Ross Glen Road Runner Reporter
Re-entry Plan for 2020-2021
Preparing for a Successful 2020-2021 School Year
We Are in This Together
We will get through this together, but we are faced with many challenges as we open our schools during a pandemic; we have to be careful and follow the guidance of Alberta Health Services:
1. Contact tracing requires strict controls on access to schools. A free flow of people in our schools makes the work of Alberta’s contact tracers far more difficult.
2. An important part of Alberta government's re-entry plan includes cohorting (a group of students- usually in homeroom class groups- that remain together in the school and during recess with very limited interaction with other children and adults). Adding other adults (teachers, parents and volunteers) increases the chance for the virus to spread. We are trying hard to create what Dr. Hinshaw called a “bubble” around a class.
3. We have been advised that failure to follow the best advice of health officials opens us up to liability for harm done to students, staff and members of their families. This is not what we want.
The decision to significantly limit parent access to schools is not an easy one to make. We value the roles that parents/grandparents/volunteers play in our school and want, very much, to be part of the community. Please know that having to function in this way is very tough for all of our RG staff – we love our RG Kids and we highly value our parents.
We are likely headed into the most unusual and challenging school year on record. Almost every step we take will be the first of its kind for our staff, students, parents/guardians, and for our community. However, as mentioned, our learning community will remain a positive and healthy place for everyone if we focus together on being supportive, patient, adaptable, calm and cautious as we move forward together.
Your patience and support has been greatly appreciated as we plan for a successful school year.
Ross Glen Staff
TEACHING STAFFEarly Learning Program (ELP): Mrs. K. Biech
Kindergarten: Mrs. J. Johnson
Play and Learn: Mrs. L. Tumback
Grade 1: Mrs. M. Brudevold and Miss. A. Bohonos
Grade 2: Mrs. S. Boodhoo and Mrs. M. Lofgren/Mrs. K Biech
Grade 3: Mrs. T. Pfeifer and Mr. T. Rapuano (Mrs. Ast)
Grade 4: Mrs. R. Schmitt and Ms. K. Kuehn
Grade 5: Mrs. S. Mandel and Miss J. Roth
Grade 6: Ms. S. Barnes and Miss A. McDougall
Classroom Support Teacher (CST): Mrs. H. Gust
Vice-Principal: Mr. E. Kruger
Principal: Ms. N. Mastel
Educational Assistants: Mrs. Cottrell, Mrs. Neufeld, Miss Sulz, Mrs. Henders, Mrs. McNaughton
Administrative Assistant: Miss J. Foster
Library Clerk: Mr. P. Albano
Custodial Staff: Mr. C. Vick Mr. O. Morales and Mrs. L. Lewis
Teachers on leave:
Doors unlock at 8:05am - students can enter the school and go directly to their classroom
Grades 1-6Warning Bell: 8:15am
Instructional block: 8:20-2:40 (recess and lunch times are staggared)
Morning Program Afternoon Program
Warning Bell: 8:15 Instruction: 12:00-2:40
Parents are responsible for purchasing school supplies for their children this year. There is a list on our Ross Glen School website if you have not purchased these items yet:
Please bring supplies on the first day of school labelled with your child’s name.
Due to the amount that children will be washing their hands/sanitizing, you may want to send a small bottle of lotion with them.
Daily Health Check
Each day, before leaving home, staff, students, visitors, and volunteers who will access the school for work or education, must self-screen for symptoms of common cold, influenzas, COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases. By completing the Alberta Health Daily Checklist before leaving the home, members of the school community are committing to working to ensure that no one attends to a school building with COVID-19 symptoms.
Meet YOUR Teacher
All families should receive an email from their child(ren)'s teacher with an introduction email/letter and a video on August 27 or 28. The email will inform you of who your child's teacher is for the 2020-2021 school year and will reinforce the process for the first day (Monday, August 31) and which door the class will be entering through for the school year.
We will follow health guidelines and create cohorts of students by class. ELP, Kindergarten, and each individual class in grades 1 through 6 will form their own cohort. Students will stay with their cohort, and cohorts will not mix, from the time students enter our care to the time they are dismissed. Students will learn together in their classrooms (with the exception of going to the gym or going outside.) Carefully following a cohort model means that some practices we have been proud to offer are not possible during our COVID-19 response time (Extra-curricular student clubs with students from various grades/classes etc). The safety of our community is our priority.
First Day of School
Students will arrive between 8:00 and 8:15 (normally arrival is after 8:05, but the first day will be busier).
Teachers will be at a location by their door, holding up a sign with their name on it. Students should recognize the teacher from the video, but the sign will make it easier for the students to locate the teacher.
The warning bell will ring at 8:15 and the teacher and students will enter the school through their designated door. If 2 or 3 classes are using the same door, the teachers will coordinate who goes first into the school. This is a time for the teachers to teach the students which door they will always access, and will teach them to sanitize their hands when they get into the school, and as they enter their classroom.
At the end of the day, teachers will take their class outside to the same spot where they met in the morning. This will allow parents to meet their children (ensuring physical distancing from classroom cohort and other parent), or send them off on their walk/bike home, or to catch the bus.
Designated cohort doors:
Front main door
Ms. Barnes (Gr. 6)
Mrs. Mandel (Gr. 5)
Mrs. Johnson (kKindergarten)
Ms. Kuehn (Gr. 4)
Division 1 door (back of school- in previous years grades 1-3 used this door)
Mrs. Brudevold (Gr. 1)
Miss Bohonos (Gr. 1)
Mrs. Boodhoo (Gr. 2)
Mrs. Pfeifer (Gr. 3)
Mr. Rapuano (Gr. 3)
Mrs. Lofgren (Gr. 2)
Division 2 door (back of school - in previous years grades 4-6 used this door)
- Miss McDougall (Gr. 6)
- Mrs. Schmitt (Gr. 4)
- Miss Roth (Gr. 5)
ELP classroom Door
Mrs. Biech (ELP)
More information will be sent home in an email from your child(ren)'s teacher(s).
Regular SCHOOL ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL
Students can enter the school at their designate door at 8:05 (a bell will ring) and go directly to their classroom where the teacher will be to supervise.
Children who have lockers will not go to their lockers until their teacher permits them to go put their stuff in their lockers at the appropriate time. This is to ensure we don't have too many students at the locker area at once.
The warning bell will ring at 8:15. With the strict guidelines, due to COVID, it is very important that students arrive between 8:05 and 8:15. ALL doors (including the front ) will be locked shortly after the bell.
Late students will have to sign in at the office and we have to ensure physical distancing occurs in the office.
Instructional day is from 8:20 to 2:40. Recesses and lunches are staggered so we limit how many students are outside/moving in the school at a time.
If you are picking your child up throughout the day, for appointments or if they are sick etc., please call the office and we will have them wait in the office. Parents will need to sign their child out.
If you are dropping something off for your child, please call the school and someone will come to the door and we will ensure your child receives the item(s).
If you are picking up your child at the end of the day, please arrange a meeting spot that ensures physical distancing from other families and school cohorts.
Mask use for ELP to Grade 3 students will continue to be optional. Grade 4 to 12 students will be required to wear masks in all shared and common areas such as hallways and on school buses. Students will be required to wear masks in the classroom if they are standing and moving around the class and when engaged in activities that require close interactions in terms of proximity to others. It is helpful if your child becomes familiar with putting on, wearing, and taking off a mask to support the transition when school starts. Teachers will decide when students are permitted to remove their masks within the classroom depending on the activity and proximity to others. Our goal is mitigation of risk while maintaining an effective educational environment. Students of all ages, ELP to grade 6, are welcome to wear masks any time they choose beyond what is required.
Update from MHPSD (based on Provincial guideline updates)
Masks Exemption: Exemptions to mask requirement for teachers and staff in all school settings and students in grades 4-12 include:
- Persons who are unable to place, use or remove a non-medical face mask without assistance
- Persons unable to wear a non-medical face mask due to a mental or physical concern or limitation
- Persons consuming food or drink in designated areas
- Persons engaged in physical exercise
- Persons providing care or assistance to a person with a disability where a non-medical face mask would hinder that caregiving or assistance
- Persons engaging in services that require the temporary removal of the non-medical face mask
- Spaces where physical barriers have been installed between persons
Exemption under criteria 2 will be granted by the Principal with the support of a signed note or letter from a doctor or other appropriate professional (nurse practitioner, psychologist). In circumstances where the school has prior knowledge of a condition or need, the Principal may grant the exemption without a new note. Please contact Ms. Mastel to discuss.
Note: The emphasis on masks in all the documents provided by government in the past several weeks has been significant. Principals will not be granting exemptions based on preference or opinion. The need for exemption must be compelling and supported by the above documentation or prior knowledge of professional staff. Please know that school administrators are not trying to be difficult. They have been charged with a very challenging task...to be true to the Government’s direction and thoughtful about when to provide exemptions. Just call and have a conversation and know that they are working hard to be caring and understanding.
Mask Storage: Families and staff will work together to educate students on how to properly put on and remove a reusable mask, emphasizing:
- Washing hands or applying hand sanitizer before handling
- Handling masks by the ties/ear loops/elastics
- Avoid touching the mask once it is on
- Changing masks when they become wet or soiled
- Reusable masks that are not damp or dirty that will be re-worn prior to washing should be stored in a clean, breathable bag or container.
- See mask guidance for more information.
Masks While Teaching: If students are all seated, and the teacher is in a designated area at the front of the class with at least two metres of physical distance from the closest student, they may remove their mask to teach. Your child’s teacher will be clear with students about why they are able to remove the mask to reinforce/model behaviors.
Staggered Recess and Lunch Times
- In line with health guidelines, we will be offering 3 different recess times during both morning, and 2 different lunch recess times making for smaller groups of students outside during recess.
- Students will also need to stay with their homeroom class cohort group in their designated recess area each recess. We will have a rotating schedule so students can enjoy different areas of our field and playground.
- Students and staff will not be required to wear masks while outside for recess. Please join us in helping children to learn the new habit of playing with others at least two arms’ lengths away (6 feet).
- Playgrounds will not be cleaned between uses, however students will sanitize their hands before and after utilizing the equipment to help mitigate risk.
- All students will eat lunch in their classroom. Students are not to share food, utensils, or drinks. Students will be hand washing and hand sanitizing regularly throughout the school day. Students must be able to manage their lunch and snack items independently. Please practice opening containers with your children.
Sickness While At School
- No person should enter the school if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- We ask parents of children who have a pre-existing condition with symptoms similar to COVID to contact the school to provide this information. This will allow us to update our computer system with the necessary information.
- Each day, before leaving home, staff, students, visitors, and volunteers who will access the school for work or education, must self-screen for symptoms of common cold, influenzas, COVID-19 and other infectious respiratory diseases. By completing the Alberta Health Daily Checklist before leaving the home, members of the school community are committing to working to ensure that no one attends to a school building with COVID-19 symptoms.
- As per provincial and MHPSD direction, we must maintain a zero tolerance policy for any COVID-19 symptoms. If symptoms are observed while a student is at school, the child will be masked and safely isolated. Parents will be called to pick their child up immediately. Please ensure we have accurate multiple emergency contacts for your child. We will provide supervision while children wait to be picked up. Please know your child will be treated with compassion and kindness.
Visitors in the school
Once permitted in the school all parents and visitors must sign in at the office. If an emergency situation arises, we can ensure all students, staff and visitors are accounted for whether we remain in the building or evacuate. When you sign in, we will provide you with a visitor pass so all adults and children know you have signed into the school.
Honoring our Instructional Time
School Bus Information
Registration Option #1: You may have received an email (with the subject: Medicine Hat Public School Division – Form Has Been Assigned), you can follow the instructions in the email to complete bus registration on a desktop, laptop or tablet. If you do not require school bus registration, please ignore the email asking you to register. If you choose to fill out the form on your smart phone, please follow the instructions below:
Registration option #2: If you did not receive an email with a link to register, please follow the instructions below if you wish to register a child for school bus transportation. Login to PowerSchool Parent Portal and follow the instructions below:
Route and Eligibility Information
To view updated bus routes, attendance areas and to find out if your child is eligible for school bus transportation please visit mhpsd.ca. If your child requires special transportation (ex: wheelchair accessibility) please contact Robert Olson, Transportation Coordinator Transportationreg@sd76.ab.ca 403.528.65722. If you have any questions about school bus registration please contact your child’s school on or after August 24, 2020.
Each school bus will feature clearly marked signage displaying the route number and school destination to help students get to school with ease. Students attending elementary school will also have a unique animal on their bus sign to help them identify their bus. These signs are displayed on the side of the bus near the door.
Please make sure you have registered your child(ren) for the bus, if they qualify for the transportation.
MHPSD Back to School 2020-2021 Documents
If you are looking for more information about the impact that COVID-19 will have on school operations, please take a moment to view the following documents.
- MHPSD Scenario 1 Re-entry Plan (pdf) This document is updated regularly to reflect the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Alberta Government.
- Back to school information (mhpsd.ca)
- Safety precautions being taken in MHPSD schools (pdf)
We have received many thoughtful questions about devices and Chromebooks, so we developed FAQs to provide you with additional answers: