Public Health Measures

Updated October 29, 2021 –

For all school-related COVID-19 information, please visit the Alberta government website:

On September 15, 2021 Alberta government officials declared a state of public health emergency, with new  measures taking effect on September 16, 2021. Schools have been included in these new measures. The actual orders for schools are being drafted and will be out to schools in due time. Until then, this page summarizes the health measures in place for PHSD schools.

For all of the information about temporary measures, please review the details on the Alberta government website:

Vaccinations

Vaccinations for all eligible Albertans are highly recommended. For information about vaccinations consider the information at these sites:

Masking

Masks are mandatory for all children and students over the age of 2 when they are on school busses.

Masks are mandatory for all students in  Grades 4 and up, plus the staff in all grades.

  • Students and staff will be allowed to remove their masks when they are eating or drinking, and when they are seated and working independently in classrooms.
  • Teachers may remove their masks if they are physically distancing themselves from their class by a minimum of 2 meters.

Anyone unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition will require a medical exception letter from an authorized health professional.

  • The medical exception letter template can be found on the COVID-19: Mask requirements page of the government website.
  • This is the only form of exception letter that will be accepted.

Cohorts

Elementary grades (Kindergarten to Grade 6) will implement class cohorting strategies. The strategies will vary from site to site as schools balance their context with the learning needs presented by their students.

  • Intramural events will be planned in consideration of cohorts.
  • Students will be encouraged to stay within their cohort while playing outside at recess.
  • Schools will manage transitions to limit interactions between cohorts.
  • Choirs and music classes can continue with established preventative measures that reduce risk of transmission.
  • Classes can go on field trips with their class cohort.

Junior and Senior High classes do not have to cohort at this time.

Extracurricular Activities

  • Indoor sports can continue (for both elementary and junior and senior high).
  • Participants are required to screen for symptoms, maintain 2 metres distance except when engaged in physical activity and wear a mask except when engaged in a physical activity.
  • No additional spectators will be permitted.  
    • Applying occupancy limits and physical distancing requirements means that we will not be able to permit spectators and school events.
    • Attendance at school sporting events will be limited to the players and a reasonable number of adults connected with the teams.
  • When travelling for games, PHSD teams will abide by the rules established in the host school

Performances and Celebrations

  • Indoor performances can continue (in both elementary and junior and senior high).
  • Participants are required to screen for symptoms, maintain 2 metres distance except when engaged in physical activity and wear a mask except when engaged in a physical activity.
  • Schools will consider their context and establish safe alternatives to large group meetings.
    • Performances may be streamed
    • If schools plan for an audience, the group cannot exceed 1/3 of the fire code capacity and audience members must be seated 2 metres apart, and with their family group.

Christmas Performances

  • The consensus of PHSD School and System Administrators is to not host in-person public performances of traditional Christmas programs this year.
    • Schools will be considering alternatives that may or may not include streaming or recordings offered to the school community.
    • Information regarding performances will come from community schools.  
    • There is no expectation for a school to produce a program that involves every class.

Visitors and Volunteers

Visitors and volunteers are allowed to come to the school provided they have screened for symptoms, wear a mask while in the building, and maintain 2 metres physical distance whenever possible.

All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the office.

Administrative Procedures apply:

Meetings with Parents, Teachers or others

Meetings with parents, teachers and support staff that are important for creating plans or setting goals that benefit students can continue.

  • Please request a virtual meeting if that is preferred and viable.

School Council meetings can be held in the school.

  • School Councils are encouraged to consider virtual meetings.

When and how will  Parents be Informed of Confirmed COVID Cases in Schools? (Revised October 18, 2021)

Alberta Health Services will manage tracing of close contacts to confirmed cases.

The role of the school division and schools is to distribute notifications of exposure.

  • Alberta Health Services will inform the primary contact at the school division of any confirmed cases of staff or students from the past 24 hours.
  • Schools will then review attendance data to confirm exposure dates.
  • Groups of exposed students, staff and visitors will be identified using class lists and attendance data.
  • These groups will be sent a notification of exposure.
    • The notification describes the actions that individuals can take.
    • In general, people who have been exposed can continue to attend school, UNLESS  notified by AHS that they must stay home OR if they develop symptoms.
  • Schools will then review existing preventative measures.

Outbreak Management (Revised October 18, 2021)

AHS Public Health will initiate an outbreak investigation once there are TEN or more confirmed cases in the school setting (students and staff members) within a 14 day period who were present at the school while infectious.

The role of school division and schools is to distribute communication.

Full details are available here: Resource Guide for Managing COVID-19 Cases in School (K-12) Settings

Off Campus Activities and Field Trips

Participants in off campus education programs and or field trips must abide by the health measures of the location visited.

International Trips and Excursions involving students have been suspended for 2021-2022.