Division News Article

Update on Health Measures in Schools

September 13th, 2021

The following information is intended to inform parents and the community of our efforts to maintain a safe and healthy school environment.  

Earlier this month, the government of Alberta imposed additional measures in response to rising rates of COVID-19.  Schools have been exempted from these measures. 

When and How Parents will be Informed of Positive COVID Cases in Schools

At this time, schools are not involved in any contact tracing processes when a student or staff member tests positive with COVID-19.

Alberta Health Services has been asking the client who tested positive, or the client’s parents, to inform others who might have been in recent close contact.  

When a parent informs the school about a child who has tested positive: 

  • The school will not ask parents if they want the school to inform others.  
  • The request to inform others must be voluntarily offered by parents. 
  • When parents make this request, the schools will send parents of the class a brief message stating that someone in the class has tested positive and to monitor personal health and symptoms. 

This process is intended to respect parents’ and students’ right to privacy.  

There is currently no quarantine imposed on those who have been in close contact with a positive case. They are being asked to monitor their health and use the Self-Assessment tool if symptoms arise. This will direct them to be tested if needed.  

Spectators at school sporting events and other celebrations

We know that students and staff are excited about the opportunity to participate in inter-school extracurricular sports. Participation is an important part of school life and students learn a great deal about teamwork, goal setting, collaboration and the nature of competition. 

We continue to reference the guidance and public health orders relative to measures that reduce the spread of infections and respiratory illnesses.  We are aware of and continue to use the safe practices that protect individuals such as the daily health check, hand hygiene and being conscious of our personal space when in groups. We also know that when a greater proportion of the population is vaccinated, the risk of serious illness and death is significantly reduced. 

Should parents, friends and relatives wish to come to the school as spectators or audience members for school events, we strongly encourage wearing masks, maintaining social distance and continuing with good hand hygiene practices. Please do not come to the school for any reason if you have symptoms described in the daily health check.

Thank you for working with us during this time. We will continue to monitor absenteeism rates and the health of our staff and students. We will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services. 

Public Use of School Buildings

Many of our buildings were used by community groups previous to the pandemic. Logistically, it takes additional time for custodial staff to complete the degree of cleaning that we have maintained.  For the meantime, we have postponed renewing community use arrangements until later in September when we expect an update from the province regarding the use of public spaces, gathering restrictions and more. 

Senior administration and school principals will meet regularly to discuss the questions that arise. Please monitor Pembina Hills News Updates for information.