Back to School Update: August 27, 2020

Back to School Update: August 27, 2020

As we move into the final few days before the official first day of classes (August 31st), we'd like to thank everyone for their support as we get ready for the new school year. We know there has been a lot of information coming from the division and your schools over the past month and we appreciate all the feedback and support you've provided. Our school principals and staff have done an exceptional job of thinking of all the fine details for re-entry and we are confident your children will be in good hands when they return to class.  Please read over the Scenario 1: In School Learning Handbook that has everything you need to know about the division's re-entry plan. This document has been updated frequently over the past few weeks, so some sections may have changed since you first read it. The handbook can be found here: https://bit.ly/34GF9Lk  

Here are a few additional items we'd like to share with you before the first day of classes.

First Day of Classes

The official first day of school is on August 31st. To accomodate young children and new families, some schools are modifying their starting date. Please be sure to read through your individual school plan to make sure you are aware of their back to school process. The plans can be found here: https://bit.ly/2DNL1qH

School Bus Transportation

School transportation will look a little different this year due to the increased guidelines for K-12 schools around COVID-19.

Here are a few main points to keep in mind:

1. No student showing signs of illness can get on the bus or go to school. Visit the symptom checklist for illness symptoms and stay at home requirements: https://bit.ly/2YxHjJ6

2. Only the student with illness symptoms or meeting the stay at home criteria needs to stay home. Siblings may attend if they pass the screening test.

3. All students in grades 4-12 will be required to wear a mask for the duration of the bus ride. There is no requirement for students in kindergarten to grade 3 to wear a mask, however should a parent choose to provide a mask for their child they may wear one.

4. School bus seating plans will be developed by the bus driver. These plans will keep students of the same family together when possible. Students are required to follow the seating plan. This is not an optional choice.

5. Students are not allowed to ride on buses that they are not registered for.

6. When entering the bus, student hands will be sprayed with hand sanitizer.

7. After each route, the bus will be wiped down by the driver with cleaning solution.

8. While students will be allowed to have a drink on the bus, no food item can be consumed while riding the bus. Holding a drink for the during of the route will not be considered an excuse for not wearing a mask.

9. As masks will not be distributed until students arrive at school, we ask that parents send their grade 4-12 students with a mask on the first day. Should the student not have a mask, they will not be turned away. Once students have been assigned their mask at school, they will be required for bus transportation. Exceptions will only be granted based on direction from the school principal.

10. Any student who enters the bus with illness symptoms will be isolated by the driver. If the student is in grades K-3 they will be provided with a disposable mask. Upon arrival at school, the parents will be contacted for immediate pick up.

Parents should have received a phone call from their driver with details regarding pick up and drop off times for next week. If you have not yet received a phone call from your driver, please complete the form and someone will be in touch with you. 

Transportation Inquiry Form: https://forms.gle/xQzNY7bjDZEF7qW86

Chromebooks for Grades 4-12

This fall, all Prairie Rose students in grades 4-12, and those who participate in the learning from home option, will be assigned a Chromebook device that can be used throughout the school year and at home. During the summer we asked parents to share their thoughts about a proposed $30/year technology fee charge for this new initiative. In addition to the device, the $30 fee would cover routine maintenance and replacement of devices through our technology department.  Based on the feedback, it was agreed to move forward with the $30/year technology fee proposal.  However, one change was made to the plan, based on parent feedback. The school division will allow students, who already own Chromebook devices, the option of substituting their personal device for the school provided device. 

This option will be approved, under the following criteria:

1. The device must be a Chromebook. Laptops, tablets, phones, other devices will not be accepted. It is important that the learning tool is consistent across the division to ensure both teachers and students can all access the materials they need in the same manner.

2. There will be a one-time $35 licensing fee for personal devices to provide access to the school division’s WIFI and online networks. Without the user license, the Chromebook won’t work at school. This licensing will need to be installed by the school division. If at any time you wish to switch to using a division provided device, you can ask for the license to be uninstalled.

3. If you do plan to use your own personal device, please let your principal know right away so we can re-assign division-owned Chromebooks to other areas of the school division.

Chromebooks are being distributed to the schools this week and will be assigned to students once the school year begins. Parents will see two options in School Cash regarding Chromebook use. Please choose either Chromebook Fees – Annual ($30/year), or One-Time Licensing Fee ($35).  If you have any questions, please contact your local school.

Staying Home When Sick

When school starts it is important that parents perform a quick health check on their children each day before sending them onto the bus and to school. This is not meant to be a tedious task, but a visual confirmation that your child is not showing any signs of illness or does not meet the restricted criteria for school attendance. For those who would like to use an electronic option to perform the assessment, we have made one that will let you know if your child can attend school based on your responses. It can be accessed here: https://bit.ly/2EHyG7A. Otherwise, feel free to use our visual reference guide to assess your child's health.

If a student does come to school and is ill (presenting symptoms that are not common for that child) they will be required to keep their mask on (students in K-3 will be provided one) and parents will be called to immediately pick up their child.

If a child goes home sick they are required to stay home until:

1. They receive a negative COVID result or,

2. They stay home a minimum of 10 days from the onset of their symptoms, or

3. If they are still showing symptoms after 10 days, they must stay home until the symptoms are gone.

What this means is that a student who goes home on Monday cannot return to school the next day. We encourage parents to get the student tested as soon as they show symptoms to ensure the quickest return to school possible. If the child is required to stay home, due to the isolation requirement, their teacher will provide work for them to complete at home, so they don't fall behind on their classwork.

Again, a big thanks to everyone for your patience as we navigate this unprecedented back to school. Have a wonderful final weekend and we can't wait to see all your children back in class next week.