Stettler Elementary School prepping to welcome students back

Stettler Elementary School prepping to welcome students back

Some restrictions are Province-mandated; others are school-specific

Staff at Stettler Elementary School are gearing up to welcome back students in what is certainly an unprecedented year.

“It’s a work in progress,” said Sharon Fischer, the school’s principal, adding that ultimately, it’s also about making adaptations as things move forward.

And although there are certain aspects to heading back to the classroom that the Province has mandated be the same for all schools, there is also flexibility from school to school in some areas.

“A lot of it is laid out but things that are going to work in Brownfield School aren’t necessarily going to work in Stettler Elementary, or things that are going to work in Red Deer aren’t going to work in Provost. So there is a bit of flexibility there – such as with structuring timetables for example.

“Another example would be staggered entry,” she said, adding that about 25 per cent of students will likely be expected on the Monday and another 25 per cent on the following day and so on.

“How we use lockers also – there is some flexibility from school to school,” she explained. “That will come down to what cohort the student is in so we don’t have classes that are next to each other out in the hallway at the same time,” she explained.

However, Alberta Education has mandated that Grade 4 to 12 students and staff must wear masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained, including on school buses and shared areas such as hallways, according to a release.

Masks are not required while students are seated in the classroom during instruction if following the physical distancing guidance for schools.

They are required in the classroom when close contact between students, or students and staff, is occurring. Masks should be used for the duration of this activity, noted a release.

“Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs.”

Mask use for start right to Grade 3 students is optional, according to Alberta Education. “If parents would like their child to wear a mask, we will respect and honour that decision. Students will be taught procedures for using non-medical masks in the classroom on the first day of classes.

Two reusable, non-medical masks will be provided to each student on their first day of school.

Also, to help families in understanding the changes to transportation operations, the following is a summary of the updates relating to COVID-19 considerations:

“Students will need to wear a mask prior to boarding the school bus and during the school bus trip for any students from Grade 4 to Grade 12. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 may wear a mask if the families choose to use this option,” according to Alberta Education.

“Students (Grade 4 to Grade 12) and the bus driver will wear a mask at all times. The bus driver may wear a face shield with a mask. Drivers will (also) ask students to use hand sanitizer before boarding the bus and while leaving the bus.

Bus drivers will be sanitizing/disinfecting school buses after each bus run for high-touch areas.

Other restrictions run the gamut from students having assigned seating on the morning bus routes to not sharing their devices with other students.

As Fischer noted, there will be changes to how the restrictions are handled during the first few weeks for sure as everyone settles into their new routines.

As to online learning options, those will certainly be available, she said, noting that a recent survey showed that about 78 per cent of parents are saying, ‘Yes, we are going to be sending (our kids) back to school. We feel comfortable with that.”

But the other options that are open include the aforementioned online schooling much like what was in place from March to June of this year.

“Or, they can choose a home schooling option,” she said. “In that case, the programming, the marking and the day-to-day activities are all planned by the parent.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

It’s almost time for the 121st Audubon Christmas Bird Count!

This year’s counts will take place between Monday, Dec. 14th through Tuesday, Jan. 5th, 2021

Alberta had 1,571 active COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta’s central zone now has 1,101 active COVID-19 cases

Provincial death toll has risen by nine

(Photo submitted)
Bentley couple celebrates 60th anniversary

They still laugh, hold hands, play crib and fish says daughter

Moonlight Madness gatherings may be cancelled but it’s business as usual for local businesses

Local businesses continue to offer specials and late night shopping on Moonlight Madness

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

In this undated photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Moderna chairman says Canada near head of line for 20 million vaccine doses

Trudeau created a firestorm when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre speaks during a news conference Monday, Nov. 16, 2020 in Ottawa. Poilievre says building up the Canadian economy post-pandemic can't be achieved without a massive overhaul of the tax system and regulatory regime. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Conservatives attack Trudeau’s ‘reset’ but they have ideas for their own

‘We don’t need subsidized corporate welfare schemes that rely on endless bailouts from the taxpayer’

There were 47 new COVID-19 cases in Alberta Tuesday. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
Spread of COVID-19 in Brampton, Ont., linked to systemic factors, experts say

‘We’re tired. We’re numb. We’re overworked. We’re frustrated, because it’s not our rules’

A couple embrace during a ceremony to mark the end of a makeshift memorial for victims of the Toronto van attack, at Yonge St. and Finch Ave. in Toronto on Sunday, June 3, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
‘I’ve been spared a lot,’ van attack survivor says as she watches trial alone

Court has set up a private room for victims and families of those killed in the Toronto van attack

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

Most Read