Hello families, Friends and Community members,
I want to take this opportunity to welcome you back for our 2020/2021 school year. I trust that you have all had a wonderful summer break and are rested up and ready for our new school year.
We understand that there are a lot of questions and concerns about our back to school plan and what the 2020/2021 school year will look like for our students. The information below has been created based on the guidance from the Pembina Hills School Division, Alberta Education and the Minister of Health in consultation with staff and our parent council. The success of our reentry plan depends on staff, students and parents learning new habits that will collectively keep everyone safe, happy and thriving.
Due to the changing nature of the covid situation this document is subject to change as new information comes to light. We ask for your patience as we work out the finer details once the staff return to school on August 31st. The most updated version can alway be found on our school website at www.busbyschool.ca.
Pembina Hills maintains an active set of COVID-19 and Re-Entry pages on the website: www.pembinahills.ca
It is very important that both school and home are on the same page when it comes to our reentry plan. To help ensure the success of our plan and safety of our staff and students, we ask that parents have a discussion with their children about the details in this document prior to the first day of school. This will help everyone successfully transition into our new routines. Staff will work hard with students in the first few days to establish our new hygiene and transition routines to help ensure we adjust to “near normal” learning conditions as soon as possible.
Angie Bachand Principal
Busby School: Re-entry Document 2020-2021
Daily Screening for Illness
One new habit that we have to develop is daily screening for illness. All parents are expected to use the Screening Tool each day prior to sending their children to school. Do not send your child to school if they are sick.
All Pembina Hills staff must use the screening tool daily as well. Anyone who is sick will not be allowed at school.
Classrooms will be arranged to maximize social distancing between students while still maintaining a welcoming, positive and inclusive learning environment. All area rugs and soft covered seating have been removed from the classrooms.
As in past years, a “no sharing” policy is in place. Please provide your children with lunches that minimize the use of communal microwaves as supervisors will be required to operate them.
Pick ups and Drop offs
Parents who choose to drop-off and pick up their children can do so; however, we ask that you remain in your vehicles. Supervisors will be present to ensure students are safe.. More information will become available regarding appropriate parking locations closer to our start date. Parents will not be allowed to walk their children to class with the exception of students entering Kindergarten and those students who are new to our building. The school will be contacting these families to arrange staggered drop off times for the first day of school.
For those families with students travelling by bus, more information can be found on our division website at the link below. Click on the transportation drop down menu for all information related to bussing.
Visitors to the School
One of the main strategies of preventing the spread is limiting contact between people. This is why we ask that parents only visit the school for emergencies. All visitors and parents who enter the school must wear a mask and check in with the office upon arrival. Everyone is expected to
self-screen before entering. Signs will be posted. Records of all visitors will be kept and shared with the Medical Officers upon request.
All teachers and staff will be required to wear masks in settings where two metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained. Students in grades 4-6 will be required to wear masks during transition times, in public spaces, at times when social distancing is challenging and can choose to wear them when seated in class. Although masks are optional for younger students, we encourage students in Kindergarten through grade 3 to wear masks while riding the bus and in other public spaces where social distancing is a challenge. If a child begins to show symptoms during the school day, they will be provided with a facemask while they are in the sick room waiting for their parents to pick them up.
The Pembina Hills Plant Operations and Facilities department has coordinated increased cleaning of all school facilities. There will be increased cleaning and disinfecting of high touch areas and equipment inside and outside of classrooms, in washrooms and in all auxiliary spaces. No touch faucets in the washrooms and additional hand-sanitizer stations have also been added.
School Supplies and Materials
When creating school supply lists for the 20/21 school year the staff took into account that students would no longer be able to share supplies. Parents/families will NOT be required to purchase school supplies above or beyond what was listed on the school supply lists sent home with report cards at the end of June.
Items provided by the school like ukuleles and chromebooks will be cleaned after each use. Centre materials and used surfaces will be cleaned frequently in classrooms.
Library books will be quarantined upon return for a minimum of 72 hours. Books from classroom libraries will also be quarantined after use.
We understand the importance for kids to play and socialize together and that the risk of spread is considerably low in outdoor settings. As such, our outside recess will remain very similar to last year with the exception of staggered entrances and exit times to maintain cohorts inside our building and reduce potential congestion in the hallways and boot rooms.
Educational support during isolation/quarantine
If students are required to isolate at home, teachers will provide missed work through Google classroom. More information will be shared with parents once classes are in session.
Pre existing conditions
Be prepared to provide information to the school regarding your children’s health. It is important for us to know if your children have pre-existing conditions, such as allergies, that are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19. We consider this baseline information. If these baseline conditions were to worsen, the students should remain at home until they are symptom free, and have a negative test result for COVID-19.
If children begins to show symptoms that are not related to their preexisting conditions:
- the school will contact the parents/guardians immediately
- the student will be supplied with a mask and isolated in our sickroom until they are picked up.
Parents/guardians must be able to pick up their children if they become symptomatic.
Please ensure that emergency contact information is accurate on student demographic sheets when they come home for updating
Communication with Home
Starting this 20/21 school year we will be introducing a new comprehensive communication platform SchoolMessenger to help keep parents and guardians informed of all things Busby school related, including Covid updates.
Other Educational Options
Our staff care deeply about their students, and are committed to ensuring your child has the skills they need to be successful. However, if you choose to keep your child home, we are here to ensure students continue receiving a high-quality education online. We encourage you to check out our Pembina Hills’ distance learning school, Vista Virtual. https://www.vvschool.ca/