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  • MLA report August 27

    Hello Chestermere-Strathmore:

    I would like to start by sending my deepest love to the family of Vida Smith who has been missing since July 21st.  I cannot imagine what they must be going though, and we can only hope that there may be some peace for this family as they reach out for help to find her remains.  If you have any tips, please call 403-266-1234, the Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

    I would also like to send my condolences to the family of the person who crashed on 2nd Ave in Strathmore.  This has been a very difficult time, and these tragedies bring to light how precious our lives are, and how quickly our loved ones can be taken away.  I know I squeeze my family very tightly every night with immense gratitude.  

    I would like to share two letters sent out to our community from our trustees: 

    Aug. 21, 2020

    Dear Parents/Guardians,

    Thank you to all who have completed the Learning Intent Form indicating how your family plans to engage in learning for the 2020/2021 school year. If you have not yet let us know of your intentions, we strongly encourage you to complete the Learning Intent Form before the 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24 deadline.

    Rocky View Schools (RVS) knows and understands that choosing between in-class learning, RVS Online Learning or home schooling will be a difficult decision for some families given the uncertainty that surrounds the pandemic. If we do not hear from you by 9 a.m. Monday morning, we will assume your children will be attending face-to-face instruction at their registered school. It is important to note that depending on the numbers and resources in both the face-to-face and online environment come September, it is unlikely that we will be able to accommodate transfers between the learning options in the fall. Families will have a one-time opportunity to change from either RVS Online Learning or face-to-face learning for the remainder of the school year (Feb. 1, 2021).

    We also want to take this opportunity to inform you of some recent updates.

    RVS values student participation in school sports and other extra-curricular activities that provide opportunities to develop positive attitudes, leadership skills, inter-relational skills and experiences that support students’ roles as active members of their school community. RVS’ Re-Entry Plan has been updated to reflect that extra- curricular athletics and fine arts will be permitted in a practice-only format with no interschool games or in- person performances allowed. We will revisit this decision should new information become available.

    RVS continues to be committed to providing a safe return to school for both students and staff. In June, the Board re-allocated $2.5 million of unspent dollars towards pandemic supplies ($1.3 million) and additional instructional equipment ($1.2 million) for schools in preparation of a return to in-class learning. Yesterday, the Board authorized the use of up to $2 million of Operations and Maintenance reserve funds to cover additional caretaking costs for this year as part of our safety measures.

    In alignment with the guidelines of the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), masks will be mandatory for all staff and teachers, and for students in Gr. 4 – 12 where physical distancing is not possible in schools and on buses. RVS will continue to follow the direction and recommendations of the CMOH in implementing public health measures in our schools. Mask use and other forms of protection will continue to be part of RVS’ discussions as the pandemic evolves and as new information comes from the CMOH and Alberta Education.

    Thousands of pieces of Personal Protective Equipment are arriving at our Education Centre warehouse today and into next week. We will be working hard to assemble school care packages so that we can get the masks, sanitizer, wipes, face shields, gloves and more out to schools before classes resume.

    We are confident that by working together and following the public health measures and safety protocols that will be in place in our schools, we can minimize risk and protect the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We look forward to welcoming students back to school in September.

    Fiona Gilbert, Board Chair and Greg Luterbach, Superintendent of Schools
    Golden Hills School Division Return to School Message

    Dear Parents, 

    As the start of the school year quickly approaches, Golden Hills School Division is in the final planning stages for a near-normal return to school.

    Last week you should have received a letter from your principal about the return to school and encouragement to contact your principal if there are circumstances in your family that make you uncertain about your children’s return to their classroom.

    We have made many changes in our routines and protocols to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff and have also made school start-up adjustments to welcome students back and implement those changes.  We are also adding programming and pathways to provide learning for students who are not able to return to school and options to allow re-entry if the situation changes.

    Your school will be communicating with you in more detail over the next few days, but here are some details that are common across Golden Hills:

    • First day of school is Tuesday, September 1.
    • The first six days of school will be a staggered start. Approximately half the students on Tuesday, September 1, and the other half the following day, Wednesday. We will alternate like this from September 1 to September 9 (six school days). All students will be at school together starting on  Thursday, September 10. Schools are working on these schedules now and will communicate details in the days ahead. 
    • Changes to routines and protocols in transportation (coming next week) and in schools to keep students and staff safe.
    • We are hearing from the vast majority of parents who are eager to restart school, but we also have some families who are unsure about their child’s return to school or that have high-risk medical situations in their household.  If you are in this situation, please contact your principal as soon as possible.  We will be supporting all students in our system including those students who cannot return to school and need to know the details for those students so we can plan effectively. 

    We are looking forward to getting back to school and are eager to reconnect with students and families. We look forward to a successful school year for everyone. 

    Lastly, I wish you a wonderful beginning to the school year.  Take of each other, keep your distance from those who are not your cohorts, wash your hands, clean your touch points and most of all thank your teachers, parents, school divisions, aides, bus drivers, and custodial staff for their incredible work in getting us back to school.