ensure students are dressed appropriately for all weather and have brought a water bottle to school each day. Students may bring personal sunscreen to use at school and are advised to apply it at home, as well, before arriving to school.

"Field trips" or out of school learning experiences will be limited or nonexistent to ensure guidelines are being followed. Teachers will communicate in advance any plans to leave our school grounds and the details of the excursion.

Extracurricular Sport, Activities and Clubs

At the direction of the Saskatoon Secondary Schools Athletic Directorate (SSSAD) fall sports will be cancelled (Cross Country, Volleyball). This will be re-evaluated through the year.

Due to cohorting - grouping of grades, regular in-school clubs supervised by staff will not be able to meet in person.

This plan will be reviewed and updated throughout the year.

Princess Alexandra Community School

As always, please contact the school if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat about your child. We are better together!