The Government of Alberta announced this morning that non-medical masks will be mandatory for Grade 4-12 students and all staff when school returns for in-person instruction on August 31, 2020. Non-medical masks will be required in all shared and common spaces including hallways, school buses and any other space that does not allow for 2 metres physical distancing. Masks will remain optional for Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 3 students due to the challenges with ensuring young children wear masks properly and the government’s research showing that young children are not as likely to contract or transmit COVID-19. Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 students will be provided with two reusable non-medical masks (details forthcoming). For more information on today’s announcement, please visit the Alberta Government website.
As always, our primary goal is to keep staff and students healthy and safe. Masks will be just one of many safety precautions that will be used in our schools for limiting the spread of COVID-19 along with:
- hand hygiene & respiratory etiquette
- physical distancing
- use of cohorts
- increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection
- having staff and students stay home when ill.
On Friday, August 7, our division will be posting on our website detailed re-entry guidelines for all our students, staff and parents that will provide a greater understanding of what school will look like starting the 2020-21 school year and what we will be doing to help protect our students and staff.
We realize that even with these safety protocols in place, there may be some students for whom it will be unsafe to return to school due to underlying medical conditions or other risk factors. Wild Rose School Division is committed to providing teacher directed at-home instruction for these students. In order to be prepared for the start of the 2020-21 school year, we will need to know how many students will require teacher directed at-home instruction. On August 7, 2020 further information will be sent to all parents regarding at-home instruction and how to register for at-home instruction if needed.
Please be assured that the safety and well-being of students and staff continues to be our top priority and we will continue to follow the protocols established by Alberta Education, Alberta Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer. We are looking forward to having all of our students and staff back together again for the start of the 2020-21 school year.