(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Update provided by Clearview Public Schools on return to school

With the province’s announcement that students will be returning to classrooms on Jan. 10, 2022, Clearview Public Schools has released an update for families.

In the update, Clearview Public Schools acknowledged the value of in-person learning while also noting concern for the COVID-19 virus, particularly the Omicron variant.

“The provincial announcement that schools will reopen … probably resulted in mixed emotions,” stated the release.

“While we recognize the challenges of this circumstance, we are striving to find a balance between providing high quality learning opportunities and keeping everyone healthy and safe.”

During the extended winter break, the release notes that Clearview staff have been reviewing health and safety protocols and putting in place additional steps to facilitate the safe return of students.

Rapid testing

Some additional steps being introduced includ rapid COVID-19 tests and medical-grade masks being made available to all Clearview students and their families, though it is noted that they are not yet available and families will be notified when they are.

While Clearview will be making rapid tests available for families, school staff will not be administering the tests to students.

Masking

For masking, Kindergarten to Grade 3 masking is encouraged, but not mandatory. For Grade Four and above, masking is mandatory in common areas of the school, while interacting with other students and staff members, and when moving around the classroom.

Masks can be removed by students while eating or while sitting facing forward at their desks.

On the buses, masks are required by all students.

Cleaning

Clearview has also increased cleaning in all schools across the division.

Daytime custodians have been hired to perform cleaning of high touch surfaces throughout the day, and a deep clean occurs each evening.

During the day, teachers also work with students to sanitize work stations.

Ventilation

According to the release, Clearview has invested into the air ventilation systems of their schools, with the air produced from them being similar in quality to that filtered through an N95 medical mask.

Hand sanitizing

Students and staff sanitize their hands when entering or leaving the school or individual classrooms.

Social distancing

When possible, staff and students are physically distanced.

Clearview Public Schools also reminds families that January Diploma exams have been cancelled and that more information is coming from the province regarding the Provincial Achievement Tests, extra-curricular activities, performing arts, and field trips.

“It is possible that there may be staffing challenges ahead for Clearview if we see an increase in absences due to COVID-19 infections,” stated the release.

In the event of staffing challenges, Clearview may find it necessary to transition to what the hope to be short-term at-home learning.

“We hope our efforts to mitigate spread in our schools will allow us to keep children learning face-to face,” continued the release.

Parents are asked to help keep COVID out of the schools by screening for symptoms each day before school using the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Alberta Health Daily Checklist, which was updated on Jan. 7 and sent to all Clearview families via email, and keeping children home if they are sick.

Also, as AHS is not posting outbreak schools, parents are asked to notify the school if the student is home sick, “especially if your child has had a positive at-home COVID-19 rapid test.”

In doing so, Clearview can contact others who may have been exposed.

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