Alberta Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 Re-entry Plan

Alberta Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 Re-entry Plan

Rosanne Fortier
News Correspondent

The Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 Re-entry Plan for the 2020/21 school year will be based on Scenario 1: In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures) as specified by Alberta Health.

To summarize this plan, routine self-screening will be done for all staff and screening of children/students will be completed by their parents/guardians using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist.

There will be enhanced environmental cleaning and disinfecting recommendations, strict stay-at-home policy for children, students or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (even if the symptoms resemble a mild cold), physical distancing recommendations, drop-off/pick-up and children/student transportation procedures will be in place that limit contact between households as much as possible, reorganization of rooms to allow  for more physical space, cohorting of children and students by class where possible, hand hygiene expectations when entering and existing the school and classrooms, before and after eating, continual reminders of the importance of respiratory etiquette, masks may be considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and distance of two metres cannot be maintained, use of shared items or equipment is t be avoided when possible, there will be markings for guided foot traffic flow through entrances and hallways, field trips and activities requiring group transportation will be postponed, large gatherings in school are discouraged, and the schools plan to develop procedures to address staff, children or students who develop symptoms while at school, including isolating the symptomatic individual until they are able to leave school or be picked up.

In terms of Phys. Ed and school playgrounds, the schools are planning to go by the guidelines under the current Chief Medical Officer of Health Orders which states that organizations are required to implement practices to minimize the risk of transmission of infection, provide procedures for rapid response if a student develops symptoms of illness, and ensure that students maintain high levels of sanitation and personal hygiene. It is also recommended that sports be played outdoors when possible.

As far as eating and drinking is concerned, water fountains will remain open but water fountain knobs and push buttons are considered high touch surfaces and should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.

Then no activity that involves the sharing of food between staff and students is allowed to occur. For classroom meals and snacks, there will be no self-serve or family-style meal service. The schools want students to bring pre-packaged meals or meals served by a designated staff.  If the school is using a common lunchroom, all the items in it must be cleaned and disinfected after each use including all the surfaces of the tables and chairs. The school cafeteria should use alternate processes to reduce the number of people dining together at once and they shouldn’t use buffet type meals.

Before leaving home, staff, children/students, visitors, and volunteers must self-screen for symptoms each day that they enter the school.

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