Christ The Redeemer (CTR) Catholic Schools Re-Entry Plan
Last updated August 5, 2020
On July 21, 2020 The Minister of Education indicated that classes will resume in the fall as near normal with additional health measures in place, and the Minister ordered additional health measures on August 4, 2020. Please refer to Alberta Education’s Get the Facts: Back to Class 2020-2021 for the Ministry’s reasons for return.
Please note this plan may be revised as new information becomes available and/or as conditions related to COVID-19 change. CTR Catholic’s Re-Entry Plan is indicated in black text with individual school information to be added in blue. Individual school information will be emailed to parents and posted on their websites no later than August 25, 2020.
CTR Catholic is focusing on multiple ways to increase safety including the best physical distancing possible, cohorting in K-9, teaching and promoting respiratory etiquette, teaching and promoting proper hygiene and handwashing, enhancing cleaning, supporting students in Grades K to 3 who choose to wear masks, ensuring Grades 4 - 12 students and all staff wear masks, and supporting students and families in the regular screening and monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19.
CTR Catholic will cooperate with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Ministry of Education to provide your children a safe return to school in the fall. Parents also have a role to play in supporting the process. Please refer to Alberta Education’s Parents’ Guide 2020–21 School Year for the suggestions.
The safety and well-being of our students and staff is top priority for CTR Catholic. Our efforts are to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. Below are some of the health and safety measures that make up CTR’s Re-Entry Plan.
1. General Building Safety
2. Daily Self-Screening
3. Responding to an Illness
4. If There Is a Case of COVID-19 At School
5. Getting Settled in the First Two Weeks Back
7. Physical Distancing
8. Cohorting and Seating Plans
9. Hallway and Locker Protocols
10. Shared School Spaces
11. Specialty Classrooms (Band, Music, Foods, Construction, Art, Drama, Computer Labs, Phys. Ed, Library)
12. Expectations for Dropoff and Pickup
15. Belongings/School Supply List
16. Lunch/Hot Lunch/Breakfast Program/Vending Machines
18. Extra-Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Field Trips
19. Responding to Learning Delays from Last Year
20. Support for Students with Special Needs
21. Moving from Regular Operations to Full or Partial At Home Learning
22. Supporting Students Who Are Self-Isolating or Ill at Home
23. Options for Choosing to Continue with an At-Home Model
24. Parent Requests to Transition Individual Students Between At School and At Home Learning
25. Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)
26. Mental Health
- Gereral Building Safety
CTR Catholic will implement a plan for building safety upon return. This will include, but is not limited to the following:
- Hand sanitizer stations will be provided to each school.
- Students in Grades 4 to 12 and all staff must wear masks as per government protocols.
- Classrooms will be equipped with hand sanitizers, soap/water bottles, paper towels, and one large classroom spray bottle for the teacher’s use.
- Each student will receive their own spray bottle, labeled with their name, to spray and wipe down their own desk/table with soap and water prior to leaving a class, upon entering a new class, and before and after eating.
- Spray hand sanitizer will be administered to students as they enter/exit the school. Parents may also provide their students with their own sanitizers and hand lotion to be used when entering and exiting the school.
- Students will be encouraged to wash their hands throughout the day. Teachers will ensure young children are supervised and assisted as much as possible in hand hygiene. We are aware that heavy disinfectants and cleaning solutions pose a health risk, and we will limit students’ exposure to harsh chemicals as best as possible while still adhering to strict hygiene protocols to combat transmission.
- Area rugs and soft furnishings in the classroom that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed.
- All classrooms will be decluttered to the greatest extent possible.
- Posters to promote hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, use of hand sanitizer, physical distancing, not sharing, and use of masks will be placed throughout the school including exits and high traffic areas as well as above every hand washing and hand sanitizing station.
- Water fountains will remain open.
- Buttons and knobs will be disinfected regularly by custodians.
- Students are strongly encouraged to bring filled water bottles each day. Please label the water bottle with your child’s name.
- Each school will increase the frequency of cleaning/disinfecting of high touch areas and equipment both during the school day and after hours.
- At the end of the day, custodians will disinfect desk surfaces. Custodians will follow an enhanced daily cleaning protocol.
- Doors will be propped open whenever reasonable to avoid using door handles.
- Furniture in the atrium, hallways, gathering spaces will be either removed or spaced apart to meet physical distancing guidelines. They will be washed down daily.
- Use of shared items or equipment will be avoided where possible. Equipment that must be shared will be cleaned and disinfected after each use where possible.
- Daily Self-Screening
- Before leaving home, staff, children/students, substitute teachers, visitors, and volunteers who will access the school for work or education, must self-screen for symptoms each day that they enter the school using the Screening Questionnaire tool.
- Please DO NOT enter the school if you checked “Yes” to any symptoms. Anyone who reports symptoms will be directed to stay home, seek health care advice as appropriate (e.g., call Health Link 811, or their primary health care practitioner, or 911 for emergency response), and fill out the AHS COVID Online Self-Assessment Tool to determine if they should be tested.
- If an individual develops symptoms that could be caused by either COVID-19 or by a known pre-existing condition (e.g. allergies), the individual should be tested for COVID-19 at least once to establish a baseline. If symptoms worsen or additional symptoms develop, the individual must stay home and be tested and cleared. Schools will keep record of children’s known pre-existing conditions in PowerSchool as they would any other condition.
- Responding to an Illness
- If a student or staff member develops symptoms while at the school, they will be asked to wear a mask and be isolated in a separate room. Parents will be notified and asked to pick up their child immediately. Please ensure the school has an emergency contact listed for your child, in the event you are unable to pick up your child within one hour.
- Staff supervising symptomatic students will provide the students with a face mask, maintain physical distancing to the greatest extent possible, use strict handwashing techniques, and wear gloves, mask, and face shield while attending to the student. Staff may also use a touchless electronic thermometer to take the temperature of the student.
- The symptomatic person will be encouraged to access the AHS Online Testing Tool.
- Students will be required to adhere strictly to any self-isolation requirements by AHS. Teachers will continue to work with the student as they would with any regular absence.
If There Is A Case Of COVID-19 At School
- “A public health team will investigate the case to find out when the symptoms developed and support the school to minimize the spread. It is likely that only the group of students and staff who came in close contact will be required to stay home for 14 days, and not the whole school. Parents will be notified if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed at school and public health officials will contact those who were in close contact with the case” (Alberta Education, 2020).
- CTR Catholic will abide by all privacy legislation and allow AHS to take the lead on protocols for informing the community about confirmed cases.
- CTR Catholic will collaborate and cooperate with AHS and follow any recommendations AHS makes with respect to contact tracing, site disinfecting, site safety, and communication.
- CTR Catholic will follow all occupational health and safety requirements.
- Getting Settled in the First Two Weeks Back
- Messaging from teachers will focus on resilience, staying calm, staying positive, and expressing gratitude. Resources for mental health can be found here.
- Grade 1-12 Students re-entry will be staggered over the course of two days. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Kindergarten re-entry - School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Teachers will teach new school routines (proper use of cloth masks, additional mask etiquette, hand-washing protocols, respiratory etiquette, hallway circulation routines, other physical distancing routines, recess routines, safety resources provided by Alberta Education, online self-assessment material as appropriate).
- All students in Grades 4 to 12 will be provided with two reusable cloth masks.
- Parents of all students in Grades K to 12 are asked to ensure their child(ren) has a reusable cloth or disposable mask with them as part of their daily supplies.
- Mask use for Grade K to 3 students is optional. Students in K to 3 may wear masks if desired by parents, and teachers will support students as much as possible. Teachers will ensure K to 3 students who choose to wear masks are not stigmatized.
- Masks may be recommended by teachers of students in Grades K to 3 for particular activities and considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
- All staff and students in Grades 4 to 12 must wear masks in all circulation areas, common areas, when moving around the school, when moving around any instructional space, and when working face-to-face or in close contact with any other person.
- Students in Grades 4 to 12 may remove their masks when seated at their desks, physically distanced from others (including the teacher), working independently, not facing one another, and not moving around the room.
- Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs. In this case, the student will be seated 2 metres from other classmates to maintain physical distancing.
- Masks will not be required when outdoors for recess and most physical education classes.
- Staff may remove their masks when seated at their desks, physically distanced from others, not facing anyone, not conversing closely with others, and not moving around the room.
- All staff will also be provided with face shields. Face shields allow for visibility of facial expressions, but are not equivalent to masks. A mask must still be worn while wearing a face shield when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Students who ride the bus will be in closer proximity to other students on the bus. Grade K to 3 students are encouraged to wear a reusable cloth or disposable mask while riding the bus. Students in Grades 4 to 12 are required to wear masks at all times on the bus.
- Parents are asked to ensure reusable cloth masks are washed after each day of use.
- Alberta Health Services Guidance for Wearing Non Medical Masks
- Dr. Deena Hinshaw Demonstrates How to Properly Wear A Mask
- Physical Distancing
- CTR’s most recent average class size (2019/2020) was below 23 students per class, and similar averages are expected in 2020/2021.
- Schools will promote physical distancing as much as possible. The most important physical distancing consideration is desks in classrooms. Each teacher will physically distance and declutter their classroom as their first re-entry task during teacher preparation days. Principals are required to inspect classrooms and implement improvements when necessary.
- Where 2 meters is not possible between desks, desks will be spaced as far apart as possible and in rows rather than small groups. Students will not be seated face-to-face.
- Students will avoid close greetings (e.g. hugs, high-fives, fist bumps, ‘Sign of Peace’, etc.) and will be asked to “keep their hands to themselves”.
- Full school liturgies/masses/assemblies/gatherings will be suspended in favour of small group or virtual events.
- Group activities will be adapted to minimize physical contact.
- In cases where physical distancing is not possible, additional attention will be given to mask protocols, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and cleaning of high touch surfaces.
- Cohorting and Seating Plans
Cohorting will be used wherever practical. A cohort is a group of people or students who remain together as much as possible. This limits exposure to others. Cohorts are beneficial in the event that schools need to work with AHS to assist with contact tracing.
- In Grades K-9, teachers, rather than students, will move to classrooms to reduce transitions, locker visits, and hallway congestion. If this is impractical, students must clean their desks with their personal soap and water spray bottles (supplied by the school) at the end of each class, and, upon entering a new room, both sanitize their hands and clean their desk. Students must take their personal spray bottles with them when they move from class to class.
- All teachers will create and keep a record of a seating plan to aid contact tracing.
- In Kindergarten-Grade 6 cohorting is more likely. If students have multiple teachers, teachers will use the same seating plan.
- In Grade 7-9, schools will cohort for homeroom instruction in core courses, yet will be intermixed for options and therefore seating plans will be used and strictly enforced.
- In Grade 10-12, cohorting is not possible, so seating plans will be used and strictly enforced. In addition, as above, students will clean their desks with their personal soap and water spray bottles (supplied by the school) at the end of each class, and, upon entering a new room, both sanitize their hands and clean their desk.
- Seating plans will be established following the protocol below to assist with contact tracing.
- Hallway and Locker Protocols
- Traffic flows will be managed in hallways and common areas to keep distance and minimize face-to-face contact when possible. Directional arrows on the floors will support these efforts. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Lockers will only be used if necessary. Students are encouraged to carry their books in their backpacks. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Shared School Spaces
- Learning Commons, gymnasiums, and foyers remain available for instructional use maximizing physical distancing where possible.
- Physical distancing directional tape/markers will be placed on the floor in areas that require queues such as washrooms, hand washing/sanitizing stations, cafeteria, library check-outs, and the main office.
- Scheduling will be used to avoid congestion in every instance possible.
- Fitness centres and gymnasiums are only to be used for curricular purposes during the day, again with an emphasis on maintaining physical distancing. School athletic programs may be an exception and are subject to recommendations CTR Catholic receives in early September.
- Playgrounds remain open for student use. Students will sanitize their hands before and after recess, but the equipment will not be cleaned or disinfected on a regular basis.
- Schools with common lunchroom areas will ensure physical distancing guidelines are followed and that they are cleaned and disinfected after each use.
- The school will designate a room for COVID-19 quarantining of symptomatic students.
- Speciality Classrooms (Band, Music, Foods, Construction, Art, Drama, Computer Labs, Phys Ed, Kindergarten, Library)
- Specialty teachers have developed detailed protocols to maximize safety specific to their contexts in the following areas: Band, Elementary Music, Foods/CTS, Construction, Art, Drama, Kindergarten, and Physical Education
- Band: The playing of wind instruments will be postponed until further notice. Alternative music instruction to meet the learning outcomes will be provided until such time that the playing of wind instruments can resume.
- CTS: These courses will follow industry guidance provided by AHS (cosmetology, foods, construction). Students will be asked to wear a mask when preparing food. Food will not be shared outside the classroom.
- PE: When possible physical education will be done outside instead of inside.
- Computer Labs: High touch surfaces (keyboards, equipment) will be cleaned between student use.
- Library and Gymnasium: Students will clean their hands before entering and after exiting the library and gym.
- Expectations for Dropoff and Pickup
- Please respect physical distancing when dropping off and picking up your child.
- Parents are asked to not exit their vehicles when dropping off or picking up their children, unless they are very young.
- Consider having a designated spot to pick up your child.
- Schools will stagger entry/exit times and students will enter through designated doors. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Staff will be at the entrance/exit doors to spray hand sanitizer on students’ hands as they enter and exit the building. Staff administering hand sanitizer must wear a mask.
- CTR’s buses are full and strict physical distancing is not possible. When possible, drivers will ensure physical distancing between students. Parents who have alternate means to get their children to school are encouraged to contact CTR’s Transportation Department and cancel their busing. Where fees are involved, refunds will be given.
- Given that strict physical distancing is not possible on buses, Grades K to 3 students are encouraged to wear a mask on the bus. Grades 4 to 12 students are required to wear masks on the buses.
- Strict seating plans will be developed and enforced, and students from the same household are required to sit together.
- Students will load the bus from the back seats to the front of the bus and unload from the front seats to the back seats whenever possible.
- Parents must ensure their child’s hands are washed prior to entering the bus.
- Busses will be cleaned at the end of each route.
- At this time we will not be able to accommodate ride alongs for friends or after school activities.
- In the initial stages of re-entry, parent volunteers and non-essential visitors will be limited and may only enter the building with the advance permission from the school. Please email the school should you require access. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- All visitors must sign in and complete the Screening Questionnaire. If a visitor answers “Yes” to any of the questions, the individual will not be permitted to enter the school.
- All approved visitors must wear masks at all times when in the school.
- Belongings/School Supply List
- Students will be asked to label their personal items and not share.
- All students must have a reusable cloth or disposable mask with them as part of their supplies.
- Students in Grades 4 to 12 will be provided with two reusable cloth masks each.
- Students should bring their own filled water bottle to school each day (please label with name).
- CTR Catholic will provide students with a personal spray bottle, filled with soap and water to assist in cleaning their own desk/table surfaces before recess/snack/lunch/transitions. Soap for the bottles will be supplied by the school. Students will carry these spray bottles with them if/when they need to move from one room to another. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Students should use backpacks/containers to store items.
- Student supply lists will be located here by August 25th.
- Lunch/Hot Lunch/Breakfast Program/Vending Machines
- Desks and table surfaces will be cleaned by the students before and after eating.
- Students will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating.
- Students will put their masks back on after finishing eating, especially during the handwashing/sanitizing, cleaning, and movement that follow eating.
- Students will not face one another when eating.
- Parents are asked to send all food items with their children in the morning instead of dropping off at the school to limit the number of visitors at the office.
- Please avoid any microwavable items or hard to open containers. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Students are responsible for opening all containers and packages in their lunch. Please do not send anything in your child’s lunch that they cannot easily open themselves and avoid or limit items that need to be microwaved.
- Lunch protocols - School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Nutrition program - School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Hot lunch program - School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Cafeteria - School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- The sharing of food is not permitted. Birthday treats should not be sent to school.
- Vending machines will not be in use.
- Recess breaks will be staggered to reduce the number of students exiting/playing/entering the school, and students will exit and enter through the doors designated for drop-off and pick-up. School specific information will be updated by August 25th.
- Equipment brought from home is not permitted on the playground during recess, and only school-approved and school-issued playground equipment is permitted. Where practical and necessary, this equipment will be cleaned after use.
- Supervisors will encourage students to practice physical distancing during recess break.
- Extra Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Field Trips
- School authorities continue to have the flexibility to offer extra-curricular activities to students.
- Alberta Education is working with Alberta Health and education partners, including the Alberta School Athletics Association (ASAA), to explore go forward possibilities for athletic activities and events within the context of health measures being in place. ASAA expects to delay a decision about athletics until the first week of September.
- Performances, such as concerts and drama productions, will adhere to the AHS guidelines on the health and safety of students, staff and audience members.
- Co-curricular outings and field trips are suspended until further notice. Outdoor walking trips that remain outdoors are permitted.
- Responding to Learning Delays from Last Year
- Administration is working closely with teachers to resume in-class learning during the 2020-2021 school year. As part of planning, teachers will consider which concepts were taught during the spring and how this will impact classroom instruction in the fall.
- New routines and understanding the importance of mask use, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and respiratory etiquette will be infused into daily instruction.
- Support for Students with Special Needs
- Each school has support in place to assist students in this transition, including administrators, teachers, support staff, Family School Liaison Workers (FSLW’s) and Connections Workers. FSLW’s and Connections Workers have spent significant time preparing for students’ arrival and are available to provide assistance to both students and parents.
- Parents with specific questions or concerns regarding the transition back to school are encouraged to reach out to their child’s school.
- Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs.
- Moving from Regular Operations to Full or Partial At-Home Learning
- In the event the Ministry calls for total distance learning due to a second spike, or in the event that CTR Catholic determines there is a significant, prolonged, and school-wide spike in absenteeism due to Covid, schools are preparing to transition to deliver live-streamed lessons in response to a large number of students learning at home by necessity.
- The live-streaming delivery can be used in either scenario, and unlike distance learning last spring, students will receive direct instruction and normal assessment on the full curriculum throughout the day with the possibility for more interaction, engagement, and support.
- The live-streaming option will only be used in the event the Ministry limits the number of students allowed in the school at one time (e.g. 50%), if at-home learning is mandated, or if the conditions in the first bullet present themselves.
- Video recordings and/or photographs of live-streamed lessons are prohibited without the consent of the teacher. “Interfering with the privacy, or teaching and learning of students, and staff by making an audio or video recording, or taking a photograph of individuals or student work, without permission from a teacher” is considered unacceptable behaviour. (Administrative Procedure STU #01 - Student Conduct and Discipline Process)
- If the Ministry announces additional health measures reducing occupancy, schools may need to divide students into two groups. CTR would likely divide students into two groups on a two-day rotation according to last names.
- Last name A-K on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Last name L-Z on Wednesdays and Thursdays
- Fridays would alternate A-K and L-Z
- Supporting Students Who are Temporarily Self-Isolating or Ill at Home
- Consistent with what happens during non-pandemic times, should a child need to stay home for a period due to illness, classroom teachers will provide key work for the student to be able to work on while at-home.
- Homework bundles or tasks would be provided to the student by the regular teacher, but they would not be engaging in at-home learning like what was experienced in the spring of 2020.
- Options for Choosing to Continue with an At-Home Model
- Due to health concerns and parental choice related to the pandemic, families may choose not to have their child attend their designated school.
- In these cases, parents must inform their designated school of this decision. From here, parents are invited to enroll in CTR’s The Centre for Learning@HOME accessing online education (taught by teachers and including synchronous online lessons) or homeschooling (taught by parents and supervised by teachers).
- Parent Requests to Transition Individual Students Between At School and At Home Learning
- As a general rule, switching students between learning in school and learning online at home, or vice-versa, during the school year is disruptive and not advisable.
- CTR encourages parents to make one decision about learning in school or learning online at home at the start of the year, and then to stick with this decision for the entire school year.
- CTR will consider moving students from online at home to traditional school, or vice versa, during the middle of the year if space and program exists.
- CTR will require the transition from online to traditional school, or from traditional school to online at home, to be made after a reporting period or at semester break.
- CTR is receptive to students making an early transition from one program to another if it is before September 30th.
- If students choose to enroll at the Centre for Learning@Home for 2020/2021, they remain a CTR student and are guaranteed re-enrollment at their local school in 2021/2022 if that is their choice.
- Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)
- Alberta Education will continue to administer Grade 6 and 9 PATs. The administration of PATs is limited to English Language Arts, French Language Arts, and Mathematics. Students will not write the Social Studies and Science PATs in the 2020-2021 school year.
- A return to in-school classes includes the administration of diploma exams for the 2020-21 school year, which will continue to be mandatory. Results will continue to constitute 30% of a student’s final diploma course mark.
- In the event that in-school classes are suspended/cancelled, Alberta Education will determine whether or not Diploma and PATs will be administered.
- Mental Health
CTR Catholic sees parents as partners in education. Some things parents can do to help ease anxiety and apprehension of a child include:
- Focus on the positives and what they are looking forward to about school
- Provide reassurance and help your child to feel understood and supported
- Focus on what you can control and help your child identify what they can control and some practical things they can do to reduce anxiety such as getting organized, picking out school clothes, etc.
- Get back into school routines at least a week early – waking up, eating, going to bed at regular times
- Stick to familiar routines as much as possible
- Plan for the transition
- Allow for extra time the first day so you are not rushed
- Reach out to your school’s principal or FSLW for more information and support.
More information can be found on the CTR Catholic website here and in the links below:
- Help in Tough Times
- Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19
- Supporting children's return to school during COVID-19
- Mental Health Helpline: 1-877-303-2642. This toll-free helpline provides confidential and anonymous services, crisis intervention, information about mental health services and referrals to other agencies.