< Back to BlogPosted Mar 20, 2020

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Update March 20, 2020 3:30 p.m.

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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