This past Thursday, Rocky View Schools released its preliminary re-entry plans for the 2020 school year. In May the Alberta government released the three-scenario model in which schools in Alberta will reopen. The final decision on which option will be utilized will happen on August 1st. However, in the 2 months since the announcement, school divisions have been busy drafting personalized strategies of their own to accommodate the varying options. Rocky View Schools has just released its strategy to all interested parties.
The Alberta government outlined the big picture and the school boards are now fine-tuning the details to make all three of the situations work. Firstly, here is a reminder of the government’s three options.
1) In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures)
2) In-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures)
3) At-home learning continues (in-school classes are suspended/canceled)
After sending out a survey to families in June, and upon careful consideration of all factors Rocky View Schools has come up with extensive plans for all three scenarios. The following are some of the details pertaining to scenario one which appears to be the preferred choice by most.
- First and foremost, all parents will ensure that kids are completely healthy and not showing any symptoms of COVID. If a student does become sick at school, they will need to be picked up within an hour
- Distancing will be difficult to enforce all the time everywhere in the school due to the number of students hence the need for healthy attendees and the creation of cohorts amongst students and staff
- Other revisions by RVS include parents will not be allowed to enter school property without the principal’s permission
- Water fountains will be off-limits, but supervised refill stations will be allowed
- No guests, visitors or volunteers will be allowed
- All extra-curricular activities and field trips canceled
- No lunch programs
- No use of lockers
- Washroom capacity closely monitored
- Buses will run, but drivers will have to create a seating plan, with mask use to be decided
As with everything related to COVID 19, the virus succeeds in removing the fun parts of the school experience by taking away all the extras that make the experience complete. Creativity will be needed to replace what the virus takes away.
What makes things even more difficult for everyone involved is the fluidity of the COVID 19 pandemic and the constantly changing landscape. It is a good thing that schools and teachers are good at planning because it is more necessary than ever to be ready for whatever comes in September.
To view all three strategies in detail, go to the Rocky View Schools website.