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COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Updates

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Update June 29, 2020 9:30 am

RE: Employee Questions Related to International Travel / LAPP Pensionable Service

With airlines removing some of the physical distancing requirements, we had some calls about International Travel.  The following information has been discussed with the Alberta Teachers’ Association staff and the information below applies to all WRPS employees.   

Question: If an employee travels outside the country, would the mandatory 14-day isolation requirement for International travellers be considered unpaid leave?

 Answer: Yes, the leave would be unpaid leave.

  • If employees leave the country knowing the need to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return, then they should return 14 days prior to their first day of work. If the self-isolation requirement is announced while they were away, that would be different, but since the rule is currently in effect, employees need to plan accordingly.
  • The current International travel restrictions indicate that there is an “official global travel advisory in effect”. Albertans should follow all travel recommendations.
  • Avoid all non-essential travel outside Canada and all cruise ship travel.
  • Returning travellers must:
    • follow mandatory 14-day isolation requirements for international travellers
    • check recent domestic and international flights for confirmed cases
    • monitor for symptoms

Question: What is the process and timelines for buying back pensionable service from LAPP?
Answer: Employees may be eligible to buy back service from LAPP during a layoff period. Buying back service is coordinated by LAPP after the year end is submitted at the end of January each year.
If eligible, you will receive correspondence directly from LAPP in early 2021 (for the 2020 calendar year) that will contain the amount of service you are eligible to buy back and what the cost of it will be. Please note, the amount of service that you are eligible to buy back is not determined or calculated by WRPS.

Dr. Terry Pearson
Superintendent of Schools

 

Update May 13, 2020 12:00 p.m.

Re:      2019 – 2020 School Year End

In the current 2019 – 2020 School Year Calendars the last day of instruction to students is Friday, June 12, 2020 in the Modified Calendar, and Friday, June 26, 2020 in the Regular Calendar. Schools on the Modified Calendar are: Alder Flats, Winfield, Lakedell, Pipestone, Griffiths-Scott and Gwynne.  All other schools are on the Regular or Year-Round calendars.

In-school classes in Alberta’s K – 12 schools were cancelled indefinitely on March 16, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Government confirmed on April 30, 2020 that students will not return to in-school classes for the remainder of the 2019 – 2020 school year – students will complete their learning at home.  As teachers have been supporting students learning at home it is important to identify the date on which the support for students learning at home will cease.

Teachers will cease providing support for students learning at home on Friday, June 5, 2020 for schools on the Modified Calendar, and Friday, June 19, 2020 for schools on the Regular and Year-Round calendars.  This will allow teachers time to collect and mark any outstanding assignments and related school work during the week of June 8 – 12 in the Modified Calendar and June 22 – 26 in the Regular and Year-Round calendars.  During that week teachers will also finalize student marks and assign a final grade for the student’s report card.

Currently, the Division is making preparations for the 2020 – 2021 School Re-Entry Plan.  The Minister of Education announced that school re-entry plans for K – 12 schools must consider three scenarios that could exist when the 2020 – 2021 school year begins in September.  Those scenarios are:

  1. Normal operations.
  2. Schools are open for classes with some health restrictions that affect operations.
  3. Schools remain closed for classes – at-home learning continues.

It is imperative that the Division plan and prepare for all three scenarios as at any time the COVID-19 pandemic may change and we may be required to transition from one scenario to another with short notice.  When these plans are finalized the Division will provide them to students and parents.

We sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding during as staff work to conclude the current school year and plan for the 2020 – 2021 school re-entry in September.  Please understand that the planning process is complex and will continue to evolve as we receive more information from Alberta Education and the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Dr. Terry Pearson
Superintendent of Schools

View: Letter to Parents 19-20 Year End & 20-21 Re-Entry May 13, 2020

 

Update May 1, 2020


Dear Parents / Guardians and members of our School Community:

As announced yesterday by Premier Kenney during the release of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, the province has made the decision to not have students return to in-school classes for the remainder of the academic year. While we know many of you anticipated this decision, we understand it is still difficult to hear. This is another example of the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has changed the lives of all Albertans in so many ways.

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools will be working toward implementing a re-entry plan so we are ready when students return to school.

Thank you all for your efforts to manage this unprecedented situation as our students learn from home.  Please stay healthy and safe!

Dr. Terry Pearson
Superintendent of Schools

 

Update April 30, 2020

Government of Alberta Updated information as of April 26, 2020

COVID - 19 Info for Albertans  

COVID - 19 Government of Alberta April 30, 2020 Update

 

Update April 26, 2020

Government of Alberta Updated information as of April 26, 2020

COVID - 19 Info for Albertans

COVID - 19 Government of Alberta April 26, 2020 Update

 

Update April 19, 2020

Government of Alberta Updated information as of April 19, 2020:

COVID - 19 Info for Albertans

COVID - 19 Government of Alberta April 19, 2020 Update

 

Update April 9, 2020

Stay up to date on information as it becomes available through:  

COVID - 19 Info for Albertans

View:  COVID - 19 Q & A - Government of Alberta April 7, 2020

View:  COVID - 19 Social Distancing Fact Sheet - Government of Alberta

 


Update April 8, 2020
RE:          Education and Support Services

Providing care and support to our families and students during this unprecedented time remains of utmost importance to us at Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools.   If you require assistance and need to connect with Education and Support Services, call your school office or email the school.

View:  Support Services Available for Students

Update: April 7, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Message from the Board Chair

April 7, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians and members of our School Community:

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to thank you for your support during this unprecedented time. The COVID-19 pandemic remains one of the largest challenges we have ever had to face as a school division. These circumstances have required us all to adjust to a “new normal” that may include self-isolation, social distancing, staying and working from home and several other measures as outlined by Alberta Health Services.

The Board is very thankful for the understanding, patience, and cooperation our families have shown to the teachers and staff.  The connections and support from parents has lightened many days and hearts as our staff work toward educating your child and keeping everyone safe.

I would also, like to extend our gratitude to administration and all Wetaskiwin Regional Public School staff for their response to this crisis, it is obvious to our Board that the students, families and each other are at the forefront of the actions we have been required to take.  The ongoing commitment, dedication and efforts by our teachers to meet the needs of our students is to be commended.

Having parental support has become crucial and will continue to be important in the coming weeks as it will ensure our students will be able to progress with their education from home. We want to assure you that we will continue to do whatever is possible to ensure your child(ren) can continue learning in new and alternative ways.  We have committed to support these efforts and with your help our Division will be able to support our students and school community.

On behalf of the Board thank you for your commitment, dedication and efforts to support the educational direction we have had to take to ensure learning continues for our students.

Lynn Ware
Board Chair

Letter to Parents & Guardians April 7, 2020

Update March 20, 2020 3:30 p.m.

Continued Student Learning:

The Alberta Government issued a continuing student learning news release today.  In that release the Government stated that new guidelines are in place to direct how students will learn while classes are cancelled due to the provincial health emergency.  Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools is continuing its work to identify how to continue teacher-directed learning for students.

WRPS Letter to Parents: Continued Student Learning
Letter from Education Minister March 20, 2020
Education Continuity Plan Q & A March 20, 2020

Update March 18, 2020 4:30 p.m.

In an effort to keep you informed and in response to the many questions surrounding the cancelling of classes in Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools for all pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 students due to COVID - 19 we have prepared the following document of FAQ's.

WRPS COVID - 19 FAQ

Update March 17, 2020 12:30 p.m.

COVID-19 Update

As you are aware the province has enacted the aggressive measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 by cancelling classes indefinitely for all pre-kindergarten to Grade 12 students in the province.

We want all of our communication to be consistent and accurate. To that end, I have asked all schools to allow communication updates to originate through our Division Office.  We will continue to provide updates via School Messenger and updating the division and school websites.  We appreciate all of you helping us work with this issue as it unfolds. 

Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools, teaching staff is working on developing some form of lesson delivery in an alternate format for our students.   We understand that for some families, the access to internet or electronic devices is a challenge.   If that is the case, we may make the decision to be lend out some of our Chromebooks for the families that need them.

We have been asked about obtaining your children’s personal items and school supplies.  In order to minimize the opportunity of exposure with large numbers of people interacting, we will not be allowing students into the buildings at this time.  Pending further unforeseen developments, we will plan for access to personal items after the regularly scheduled spring break (March 31,  2020).  We will inform you about this process once we have finalized all the details.

Please know that we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this new territory. Be assured that your child’s safety and education remain the top priorities for the Division. We will forward updates as the information becomes available to us.

Families are also encouraged to continue to monitor the Alberta government’s COVID-19 coronavirus website (https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx). It is updated daily and is the source of the most up-to-date information for Albertans.

Alberta Guidance for School and Child Care Programs - COVID -19

Letter to Parents: March 17, 2020

Update: March 15, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta (March 15 at 4:30 p.m.) Aggressive additional public health measures are being implemented province wide to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect Albertans. Effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited.  Additionally all licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs will also be closed. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health has advised that effective immediately all K-12 schools will no longer be open for classes until further notice.

Listen to Provincial Update March 15, 4:30 p.m.

Alberta Guidance for School and Child Care Programs - COVID -19

For More information: Alberta.ca

Contact 8-1-1 (Health Link) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation.

We recommend that the public continue to monitor the Alberta government’s COVID-19 coronavirus website. It is the source of the most up-to-date information for Albertans. 

School authorities are expected to continue their regular day-to-day operations and ensure the safety of school facilities. maintenance, capital projects, cleaning of facilities and administrative work. 

Quick Facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practice good hygiene.
  • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.


We anticipate further direction from Alberta Education in the coming days and we will provide those updates as they become available.

 

Update March 13, 2020

We have received a number of questions from students, staff, parents and community members about the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Please review the information below:

What is COVID-19? (Source: Alberta Health Services) 

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Others cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly by coughing, sneezing or direct contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or with surfaces they have recently touched https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#toc-9

How is Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools responding? 

While the risk is low, Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools continues to take direction from Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada as the situation continues to evolve. 

The Superintendent of Schools will:

  • Review updates from Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • Review preventative measures that have been implemented and discuss if other measures need to be put into place. 
  • Communicate information to staff, who will in turn communicate with their school community of students, parents, and community members.   

What preventative measures should be taken:

  • Students and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) are asked to stay home.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Good respiratory etiquette includes covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene. Hand hygiene is the washing of hands with plain soap and water, which is effective at removing visible soil as well as viruses.
  • Our emergency preparedness program (Hour Zero), will be our source for pandemic preparation and specifically how to prepare for Covid-19 (novel coronavirus). 
  • It is important that staff and students avoid sharing food, utensils, dishes and water bottles or containers. 
  • Take steps to stay healthy:
    • Wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing the ABC's to measure time), especially after coughing or sneezing.
    • Cough and sneeze into arm or tissue.
    • Keep your children home if they are not feeling well.
    • Keep hands away from face and mouth.
    • Stay healthy by eating healthy foods, keeping physically active, and getting enough sleep.

Planning to travel?

If you are planning a trip, before you leave, please consult the Government of Canada travel advisory website at https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories to see the most up to date information about any risks you might have on your trip. 

Where can I find updated information about COVID-19?

Alberta Health Services: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx#toc-9

Alberta Health Services Memo to Alberta school staff, parents/guardians of students: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/educ-COVID-parents-memo.pdf 

Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/guidance-schools-childcare-programs.html

World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

Who should I call for health-related information?

Contact 8-1-1 (Health Link) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation.

We recommend that the public continue to monitor the Alberta government’s COVID-19 coronavirus website. It is the source of the most up-to-date information for Albertans. 

Please note:
School divisions do not have the authority to make public health decisions. If steps are taken in relation to a public health concern, it is in the direction of the Alberta Health Services and local health authorities. Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools is in regular communication with Alberta Education, Alberta Health Services, and school divisions across the province. 

 

 

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