September 2nd, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 35
Schools prepare for unique school year
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
David Selles Photo
Photo Desc
David Selles
Pass Herald Reporter
The new school year presents different challenges than previous ones with students set to return this week.

With Covid-19 still in the area, extra precautions are being taken to ensure the health and safety of staff and students.

The following information is taken from the Isabelle Sellon School website:

Students are required to wear a mask on the school bus and at school.

- Staggered re-entry- Students with the last name A-L are requested to start Tuesday, September 1st. Students with the last name M-Z are requested to start Wednesday, September 2nd.

- School start times and end times are staggered this year. 8:25/3:05 for students in Gr. 4 Millis and Gr. 5 Koentges, 8:35/3:10 for students in Gr. 4 Funk and Gr. 6 Crawford/Davidson, 8:45 for students in Gr. 5 Davis and Gr. 6 Dalton/Shackleford. Students who walk home from school will be dismissed at 3:00.

- During the week of Sept. 1- Sept. 4- students are required to meet in their cohort groups upon arrival to school and during all recess breaks. Grade 4 - playground, Grade 5- tarmac, Grade 6- soccer field.

- Recess breaks and lunch breaks are determined by the grade level cohort and will be taken at staggered intervals throughout the day. Recess and lunch breaks are not at regularly scheduled times.

- Please review the LRSD Re-entry plan with your child to discuss new safety protocols with your child(ren) prior to their first day. This plan is posted on our school website. It will also be helpful to have your child practice wearing a mask.

- As we start the new school year, students will be supported and guided with understanding new health measures and safety procedures.

Crowsnest Consolidated High School is also taking extra precautions.

Principal Christine McKie says grades will begin school on different days during the first week.
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“We're staggering our entry. Tuesday is Grade 7 and 12 will come back, Wednesday Grade 8 and 11 and Thursday Grade 9 and 10.”

Assistant Principal Jill Klapp says students have a set time they’ll be allowed to access the building.

“They'll be allowed access to the building at 8:25am. They're encouraged to line up in front of their door accesses.”

McKie says that upon entering the school, students will be greeted by herself, Klapp and their teachers.

“What we're going to do, is myself, Jill and the teachers that teach those grade levels will spend a chunk of time with them in the morning orientating them to the Covid-19 protocols that are in place now. They'll move into their classes after that and then those teachers will do icebreaker activities with students and begin the school year together.”
McKie says Grade 7 students will have their full school orientation following the Covid-19 orientation to make sure they’re familiar with the school.

A big change to classes this year is that students won’t be changing classrooms.

“We've assigned each cohort to one classroom. We have the teachers travelling to the class instead of the kids travelling to the teachers.”

Masks and hand sanitizer are being provided for students and staff this year.

“There's mandatory masking in all common areas, hallways, shared spaces and where two meters spacing can't be maintained. The provincial government and the school division are supplying personal protective equipment. Each student is receiving two reusable masks and then the school has a supply of disposable masks as well. All staff are provided with two reusable masks and a face shield. Sanitizer is being provided as well. Students can also bring their own sanitizer in their backpacks if they wish to do so.”

Klapp also says hand sanitizer will be available for staff and students when entering and exiting rooms.

“Student’s hands will be sanitized when they enter into the building. They'll follow directional arrows for traffic lead by their first class teacher. They'll be seated in front facing rows masked. The students and staff will have access to hand sanitizer upon any entrance or exit of a room.”

McKie says there will be separate entrances for different grades to help limit overcrowding of entrances.

“We have separate entrances for the students. Once we've done all the orientation, students will know which doors they are to use.”
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McKie highlighted a couple other changes to the school year as well.

“We're not assigning any lockers this year and there won't be any school sports for the fall. In Livingstone Range, we want to get students out of the building so the caretakers are able to do their jobs in terms of disinfecting classrooms and gymnasiums. So while our schools typically had after school use or evening use, that's all been put on the back burner so that we can keep the school as sanitized as possible and give our caretakers that time at the end of the day.”

Klapp says that students not taking the bus will be released early to limit hallway traffic

“Students who don't take the bus will be released early at the end of the day to limit the amount of traffic in the hallways. Parents coming to pick up their children at the school are asked to park out front and wait for their kids there and are asked not to pick up kids where the busses are to limit congestions. Students are asked to exit the school at the nearest exit of their end-of-day class.”

Klapp says teachers have also created an outdoor classroom equipped with whiteboard space, logs and other seating for students to use this year.

“Teachers worked very hard to establish an outdoor classroom this year to help get kids outside of the building to promote their mental wellness.

Klapp says staff is confident students will be safe and that teachers are looking forward to a great school year.

“Teachers remain confident in their ability to keep students safe and are excited to have the students back. We're very excited to be together again.”

For more information on what the schools are doing this school year, you can visit their websites.
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September 2nd, 2020 ~ Vol. 90 No. 35
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