Covid-19 Response

PRSD School Plan Summary

Peace River School Division
2021-2022 School Plan Summary  
(Updated February 14, 2022)

The Peace River School Division (PRSD) is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our students, and we thank our students, parents, staff and school communities for their patience and support as we start the new school year. Continuing learning will require everyone in the PRSD to continue to be nimble in contributing to the safety and success of our school communities.

All parents are required to screen their child for symptoms each day prior to their child attending school by using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist. Staff, parents and visitors are also required to screen for symptoms before attending any PRSD school or facility by using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist. If you or your child(ren) are not feeling well, please do not attend the school or PRSD facility.

Please be aware that the Peace River School Division will follow the guidance of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Alberta Education School Guidance Plan. View the COVID-19 Guidance for Schools here.

Should the nature of the pandemic change, PRSD will follow guidance from Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education. Alberta Education has developed contingency plans for schools to follow should things change and these plans are outlined in the COVID-19 Guidance for Schools. Please note that any changes will be communicated to parents in a timely manner. Thank you again for your support, patience and understanding.

On February 8, the Premier announced a staged approach to relaxing COVID-19 restrictions. You can watch the announcement here.

As was announced, the staged approach will directly impact provincial school authorities in the following ways:

  • Step 1:
    • Effective February 9, the Restrictions Exemption Program ended, along with most associated restrictions.
    • For all businesses, venues and facilities – whether they were previously eligible for the REP or not – capacity limits are removed, except for:
      • Facilities with capacity of 500 to 999, which will be limited to 500.
      • Facilities with capacity of 1,000 or more, which will be limited to 50 per cent.
    • Effective February 14, masks will no longer be required for students in schools or on buses, and masks will no longer be required in any setting for children aged 12 and under. Masking in schools is required until that time.
    • Masking is still required at present for adults including teachers, administrators, other school staff including school bus drivers, and adult visitors to schools.
    • Preventative public health measures including cohorting, enhanced cleaning and sanitization will remain in step 1.

 

  • Step 2: Will be effective on March 1, should hospitalization rates continue to trend downward:
    • Any remaining provincial school requirements, including cohorting, will be removed.
    • Screening prior to youth activities will no longer be required.
    • Capacity limits for all venues will be lifted.
    • Limits on social gatherings will be removed.
    • Provincial mask mandate will be removed.
    • Mandatory work from home will be removed.

 

  • Step 3: Timing to be determined based on decreasing hospitalization rates.
    • Mandatory isolation removed. Isolation becomes a recommendation only.

 

Vaccine policies

Vaccine requirements for employees remain within the purview of the employer. Employers should follow applicable employment and health and safety legislation. 

School authorities cannot require parents, volunteers or other non-school employees to show proof of vaccination. Parents, volunteers and other non-school employees are required to follow all provincial health orders and guidelines that are applicable in schools.

 

Isolation

The daily checklist requirements to isolate have not changed. Information about isolation requirements are available here. Additional information related to isolation and masking is available in the Guidance for K-12 schools and school buses. Mandatory isolation requirements will be removed in Step 3 of the phased approach to relaxing COVID-19 measures, and will become a recommendation at that time. 

 

Shifts to at-home learning

For the time being, the school shift process for provincial school authorities will remain. School authorities have the discretion to shift a grade or class to at-home learning should it be operationally required. Shifts for schools or entire school authorities for operational reasons require Minister approval. Requests for school or school authority shifts are to be submitted to educationcovidguidance@gov.ab.ca.

 

Masking

Masking is still mandatory for adults, bus drivers and visitors/spectators over the age of 13. Students who choose to continue to wear a mask will be supported by their schools. 

 

Updated guidance documents

The following guidance documents have been updated to support you with the transition during these steps:


Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures

● PRSD schools will continue to maintain enhanced cleaning measures.
● Additional disinfecting and cleaning measures will be implemented if there are elevated student and staff absences.
● PRSD will continue to work with students and staff to promote ongoing hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. 
● Electrostatic disinfectant fogging machine used in every school two times per week.
● School buses are cleaned twice per day (after the morning and afternoon bus run).

Environmental Measures
• All facilities have a mechanical system that allows for air to be circulated and brings in fresh air from the outside. Fresh air is exchanged at the start of the school day and throughout the day to ensure a safe environment is maintained for students and staff.
• Mechanical systems are maintained on a regular basis, as per the manufacturers operating guidelines, to ensure they are functioning per specifications.
• To supplement our mechanical systems, it is beneficial to open classroom windows to assist in ventilation and fresh air exchange, weather permitting.



Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exams

  • To further support students whose learning is disrupted by the 2022 winter break extension, January diploma exams have been cancelled.
  • A decision will be made later in 2022 regarding April, June and August diploma exams.
  • Diploma exam weighting will temporarily change to 10% from 30% for the 2021-22 school year in response to feedback from students, parents and education partners about stress and anxiety around academic achievement.
  • Grade 9 PATs (including Part A English Language Arts, Français/French Language Arts and K&E English Language Arts), will be delayed to the week of January 20, 2022.
  • Schools piloting the draft Kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum are not required to administer the Grade 6 PATs for the subject(s) they are piloting. It is mandatory for schools to administer all Grade 6 PATs for the subject(s) they are not piloting and it is mandatory for schools to administer all Grade 9 PAT subjects.

Rapid Tests

Rapid tests will be used to detect infections early and reduce the spread throughout our schools and communities. Each kit contains 5 rapid tests because it takes time for your body to develop enough protein to be detectable by a rapid test after being exposed to COVID-19. Repeated screening can help detect infections as soon as possible.

It is recommended to perform rapid tests twice per week, preferably Sunday evenings and Wednesday evenings for two weeks. This ensures that there is one test left over in case any of the previous tests provide an invalid test result.

Please watch the videos below on how to perform a rapid test on yourself and on your child:

How to Perform a COVID-19 Rapid Test

How to Perform COVID-19 Rapid Test on Your Child

If you perform a rapid test and the result is POSITIVE WITH SYMPTOMS, please follow the steps below:

  • Isolate immediately.
    • For fully vaccinated individuals, 5 days isolation is required, or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. Masking at all times outside of the home is mandatory for an additional 5 days after isolation.
    • For not fully vaccinated individuals, 10 days isolation is required, or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.
  • Notify all close contacts from the previous 48 hours that they should monitor for symptoms and be cautious about going to any high-risk settings such as continuing care facilities and crowded indoor spaces.

If you perform a rapid test and the result is POSITIVE WITH NO SYMPTOMS, please follow the steps below:

  • Isolate immediately.
  • Take a second rapid test in 24 hours.
    • If negative, isolation can end unless symptoms develop.
    • If positive, continue isolating as outlined above.
  • If second test is positive, inform all close contacts as indicated above.

If you perform a rapid test and the result is NEGATIVE, it still doesn’t rule out infection. Continue monitoring symptoms and follow public health guidelines.

If the rapid test is NEGATIVE WITH SYMPTOMS, please follow the steps below:

  • Isolate immediately for 24 hours.
  • Take second rapid test in 24 hours
    • If negative, continue isolating until symptoms resolve before resuming normal activities.
    • If positive, continue isolation. For fully vaccinated, it’s 5 days at home or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer, plus 5 days of masking at all times outside of the home after isolation. For not fully vaccinated, it’s 10 days at home or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer.

If the rapid test is NEGATIVE WITH NO SYMPTOMS, isolation is not required.

● AHS is no longer identifying or following up with individual close contacts, and quarantine for close contacts is no longer required.
● All Albertans, including those who may be told that they are close contact, are asked to monitor for symptoms and stay home and get tested if they are feeling unwell. 
● AHS will continue to manage outbreaks of respiratory illnesses in school settings, similar to the management of influenza or influenza-like illness.

Virtual Education and Home Education options
 ● PRSD offers virtual education programming for students in grades 1-12 led by dedicated and skilled virtual education teachers, support staff and PRSD’s District Principal. Learn more here
● PRSD offers both teacher and parent-directed home education programming that is supported by PRSD’s Home Education Coordinator and support staff. Learn more here.

 

 

2021-2022 School Plan

New Guidance was updated February, 2022 for K-12 Schools and School Buses.

Learn More

Isolation and quarantine requirmements

Please note that there have been changes to the isolation and quarantine requirements. View at the link below:

Learn more



Staying Home When Sick

  • Before leaving home, staff, students and visitors should assess whether they feel well enough to attend school for any reason.
  • Parents/guardians should assess their children daily for any new signs or symptoms of illness using the Alberta Daily Health Checklist.
  • If you are fully immunized you must isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer. You must wear a mask for up to 5 days after your isolation period if you are outside of the home in a public place or otherwise in the company of other persons out of your household (no exceptions permitted)
  • If you are NOT fully immunized, you must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer OR until symptoms resolve if you receive a negative PCR COVID-19 test OR Until symptoms resolve if you receive two negative rapid antigen tests, with at least 24 hours between tests.

 

Health Measures

  • If a student or staff member has any of the following core COVID-19 symptoms (new, or worsening and not related to other known causes):
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Sore throat (adults only)
    • Runny nose (adults only)
  • If you are fully immunized you must isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer. You must wear a mask for up to 5 days after your isolation period if you are outside of the home in a public place or otherwise in the company of other persons out of your household (no exceptions permitted)
  • If you are NOT fully immunized, you must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or until they resolve, whichever is longer OR until symptoms resolve if you receive a negative PCR COVID-19 test OR Until symptoms resolve if you receive two negative rapid antigen tests, with at least 24 hours between tests.
  • Schools are encouraged to:
    • promote frequent hand hygiene and good respiratory etiquette
    • continue environmental measures such as cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces
    • have a plan for students and staff who develop symptoms to wait in a separate area until they can go home
  • We will continue monitoring and take whatever actions are needed to manage any high-risk outbreaks of communicable diseases in schools.

Information updated February 3, 2022 from the Government of Alberta Website

Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Tests

Diploma exams and provincial achievement tests

To further support students whose learning is disrupted by the 2022 winter break extension, January diploma exams have been cancelled.

    • A decision will be made later in 2022 regarding April, June and August diploma exams.
    • Diploma exam weighting will temporarily change to 10% from 30% for the 2021-22 school year in response to feedback from students, parents and education partners about stress and anxiety around academic achievement.
    • The Ministers of Advanced Education and Education have sent an open letter to Alberta’s post-secondary institutions to encourage them to further consider the impact the pandemic has had on students who are applying to their post secondary institutions.

    Learn more about writing diploma exams this year.

    Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)

    • Grade 9 PATs (including Part A English Language Arts, Français/French Language Arts and K&E English Language Arts), will be delayed to the week of January 20, 2022.
    • Schools piloting the draft Kindergarten to Grade 6 curriculum are not required to administer the Grade 6 PATs for the subject(s) they are piloting. It is mandatory for schools to administer all Grade 6 PATs for the subject(s) they are not piloting and it is mandatory for schools to administer all Grade 9 PAT subjects.


    Information updated February 3, 2022 from the Government of Alberta Web Page.

 

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