School District 6 (Rocky Mountain), along with districts across the province, released their School Restart Plans this week.
SD6’s Health and Safety School Restart Plan is presented in a 48 page document, which outlines what will be expected of staff and students as full classes resume on September 10, 2020.
Read the full plan here.
The Plan states that there is limited evidence of confirmed transmission of COVID-19 in school settings, although this is partially due to wide spread school closures at the beginning of the pandemic.
The report also states that school staff will not be medically assessing students or staff for temperatures or symptoms. That is best left to health professionals, the plan says. However all parents and school staff must be aware of their responsibility to assess themselves daily for symptoms of common cold or flu before entering a school.
Visitors may only enter schools with a prior appointment; physical distancing of two meters of all adults dropping off students, and parents must remain outside of the school at drop off. Staff will be required to use hand sanitizer upon entering the school and then head directly to their classroom.
The plan outlines the various learning cohorts (or maximum size of student groups). In elementary the cohort will be 60 people,and in secondary, 120 people, including staff.
In elementary schools, students can socialize with peers in different cohorts if they are outdoors and can minimize physical contact or if they are indoors and can maintain physical distance. o Elementary-aged students are less able to consistently maintain physical distance. Outdoors is a lower risk environment than indoors.
In middle and secondary schools, students can socialize with peers in different cohorts if they can maintain physical distance. Students must maintain physical distance when socializing with peers in different cohorts.
Middle and secondary-school students are expected to be capable of consistently maintaining physical distance when it is required. If a student is unable to physically distance, the student should socialize within their cohort or where they can be supported to physically distance. Unless they are part of the same cohort, staff and other adults should maintain physical distance from each other at all times. This includes during break times and in meetings.
There will be no extra-curricular activities at this time. That mans no sports, arts or special interest clubs. This decision will be re-evaluated midway through the fall of 2020. Curricular activities that include buses are cancelled as well.
As for bussing to and from school, students must wash their hands before they leave home and when they leave school. All grade 4 to 12 students are required to wear reusable non-medical masks on the bus, and seating will be assigned. Students will load onto the bus back to front, and depart front to back when at all possible. There will be no passes issued for guest riders.
As well as the broad outline in the District Plan, each school will be communicating with parents with plans for the specific school.
For instance, at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley, in addition to no food services, sports teams, clubs and extra curricular activities, there will be no lockers available for students.
When arriving at Selkirk, different grades will enter at different place. Grade 8 students are to enter at the basement entrance beside the woodshed door; Grad 9 goes in through auto classroom entrance, Grade 10 through the main entrance, Grade 11 through the entrance beside the auto shop and Grade 12 through cafe entrance. Students will sanitize their hands as they enter and head directly to their designated Learning Cohort area.
During lunch break, Selkirk students will be assigned a specific area where their cohort will gather. Lunch is only 30 minutes long so they encourage students to remain at school. However, should students wish, they can leave the school building during that time. Students will exit the building through their cohort’s designated entrance/exit. Upon re-entry during lunch hour, students will enter through the main entrance or café and then follow hand hygiene routines before proceeding directly to their designated area.
At the much smaller Kimberley Alternate School, there will be only one cohort of 20 to 30 students and staff.
McKim Middle School will give each student two masks when they return to school. Students have the choice whether to wear them in the classroom.
McKim has 16 classrooms and therefore eight cohorts. Some furniture and desks have been removed from the classrooms to encourage distancing.
At McKim, Learning Groups 1 and 2, which are Grade 4 and 5, and some Grade 6 students, will enter through the Rotary Drive access.
Groups 3 and 4, also grade 4 and 5 students, will enter at the back on the creek side of the building.
Groups 5 and 6, which are Grade 6 and 7 students will enter through the Servery (Goup 5) and front entrance (Group 6).
Group 7 (Grade 7) will enter through the front, and Group 8 (Grade 6) will enter through the Rotary entrance.
Students are not to bring unnecessary items to school (contact teacher if you have questions about what can and can’t come to school) and students are not to share food (including special occasions).
To the best extent possible, there should only be one group moving through McKim’s hallway at the same time, however there will be signage reminding them to keep a distance from each other.