School Relaunch Family Guide

On July 21, the government of Alberta announced that all schools across the province will be in Scenario 1 for the 2020-21 school year.  This means all Foothills School Division (FSD) schools will be open for full time in-person classes.

While FSD will begin the year in Scenario 1, it is possible that we may have to transition between scenarios during the school year. Public health officials will work with school authorities to make the decision to transition to partial in-class learning or at-home learning based on multiple factors including the number of COVID-19 cases in a zone or a school and the risk of ongoing transmission.

Any changes to the school relaunch scenario will be determined by Alberta Health and Alberta Education with information on local school-based and zone​ information. We will remain in communication with the Alberta government and will continue to follow their advice.

Your family has a choice on how your child will continue their education for the 2020-21 school year under Scenario 1.  We are providing the below information to assist you in this decision.  All FSD schools will follow the
FSD 2020-21 School Relaunch Handbook as they prepare for Scenario 1.  Highlights of the School Relaunch Handbook include:


Division-Wide Health Measures

Before School

Families must screen each student for symptoms of COVID-19 as well as influenza and the common cold.  Staff and students are required to complete the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 screening questionnaire daily. Students and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter the school, they must stay home and self-isolate until they have been assessed by a health care provider to exclude COVID-19 or other infectious diseases AND their symptoms have resolved.

 On the School Bus
  • Students with symptoms must remain at home and not board the school bus.
  • Families are encouraged to have alternate transportation plans in place.  Routes may be cancelled with short notice as part of the FSD COVID-19 Response.
  • Students in Grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear masks. Younger students are being asked to wear masks if possible.
  • Once on the bus, students will have an assigned seat.  Students from the same house will sit together.
  • Each bus will be cleaned twice daily.
  • The Province is encouraging parents who can provide transportation to do so.  This will allow school divisions to reduce numbers on buses, assisting with physical distancing and other health measures.

Arriving at School

  • Students will have an assigned door they must use to enter and exit the school. When doors open at 8:00 am students will go directly to their homerooms and not loiter in the hallways.
  • Students in Grades 4-12 must wear masks when entering the school and when within a common area. Students may also be asked to wear masks within the classroom when physical distancing is not possible. If a student arrives without a mask they will be provided with one.
  • Parents are asked to stay in their vehicles if they are dropping their children off at school. Adults will be required to schedule an appointment before entering the building. Please call 403-938-4426.
  • Assigned doors for ÉOJHS are as follows:

Grade 7: bus loop doors
Grade 8: PE doors
Grade 9: front doors

  • The doors will be unlocked at 8:00am; please avoid dropping off your child early. The doors will be locked again for the rest of the day at 8:30am. Students are expected to leave the school by 3:30pm.

In the Classroom

  • Students will have an assigned seat at school and teachers are planning lessons that reduce the need to share materials. If materials are shared they will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Staff are encouraged to teach outside when possible.  Students should come to school with appropriate clothing to spend time outdoors during the day.
  • Students and staff may be involved in regularly cleaning personal equipment and their desks and tables.
  • At ÉOJHS, students will primarily sit at individual desks. Where there are tables, physical dividers will be provided to create a physical barrier between students.
  • Students will be cohorted to minimize close contact with other students. This means that each student is assigned to a homeroom. Two homerooms are cohorted together for PE and options. These PE/options cohorts will have an assigned washroom and handwashing station.
  • Masks must be worn inside the school at all times.  However, when students are quietly sitting working and/or listening, their teacher may provide mask breaks throughout the day. Students need to be prepared to wear a mask all day.  Bandanas or buffs are not permitted; masks must fit snugly on the face.
  • Students at ÉOJHS will have all of their core classes in their homeroom class.  At subject change time, the teachers will change classes and students will remain in their homeroom class.
     

Recess/Morning Break

  • At ÉOJHS, the 10 minute morning break will no longer occur simultaneously for all grades. Instead, homeroom teachers will be responsible for ensuring that their homeroom class has a morning break.

Lunch

  • ​It is highly recommended that parents send their child to school with a water bottle that can be refilled.
  • Families should send student food in clean containers with their own utensils.  Students will not be allowed to share utensils, dishes, and water bottles or drink containers.
  • All students will have to wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating.
  • Microwaves will not be available and students cannot order take-out food to the school.
  • Students will remain with their class to eat lunch.
  • At ÉOJHS, lunch break will be divided into 2 groups. Group 1 will eat in their homerooms then go outside for a break. Group 2 will go outside for a break then come inside to their homerooms for lunch.
  • ÉOJHS will be a closed campus.  All students will eat with their homeroom and stay on school property during their outside break time.
  • There will not be cafeteria service nor vending machines this year at ÉOJHS.
  • Please send your child with all the food and snacks needed for the day.
     

Throughout the Day

  • Limited locker use will be minimized for student use to aid in hallway traffic flow and to assist with physical distancing
  • There will be posters and other visual cues to remind students to properly distance while in the hallways. Use of common areas will be limited.
  • Staff will move throughout the school as much as possible to prevent students from having to switch classes, therefore students will remain in the homeroom for their core classes. 
  • To reduce the number of cohorts across Foothills School Division, at this time all extra-curricular activities remain cancelled.  This includes school sports and league & exhibition play (pending further review of current provincial guidelines).
  • At ÉOJHS, locker use will be minimized for student use to aid in hallway traffic flow and to assist with physical distancing.  Each homeroom will have a selection of lockers near their homeroom to avoid close contact with other students.
  • Physical Education:  Students will not be changing into gym clothes. On days when your child has PE, please send them to school in active wear. All students need an indoor pair of gym shoes. PE activities will be outside whenever possible and will be focusing on physical wellness with activities that reduce contact and shared equipment.
  • Options:  Each PE cohort of 2 homeroom classes will be assigned to options. Options will be trimestered so that students can try a variety of options throughout the year.  In this way, students will have 2 options per trimester (Days 1/3/5 and 2/4/6) and will have 6 different options each year. Students will be ranking the options choices during their first day of school.  Admin will then be placing students into the options that balance class sizes and choices. Each student will take at least 1 second language, 1 fine arts and 1 CTF option throughout the year.
     

Enhanced Cleaning

  • Throughout the day, custodians will clean and disinfect the school with a focus on high touch surfaces.
  • After school, custodians will follow an enhanced daily cleaning protocol.
     

Illness Response

  • If a student develops symptoms while at the school, they will be provided a mask and isolated from other students. Parents will be notified to pick up their child immediately (within one hour).  Please ensure the school has an emergency contact listed for your child in the event you are unable to pick up your child. 
  • Students and staff who have COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to enter the school.  They must stay home and self-isolate until they have been assessed by a health care provider to exclude COVID-19 or other infectious diseases AND their symptoms have resolved.
  • If your child has a preexisting condition that presents COVID symptoms (allergies, asthma) please email your child’s administrator so that we have current baseline symptoms.  This child should also have a negative COVID test result before the beginning of school so that we can confirm each child’s baseline symptoms.
     

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

If there are cases of COVID-19 identified within school settings, the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Zone Medical Officer of Health team will work directly with Foothills School Division to provide follow-up recommendations.

We respect the privacy and confidentiality of personal information and personal health informationInformation will be shared on a need to know basis and at the direction of Alberta Health Services.  Wherever possible AHS will communicate directly to individuals potentially affected by exposure.

 

Transportation Eligibility

  • School bus transportation will be available to eligible No Fee students only.  No Fee Transportation includes students registered in Foothills School Division and attending a school within their designated attendance boundary or students directed to a school outside their attendance boundary school for regional programs (such as French Immersion and Inclusive Learning programs).  In both situations, families qualify for transportation based on the following conditions:
    • Students whose residence (home address) is 2.4 kilometres or further from their designated school; or
    • Students in kindergarten to grade 3 whose residence (home address) is 1.6 kilometres or further from their designated school and who do not have an older sibling to walk with.
  • FSD will be unable to provide transportation for unqualified families during the 2020-21 school year.  School bus transportation will not be available to User Pay students in accordance with provincial protocols designed to limit student cohort sizes.  This includes students whose residence (home address) is closer to their designated school than the distances outlined above, school families who decide to send their children to an FSD school of choice outside their designated boundary, and guest riders.
     

École Okotoks Junior High School Health Measures

Staggered Entry/1st week of School

  • Staggered days will be as follows
    • August 31 operations day - no students at school
    • September 1 - grade 7 only day
    • September 2 - grade 8 only day
    • September 3 - grade 9 only day
    • September 4 - operations day - no students at school
    • September 8 - all students return to school
       
  • Typical day at ÉOJHS:

8:00-8:30

Student arrival - doors lock at 8:30

8:30-8:50

Homeroom - Period 1

8:50-9:41

Period 2

9:41-10:33

Period 3

10:33-11:24

Period 4

11:24-12:15

Period 5

12:15 - 12:35 Lunch Block 1
12:35 - 12:55 Lunch Block 2
12:55 - 1:15 Lunch Block 3

1:20-2:12

Period 6

2:12-3:05

Period 7 (staggered dismissal time to avoid congested halls)

  • Typical 6-Day Student Schedule

School Arrival / Dismissal

  • Designated doors for each grade as follows:
    • Grade 7 - bus loop doors
    • Grade 8 - PE doors
    • Grade 9 - front doors

Visitors to the School

  • In the initial stages of school relaunch, parent volunteers and non-essential visitors will be limited and may only enter the building with advance permission and appointment with the school. Please email or telephone the school to make an appointment.  When accessing the school, visitors must pass a health assessment, wear a mask, and sanitize their hands upon entry.
     

School Supplies

  • Students will be asked to label their personal items and not share.
  • All ÉOJHS students must have a clean reusable cloth or disposable mask with them as part of their supplies each day.
  • Students will be provided with two reusable cloth masks (supplied by the province) and 2 reusable cloth masks (supplied by FSD)
  • Students should bring their own filled water bottle to school each day (please label with name).
  • Because access to lockers will be limited to help with traffic flow in the halls, we are recommending minimal school supplies. 
    • 1 binder divided into 4 sections, a pencil case (pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters) and a calculator.  Additional supplies for projects etc can be communicated throughout the year.
    • Students are welcome to bring a personal laptop/chromebook that can be helpful to avoid sharing of chromebooks. 
    • Indoor PE shoes
    • Lunch, snack and water bottle

Food & Nutrition

  • Students are responsible for opening their own containers and packages in their lunch.  Microwaves will not be available for student use.
  • Breakfast program- There won’t be a formal breakfast program this year, but we will have some individually wrapped snacks available in the students’ homerooms.
  • Hot lunch program - We plan to continue to have a hot lunch program. This, of course, is dependent on parent volunteers, who will need to adhere to the health screening process each time they are volunteering at the school.
  • Cafeteria - There is no cafeteria to buy lunch at  ÉOJHS.
  • Tuesday pizza days are postponed until further notice.
  • The sharing of food is not permitted. Birthday treats should not be sent to school.
  • Vending machines will not be in use.
     
      

Next Steps for Families

  • Don’t forget to complete the FSD School Relaunch Survey.  A unique link was emailed to each family on Friday August 14th.  If you have not received your survey link, please contact records@fsd38.ab.ca.  It is important that every family complete the survey to indicate your child(ren) will be returning to in-person full time learning or full-time Hub@Home online learning.
  • If you are considering the Hub@home option, you have until August 26 to register by completing the FSD School Relaunch Survey. Families that select Hub@home on the survey are considered registered in the program, however please connect with Ms. McKinnon to discuss this option for your child  Once a student is registered, there is only one transition point to move from Hub@home back to your designated school: February 1, 2021.
  • Confirm your contact information is accurate, including emergency contact info, by contacting your school at 403-938-4426 or your grade level administrator: