Students will be returning to school for in-person learning on January 10th, 2022
event Published 2022-01-07T21:56:35.229Z
Students Return to School on January 10th
Dear Parents, Guardians and Communities,
On January 5th, 2022 the Province of Alberta announced students will be returning to school for in-person learning on January 10th, 2022. We are excited for this announcement as we believe having students together in class, with our staff, provides them with the best academic, social and emotional learning experiences.
When your students return to in-person classes on January 10, 2022 there are a few things we ask you to keep in mind. All existing COVID-19 protocols such as hand sanitizing, enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and elementary cohorts will still be in place. The health and safety for our students and staff remains a high priority. Updated guidelines will continue to be bolded in the Grasslands Return to School Plan.
- Daily Health Screening - We have been told that updated daily screening checklists will be provided to school divisions. Please remain diligent in completing the current daily screening and following the required guidelines about keeping your child home when they have the symptoms outlined in the checklist.
- Masking Requirements - Requirements remain for all students on buses and for students in grades 4-12 when working in groups or pairs, in common areas and in hallways. Alberta Education strongly recommends the students in Pre-kindergarten to grade 3 wear masks in common areas and hallways, as well. With the Omicron variant’s transmissibility, all students are encouraged to wear masks as much as possible throughout the day and will be supported to do so.
- New Enhanced Masks - Alberta Education is shipping medical-grade masks to school divisions for distribution to students. We have been informed that the first shipments will be arriving during the week of January 10-15th. Each student will receive 20 medical grade masks. There is no requirement for students to wear these particular masks but it is important that all masks be well fitted and worn properly. We will work diligently to get these into the hands of families and staff as soon as possible. Please ensure your child has a mask when they head to school on Monday.
- Optional Rapid Tests - Alberta Education is making rapid tests available to students. Students will receive one box of 5 tests during the week of January 10-15th. Each box will provide enough tests for 2.5 weeks when testing is done twice a week. A second shipment will come a bit later in January. Please let your school know if you do not wish to receive them as we will ensure they are provided to others. We have provided a short video and an informational document for parents looking for assistance in doing the voluntary rapid testing at home with their child.
- At-Home Learning - Please be prepared for temporary shifts to at-home learning due to staff illness or student absenteeism levels that impact operations and/or learning. It is the expectation from the province, as well as from Grasslands, that teachers are prepared for this. Parents will also need to be prepared for their students to be shifting to at-home learning on short notice.
- School Bus and School Walking Programs - These services may experience disruptions as a result of staff illness. You will be notified of any disruption to routes as soon as we confirm that we cannot find substitute drivers or walkers. It would be very helpful for parents to have a backup plan in the event of a cancellation. These cancellations could happen on short notice.
- E-Tutoring Hub - Alberta Education has developed a free virtual tutoring service for students in grade 4-9 focused on literacy and numeracy. As soon as these pre-recorded videos are available we will provide you with all the necessary information.
Supports for Students and Families
We recognize navigating the various impacts of the pandemic can be stressful for our students and their families. If your family needs assistance please reach out. A great resource for families is the Alberta COVID Youth Mental Health Hub.
Again, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude for the outstanding work of our students, staff and parent communities. Thank you so much for your ongoing flexibility, patience and understanding, especially this past week as we know this extended break has not been convenient or easy for families.
It has been a long 21 months for everyone and we appreciate everything you do to support our students. As always, we are very proud to serve our students, families and communities. If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact your child’s teacher, principal or the Grasslands office. Please take care of yourself and others!
Scott Brandt - Superintendent