As we are now into week six of the school year, we can safely say that we have made it through what we anticipated to be a very challenging September. School and divisional personnel have gone over and above the call of duty to ensure that schools were ready to welcome children and students back into our schools after a six-month absence. Our staff has done some great work in welcoming students in school communities to ensure they feel loved, safe and included. Further, parents have been extremely supportive of our direction and we definitely appreciate your support throughout the entire process thus far.
Recently, we have begun to see an increase in the number of positive cases in the South Zone. This could very well be an early indication of what is yet to come and seems to be in line with what has been happening in other areas of the province, as well as across Canada. In fact, as you may have heard, over the past weekend Alberta Health Services (AHS) identified a positive case connected to St. Teresa of Calcutta School. I am pleased to report that school and division staff worked diligently with AHS to inform and isolate the impacted cohort as quickly as possible. We continue to follow the lead of AHS and use the Alberta Government’s resource guide to determine how best to proceed in informing those affected promptly, while still maintaining their dignity and privacy.
To assist us in the future, so that we may contact you quickly should your child be part of a cohort that needs to isolate, we ask that you ensure that your child’s school has your most current contact information. We also highly recommend that you enable text messages, or download the SchoolMessenger App, so that you may receive timely information directly on your phone. Please know that the school division will only send you text messages in emergency situations. See our website for more information on this, or contact your child’s school directly for assistance.
We know that we need to remain vigilant in adhering to the health measures put in place by our Chief Medical Officer of Health, along with additional precautions that our division has identified. As such, we continue to ask our staff, students and visitors:
- Not to come to school if feeling ill, even if you are only a bit unwell. The Alberta Health daily checklist should be completed each day prior to attending school and if your child has any of the symptoms listed, fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811, and remain at home.
- To engage in proper and frequent hand washing or hand sanitization
- To ensure physical distancing of 2 meters
- To wear masks while in common areas, hallways and in classrooms. This applies to grades 4-12 students, all staff, visitors and volunteers
Our schools will continue:
- To maintain class cohorts. This reduces the number of individuals impacted should there be exposure to COVID-19. We are seeing that this is of particular importance
- To remain closed campuses. All visitors and parents are required to call ahead and make an appointment before coming to school
- To ensure heightened protocols for cleaning frequently touched surfaces
We know that everyone plays an important role in stopping the spread of this relentless virus and other diseases. We also recognize that the current context in which we live is far from ideal. We appreciate the support from our parent community as we endeavour to support our students’ mental well-being on a day-to-day basis in our schools.
As in everything we do in Catholic Schools, we are called to pray for each other. Let us continue to hold each other in prayer as we navigate these challenging times.
Ken Sampson, Superintendent of Schools
Holy Spirit Catholic School Division