Parent Letter - Students Return to School Jan. 10

The Government of Alberta has announced students will resume in-person classes on Jan. 10.

Dear RVS Parents/Guardians,

The Government of Alberta announced yesterday, Jan. 5, 2022, that all students Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12 will resume in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

RVS Welcomes all Students Back to School January 10

Rocky View Schools (RVS) will re-open and welcome all students back to class Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. Our two online schools will also restart after the extended winter break. Daily school schedules remain the same.

All school bus routes will resume normal schedules that morning. Please double check our Bus Status App/site before heading out to the bus stop to ensure the bus is on time.

Keeping our Schools Safe Places to Learn

We know families, just like all of us at RVS, are focused on keeping our students as safe as possible. RVS takes a balanced and thoughtful approach to supporting the overall well-being of our students while minimizing the transmission of COVID-19 in school. We align health measures in our schools with the recommendations and direction from provincial medical leaders and remain focused on supporting students’ overall social, emotional, physical, and learning needs.

Some layers of protection we have in place to keep our schools safe places include:

  • promoting and facilitating hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, masking, cohorting, and staying home when sick;
  • utilizing enhanced ventilation with high density filters, maximizing fresh air and air return systems to increase air flow, ensuring systems are operating within manufacturers expectations, and replacing filters more often;
  • ensuring regular cleaning and disinfection of high traffic/touch areas; and
  • requiring proof of COVID-19 immunization or a negative COVID-19 test result for all adults who enter our schools or facilities (Administrative Procedure 173 - COVID-19 Hazard Reduction). This requirement does not apply to any RVS students.

Families play an essential role in keeping our schools safe places to learn and we respectively request that you keep your child/ren home if they are sick. RVS will continue to require all students, staff, and visitors to review the Alberta Daily Health Checklist prior to coming to school.

Government Provided Masks and Rapid Testing Kits

Beginning the week of January 10, we expect to start receiving medical grade masks and rapid test kits from the government for every student and staff member. Once they arrive, they will be distributed to students and staff as quickly as possible. These items will continue to be delivered to our schools in phases. These medical grade masks and tests will be available for anyone who wants them but are optional to use. To clarify, they are NOT required to be taken or used by any students or staff members. Current mask protocols in RVS require all students, staff, and visitors to wear a mask unless they have an exemption under the government’s process. Individuals may choose to wear these new government provided medical masks, or they can continue to use the masks they were using prior to the winter break.

No student will be required to take a rapid test or to share their results with an RVS staff member if they take a test. Please watch for communication from your school when these items arrive and address any questions you have to your school directly.

The availability of enhanced medical grade masks and rapid tests become valuable additional tools as we work hard to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.

Continuity of Learning and Staffing in our Schools

We also want to acknowledge that while we anticipate experiencing some staffing challenges due to increasing cases in our communities, we are taking steps to minimize disruption to student learning as much as possible. Some of these measures include hiring additional substitute teachers and support staff and pausing many meetings and professional development activities during class time to limit the need for replacement staff. We thank our staff for their understanding and ongoing commitment to continuity of learning.

While the government makes the decision about closing an entire school, RVS can decide to move a class or an entire grade in a school temporarily to at-home online learning. We have heard from families, and we also believe most students learn best in person and it is an important part of their overall well-being. Any decision to move a class or grade to at-home online learning will be made carefully and out of necessity.

Please see our Return to School Operational Plan as well as our general COVID-19 information page on our website for further detail on health protocols in schools and future updates.

Thank you for your patience as we awaited this decision from the government and for your ongoing support as we work together to provide safe and healthy learning environments for our students. We are excited to welcome them back to class January 10!

Sincerely,

Fiona Gilbert            Greg Luterbach  
Board Chair              Superintendent of Schools

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