Even during the most adverse of times, River Valley School continues to be an innovative and inclusive school that endeavours to harness the innate curiosity in children to ensure that every student, regardless of age or ability, will flourish academically, socially and emotionally. Within the current challenging context of the COVID-19 crisis, the school’s mission and values remain at the heart of all that we do to ensure that every student is capable of achieving their personal best. Anticipating the Government of Alberta’s decision to re-open schools this fall, we have developed extensive plans, consistent with our school’s vision and context, to support the safe and healthy return of our students and staff for the 2020-2021 school year.
Reducing the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in our school will require the dedication and support of our entire community. Such measures as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing, increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, the diligent and daily completion of the health screening questionnaire by every student and staff member, and, of course, having staff and students stay home when sick or exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, are all important to the health and wellbeing of our entire RVS community. With the goal of further reducing health risks for our community members, the school has taken the additional measures of staggered drop-off and pick-up, the implementation of an adjusted timetable, the procurement of additional resource equipment to reduce the sharing of materials, and the hiring of additional custodial and cleaning staff. Alberta Health Services (AHS) has advised schools to follow protocols as closely as we can, and, at River Valley School, we have aimed to go above and beyond those expectations where possible.
DAILY SELF-SCREENING PRACTISES
In order to prevent the spread of infection, students, teachers and staff who have signs and/or symptoms of COVID-19 (according to Ministry of Health and local Public Health guidance) must stay home and decisions about testing and return to school should be guided by the Ministry of Health in consultation with local Public Health protocols.
Before leaving home, all staff and students who will access the school for work or education must self-screen for symptoms each day that they enter the school using the Alberta Health Screening Questionnaire. Parents/Guardians/Students must use this questionnaire daily to decide if the student should attend school.
Families will not be required to provide a physical copy of the completed self-screening tool to the school each day; however, in order to contribute to the health and well-being of the whole RVS community, it is imperative that the tool is completed honestly and that the directions are followed exactly as indicated on the tool.
Signs will be posted reminding persons not to enter the school building if they have COVID-19 symptoms, even if symptoms resemble a mild cold.
In keeping with the direction of Alberta Health Services, the Government of Canada, and the World Health Organization, in regards to the current COVID-19 virus outbreak, we are advising all families to please visit the following websites for guidance around prevention, testing and other useful information:
TRAVEL & RAPID COVID-19 TEST
If you have travelled outside of Canada over the holidays, please be reminded that all school-based staff and students are required to isolate for 14 days (even after negative COVID-19 results).
If you were part of the YYC International Travel COVID-19 testing program, then you need to have two negative COVID-19 tests before returning to a school setting (https://www.alberta.ca/international-border-pilot-project.aspx#toc-0). Please do not send your child(ren) back to school if you do not meet these requirements.
LEARNING-AT-HOME WITH RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL
During this highly unusual time, we understand that, for a variety of reasons, some families will need to keep their children home. Some students will also be required to remain home during the pandemic due to their own health or that of a loved one. For these reasons, we are happy to put forth a plan that will support our learning-at-home students, in order to ensure their learning continues, no matter their situation.
All programming in Scenario 1 is being planned, as usual, using the model of synchronous learning. Simply stated, synchronous learning will have students in school AND at home engaging in learning at the same time, just from different places. Teachers have been equipped with headsets for easier communication, and every classroom has a portable stand for iPads to facilitate Zooming.
Please refer to our River Valley School Learning-at-Home Plan
MASK USE AT RIVER VALLEY SCHOOL
As per the 2020/21 Re-Entry Guidelines, all students in Grades 1-6 will be required to wear masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained, as well as in shared areas such as hallways and washrooms. Mask use for students in Pre-Junior Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Kindergarten will be optional, but strongly encouraged when entering and exiting the school. Mask use on RVS school buses will be mandatory for all students.
The Government of Alberta will be providing River Valley School with two masks per student from Kindergarten to Grade 6. Families will be advised when the school has received these masks and a pick-up time will be arranged.