Update - Aug. 4, 2020
When classes resume this fall, mask use will be mandatory for all staff, as well as all students in grades 4 through 12, where physical distancing (two metres) cannot be maintained. Masks will be optional for students in Kindergarten through Grade 3.
The Hon. Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education, and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, made the announcement on Aug. 4, 2020.
Students will be required to wear masks in all shared and common areas, such as hallways and on buses. Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs.
The province announced several updates to its School Re-entry Plan:
* The province will provide 2 reusable masks to each student, teacher, and staff at no cost to schools or the division.
* School staff will receive 1 reusable face shield for their use in the schools to use at their discretion. A mask must still be worn while wearing a face shield.
* The Alberta government will distribute hand sanitizer to schools in the province.
* Each school will receive 2 contactless thermometres.
* Alberta Health Services is working hard to expand testing capacity and reduce turnaround times for testing, including in students, teachers, and school staff.
Provincial health guidance for a safe return to school will continue to evolve as necessary to reflect the latest evidence on the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
GSACRD has developed a comprehensive school re-entry plan that meets the needs of its faith-and-learning community. These plans are based on direction provided under the provincial school re-entry plan and supporting health guidance documents, recommendations from Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and feedback from our students, parents/guardians, and staff.
Update: July 21, 2020
Schools across Alberta will resume with near normal operations (in-school instruction, with health measures in place) at the beginning of the new school year. Premier Jason Kenney and the Minister of Education, The Hon. Adriana LaGrange, made the announcement on July 21.
This decision is one of three scenarios that the Alberta government considered in its school re-entry plan, which offers guidance on a wide range of operational issues and is informed by both Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy and expert advice from the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools is developing its own comprehensive school re-entry plan, as noted below, in response to this decision and in accordance with the directions of the Alberta government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. This plan will also incorporate the invaluable feedback from our students, parent/legal guardians, and staff through the extensive re-entry consultation surveys the Division conducted in June.
The safety of our students, parents/legal guardians, staff, and visitors is our top priority and has been incorporated into our protocols to meet Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) guidelines. Our staff are developing plans for physical distancing, cohorting (keeping, as much as possible, the same students and staff together), proper hand hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing, and all other required safety measures, in order to provide the safest environment possible for our community.
We continue to work collaboratively – internally and with other school divisions, provincial and municipal governments, and our faith-and-learning community (students, parents/guardians, and staff) – in developing a successful school re-entry plan.
For important information regarding school re-entry, please read the safety protocols as noted below that will be further detailed, as required, in August.
If you require clarification or have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to your child’s school directly. We look forward to welcoming students back to school this fall.
Just as the Division will continue to follow and implement the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and all levels of government, we encourage you to do the same. You can find credible and relevant health and safety information, as well as important updates about COVID-19, as follows:
- Government of Canada
- Alberta Government
- Alberta Health Services
- City of St. Albert
- World Health Organization (WHO)
We will continue to keep our faith and learning community informed. Feel free to reach out to your child’s school directly if you require clarification or have any questions or concerns.