Parent FAQs

COVID-19 Parent Frequently Asked Questions

Under the guidance provided by the Government of Alberta for Kindergarten to Gr. 12, students re-entered school under Scenario 1: In-School Learning with classes resuming at near-normal operations with increased health-measures. RVS has published our plans for Scenario 1 on our website, as well as plans for Scenario 2: Blended Learning and Scenario 3: At-Home Learning.

To provide our school communities with the latest information, we have created a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) during COVID-19. We will update the FAQs as the pandemic evolves and we receive additional guidance/information from the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services.

 

Government Guidelines

RVS is following the guidance outlined in the Alberta Government’s 2020-2021 School Re-Entry Plan for our return to classes.

 

COVID-19 Information & Resources

Families are encouraged to stay updated on the latest COVID-19 information provided by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services:

Government of Alberta Coronavirus information for Albertans

Government of Alberta COVID-19 information: Guidance for school re-entry

Government of Alberta COVID-19 information: get the facts: back to class for 2020-21

Government of Alberta self-screening questionnaire (available in multiple languages)

Government of Alberta COVID-19 information: Student Illness

Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 School Outbreak Resource Guide

Government of Alberta’s Isolation Requirements

Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

Government of Alberta’s Guidance for wearing non-medical masks

AHS Back to School During COVID-19 Resources

 

Last updated Oct. 7, 2020

 

Daily Self-screening Practices & COVID-19 Testing

  • Q.  Are staff and students required to go through a daily health check? Yes. Before coming to school each day, students, staff, parents/guardians and permitted visitors who will access the school must be screened for symptoms. All RVS students, staff, parents and guardians will complete Alberta Health Services’ daily health checklist/questionnaire. Should anyone answer “Yes” to any of the daily health check questions they are prohibited from entering the school and must stay home. Teachers will also monitor students throughout the day for any COVID-19-related symptoms.
  • Q. If my child answers “yes” to any of the daily health check questions and tests negative for COVID-19, can my child return to school while symptoms are still present? No. As per Government of Alberta requirements, parents and students and school staff must review the self-screening questionnaire each day before going to school. If they answer YES to any of the questions, they are to stay home until their symptoms resolve. Please refer to this guide to help your child safely return to school.
  • Q. What if my child has pre-existing symptoms (asthma/allergies) that may appear like COVID-19? Individuals who have allergies or ongoing health issues must be tested at least once according to the Alberta Health Services Guidance document. This will establish a baseline for the individual. Schools will keep a confidential record of typical symptoms that may be confused for COVID-19 for students as they would with other medical conditions.

    If symptoms change (worsen, additional symptoms, change in baseline) the individual must stay at home and use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine whether they should be tested for COVID-19.
  • Q. I have two children at the same school. If one of my children displays symptoms, does the other child also need to stay home even if they are symptom free? No. As per Alberta Health guidelines, your child can attend in-person learning as long as they are symptom free and they have not had close contact (unprotected face-to-face contact within 2m) with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

 

Illness While at School

  • Q. What happens if my child has COVID-19-like symptoms while at school? If your child begins to feel sick while at school, they will be taken to a supervised infirmary room or designated space and given a disposable face mask to wear, if required. Parents/guardians will be contacted and must pick up their children immediately.
  • Q. What happens if a teacher or staff member exhibits COVID-19 symptoms during the school day? Staff will be asked to leave the school site immediately to self-isolate.


Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

  • Q. What happens if a student, staff or teacher tests positive for COVID-19 in the school? If there are cases of COVID-19 identified within school settings, potential close personal contacts of the individual who tested positive will be identified and parents will be contacted by the school to inform them. If the students are in school at the time a case is confirmed, parents will be contacted and required to pick up their child/ren immediately. A letter is sent to the entire school community informing them of the positive case. AHS will contact parents with advice within 24-48 hours. As part of RVS’ Confirmed Case Response Protocol, a deep clean of the school is performed.

    Additional guidance is provided in the Alberta Government’s COVID-19 School Outbreak Resource Guide.

 

Supporting Learning While Self-Isolating or Ill

  • Q. If my child is self-isolating or ill and is unable to attend school for a few days, how will their learning be supported? Students who are ill or who remain at home for other reasons will be supported in a similar way to which students were supported in the past. Teachers will provide work for students to complete while they are unable to come to school.

 

Extra-curricular Activities, Clubs & Field Trips

  • Q. Will there be field trips? Guidance from Alberta Health states that field trips and activities requiring group transportation should not be scheduled. As such, field trips should be restricted to locations within walking distance of the school. All field trips beyond a reasonable walking distance are cancelled and should not be planned (e.g. international, out-of-province, out-of-community, across town trips).
  • Q. Are extra-curricular athletics and fine arts permitted? At this time, RVS permits in a practice-only format only with no interschool games or in-person performances being allowed until further noticed. As per Alberta Health, there is a 50-person maximum allowed which includes all involved: coaches/staff, instructors, student athletes/performers.
  • Q. Are clubs able to meet? If a club can meet while maintaining physical distancing, they can meet as long as all touched surfaces are wiped down. Clubs that cannot maintain physical distancing are cancelled until further notice.

 

Transition Point

  • Q. Can my child transition from online learning to face-to-face instruction or vice versa? Parents and students will have a one-time transition point on Feb.1, 2021 to switch from either RVS Online Learning back into face-to-face instruction or from face-to-face instruction to RVS Online Learning. Parents must notify their school’s principal in writing in early January 2021 for transition on Feb. 1, 2021. More information about the transition process will be shared in late fall 2020.

 

Online Learning

  • Q. Are PD days the same for in-person and online students? Yes. Regardless of program, all students in RVS follow the same school year calendar.
  • Q. Where can I learn more about RVS Online Learning? Click here for more information on RVS Online Learning.
  • Q. How do I register my child for RVS Online Learning? RVS Online Learning is currently full for Fall 2020 admissions. Families wanting to change their program delivery method will have a one-time opportunity to do so, Feb. 1, 2021. More information about the transition process will be shared in late fall 2020.

 

Mask Use and Hand Sanitizer

  • Q. Are masks required when seated in classrooms? Masks are 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 encourages mask use for students in Kindergarten – Gr. 3.

    In all classrooms, desks are separated from each other to the best of the ability given the size of the classroom and number of students. If two metres cannot be arranged between desks/tables, students are arranged so they are not facing each other (e.g., arranged in rows rather than in small groups or a semi-circle). As learning is not a static process but rather requires interaction, RVS is supporting the use of masks for Gr. 4 –12 in classrooms where 2m physical distancing cannot be supported. Students are not expected to sit in their desks for the duration of the day. It is recognized that learning can occur during various activities.
  • Q. What type of hand sanitizer is being provided in schools? Triton hand sanitizer has been supplied to all schools. This hand sanitizer has been manufactured with only FCC Monograph (food grade) ethanol, which is safe for use by children over the age of two years old. This hand sanitizer is comprised of 80% (food grade) (v/v) ethanol, purified water, glycerin, isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. The Health Canada Notice issued on May 27, 2020 for Triton Hand Sanitizer is not the same product being supplied to schools.
  • Q. How would a parent obtain an exemption for their child that is not able to tolerate a mask due to anxiety and sensory issues? Please see the RVS Scenario 1: In-School Learning plan for information about mask use in schools.

    Additional information about selecting a mask, when and how to use a mask and care of cloth masks can be found on the Alberta Government’s website. No official approval of an individual’s exemption is required.

 

Physical Distancing and Student Flow Within Buildings

  • Q. How is physical distancing supported within the schools? It is not possible to physically distance at all times. However, measures are in place to reduce direct contact with others and minimize risks to provide a safe and secure learning environment, including:
      • Assigned seating in classrooms
      • Keeping groups, or a classroom, of students and staff together (also known as cohorting)
      • Maximized distancing of desks and/or their positioning so students aren’t facing each other
      • Staggered classroom transitions
      • Signage to direct traffic flow and remind students and staff to physically distance
      • Designated school entry and exit protocols

As outlined in the Alberta Guidance for School Re-Entry ​in situations where physical distancing is not possible, extra emphasis will be placed on hand hygiene, coughing/sneezing etiquette, not participating when sick and cleaning and disinfecting on a regular basis.

 

Lockers

  • Q. Without access to lockers where will students keep snow gear in the winter? How will they store valuables, such as laptops and other electronic devices? Hallway lockers are not being used to minimize hallway crowding. Students will continue to bring their belongings with them to class.

 

Supporting Students Who Require Individual/Specialized Support

  • Q. What is offered for children who need extra supports like aides, speech therapy or nurses, who often help multiple children in a day? RVS will maintain learning opportunities for students specific to their Individual Program Plan (IPP) using a variety of approaches. Students with complex or differing learning needs will continue to be intentionally included in the learning of the whole classroom with support from Learning Supports. Where required, a registered nurse and/or licensed practical nurse will be engaged and will follow all AHS guidelines. Divisional supports, such as occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, physical therapists, will provide service following their professional association guidelines. Some of these services will be face-to-face but physically distanced where possible, while some may be online.
  • Q. Is a child registered for online learning also be able to access their extra supports (speech, occupational therapy etc.)? Yes. Divisional support, such as occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, physical therapists, continue to provide service following their professional association guidelines for both in-person and online learning approaches. Some of these services are face-to-face at a location to be determined and are physically distanced where possible. Some of the services are provided online. We would expect that many of these professionals will wear various personal protective equipment in order to minimize risks.

 

Bus Protocols

  • Q. What precautions are being taken on buses to minimize risk? Students registered for service are assigned a route and be expected to utilize their electronic pass each and every time they enter and exit a buss to assist with contract tracing should that need to occur.

    Families are required to complete the daily health check list prior to sending their child to the bus stop. Should they answer “yes” to any of the daily health check questions, they must stay home.

    Bus drivers have developed seating plans, keeping siblings together wherever possible. The seating plan attempts to spread out the riders to the best of the ability given the limited space on the bus. Individuals must sit in the assigned seats and cannot move seats to sit with friends. Youngest riders are to be seated closer to the front of the bus.

    In between runs, the bus driver puts on gloves, mask and googles and uses a provided pump sprayer to sanitize the bus.

    In terms of masks, we align with current advice provided by Alberta Education and Alberta Health. All staff and students in Gr. 4 - 12 will be required to wear a mask on school buses. Mask use for Kindergarten to Gr. 3 students continues to be recommended.

 

Mental Health

  • Q. What mental health supports are in place to support students and staff? COVID-19 is causing a lot of uncertainty for our students, families and staff. Mental health supports exist in all schools to support how the schools are operating in light of this pandemic. Ways to support one’s mental health will also be explicitly taught by the schools.
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