STS Campus Re-entry Plan

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (STS) Campus Re-entry Plan

Creating safer learning environments for the 2020-2021 academic year

Last updated: November 25, 2020

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is committed to supporting the learning of all students in-class and online. As the scope and nature of the pandemic changes, so will our response evolve to support the health of all members of our community. Please note that the STS Campus Re-entry Plan and guidance will be updated as needed and any changes will be communicated to all members of our community. 

It is truly an understatement to say that we are living in challenging and dynamic times. Each of us in our STS community has a role to play in being vigilant as we return to campus this fall. I am confident in our plan, and in the support we will provide to students, families, and employees as we work together to return to school safely. I understand this is a deeply personal and important decision and want to assure you that my team and I are leaving no stone unturned as we prepare to welcome back our families.

I encourage you to take time to read the STS Campus Re-entry Plan sections below thoroughly. As experience over the past six months has taught us, all plans are ‘subject to change’ as the context surrounding this global pandemic evolves. With this in mind, we ask that each of you spend time reflecting on the values of our community as they apply in this context. I do believe that together, with a focus on the well-being of everyone and upholding the values of our school, we can manage this transition in the STS way, striving for our best, being innovative, and maintaining community. I understand that our views on the current situation are as diverse as our community. Respecting that diversity will be key to a successful return.

I believe it is important for you to know that our planning and preparation for school start-up has been, and continues to be, conducted in consultation with experts, research, guidelines, and learning from other schools around the world. We are also fortunate to have a team of professionals on our staff who are among the best I have ever worked with. It is important for me to state that while our research and information gathering is global, our decisions are based on our local context and what makes sense for our community.

Our commitment to you is that we will work with individual families and students to address your needs. I ask that each of us be committed to our individual well-being but also to the collective well-being of everyone in our community.

The STS school reopening plan will inevitably change and evolve in the coming weeks and months. I will be communicating with you regularly and will be providing multiple forums for input and dialogue.  I look forward to working with you, confident that we can and will do this well.  Thank you for your continued support and patience.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do connect with your Division Principal or me.  

Respectfully,

CGW 2020 circle2

Mrs. Carol Grant-Watt
Head of School, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School 

 

The following fundamental principles and beliefs articulated as Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School's (STS’) values are informing the School’s decision-making, in conjunction with Alberta Health and Alberta Education guidelines: 

  • Integrity: is interpreted here as being honest and open-minded during the planning phase and to act in accordance with the guidelines from Alberta Health Services and Alberta Education to stay true to our employees and families.
  • Kindness: to assume good intent, understand the different responses to the uncertainty and change due to the pandemic and to be generous and considerate of people’s feelings and actions.
  • Respect: for self and others and for the decisions that others may make based on their personal and professional needs. This includes respectful words and actions within the community as we navigate the school year together.
  • Responsibility: that each and everyone has to keep themselves and others around them accountable through their words and actions (e.g. handwashing, maintaining physical distancing, wearing protective gear, etc.), as well as to help create a psychologically safe environment that promotes learning.
  • Safety: is interpreted as both public health safety measures (e.g. handwashing, physical distancing) but also as psychological, social, and emotional safety for staff and students during unpredictable changes during the year.
  • Service: is integral to the mission of the school and is expected of every stakeholder. This includes service to oneself in terms of being ready for learning, and service to each other in terms of working together to help make in-person learning a success.

 STS Principles & Values

STS has designed its re-entry plan based on the K to 12 School Re-entry Plan released by the Alberta Government, as well as guidance from experts at the CDC (2020), Sick Kids Hospital (2020) and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Jones et al., 2020). We also collaborate closely with CAIS schools in Calgary and review plans of other schools and school divisions in Alberta and beyond for best practices.

The Provincial plan is based on three COVID-19 pandemic scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: In-school classes resume (near normal with health measures)
  • Scenario 2: In-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures)
  • Scenario 3: At-home learning continues (in-school classes are suspended/cancelled)

On the July 21, 2020 the Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, announced that students will return to school for September in Scenario 1.  

As per the recommendation of our AHS Zone Environmental Public Health Contact, STS will be using a layered approach to the safety of students and employees at school. A layered approach uses multiple controls to reduce infection risks (see Figure 1 below).

Reopening Plan Figure 1 Heirarchy of Controls

Figure 1: Hierarchy of infection risk controls (Sick Kids, 2020)

Returning to in-person classes may not be the best option for all students and families do have options. If your family has made the decision to not attend in-person, please contact your Division Principal. The school will work with you to transition to online learning. Our goal is to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education whether they attend school in person or online.

As information is updated, decisions will change to ensure the safety of the STS community during the pandemic. Consequently, we also have plans in place for Scenario 2 and 3 should we need to transition to hybrid or at home learning for all students.

For more information on these plans, please reference the following Alberta Education documents – Parents’ Guide 2020-2021 and Get the Facts: Back to Class for 2020-2021.

 

The physical, social, mental, and emotional well-being of our students is key to their success as learners. School is one of many places where students and employees come in contact with non-household members. Keeping them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is a shared responsibility between the school and families at home. 

Parents are encouraged to keep children at home if they are sick or in isolation until cleared by AHS to return to school. Learning supports will be provided to ensure that students do not feel the need to choose between their health and learning success at school. 

Students in Grades 4 to 12, all employees, and permitted visitors to the school must wear a mask in high traffic areas as per government protocols. Students in Kindergarten - Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in class and will be required to wear a mask during transition times an in hallways.

    • Students will be provided with reusable masks from Alberta Education.
    • Parents are encouraged to purchase additional masks that fit their children as well, so that children have cleans masks every day.
    • Students with medical conditions who need exemptions to mask usage must provide a physician’s note to the Division Principal.
    • Masks that have patterns or images should be appropriate for a K-12 school (e.g. no scary or inappropriate imagery or provocative text).
    • When not wearing a mask, they should be stored in a paper bag, envelope, or something that does not retain moisture if will be worn again (as outlined here by Health Canada). STS will have paper bags on hand for students and employees to use.
    • Please review Alberta’s mask guidance at: https://www.alberta.ca/masks.aspx 

covid 19 how to wear a non medical mask

 

We want to ensure that students, parents, and employees feel safe at school. To mitigate the risks posed by COVID-19, the School and its operations have been modified (see Figure 2) and detailed in the sections below.

STS Reopening Plan - Safe Routines Figure 1

Figure 2: A framework for school reopening from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Jones et al., 2020) that guides our implementation of Alberta guidelines.

  • Multiple doors will be used as entrances and exits to promote physical distancing for staff and students;
  • Spatial distancing: To the extent possible, students from three school Divisions and learning communities will be sequestered in specific zones of the school to limit cross-over between Divisions and students of different age-cohorts.
  • Occupancy limits: Rooms will have signage with designated occupancy limits to restrict the number of students and employees using the space.
  • Visitors: Visitors into the school building will be kept at a minimum and will be screened at the front desk. If a visitor is permitted to enter the school, they will be required to fill out the COVID screen questionnaire, provide information for contact tracing, wear a mask, and will be escorted to their destination (e.g. Tweeds & More).
  • Parents/guardians/volunteers: Parents are asked not to enter the school building and to remain outside for pick-ups and drop-offs.
    • If a parent must enter the building, they should check-in at the front reception desk and follow the instructions of school staff.
    • POSTS volunteers should sign in at reception, complete the screening questionnaire, and move directly to their area while wearing a mask and limiting contact with others.
  • HVAC and air filtering: The heating and ventilation system is set up to maximize the intake of fresh air from the outside, and air from the building is being constantly removed to minimize air re-circulation.
    • All intake air is being filtered to meet or exceed Alberta guidelines.
    • The infirmary, which will be used as an isolation room for students who present COVID-like symptoms, will have an additional HEPA filter system.
    • The HVAC system will be continuously monitored, and filters replaced regularly to ensure optimal air quality.
  • Portable plexiglass trifold barriers are being provided for each student and staff member to ensure an additional layer of protection in classrooms. Each student will have their own portable trifold that can be carried to different rooms or areas of a room. Students can disinfect their trifolds as often as they like during the school day. Trifolds will also be cleaned as part of our enhanced classroom cleaning protocols each night.  
  • Additional hand sanitizer stations are being set up throughout the school, and teachers will provide instruction and support for the cleaning of hands throughout the school day.
  • Unidirectional movement: Major hallways will have signs marking the direction of flow of traffic as well as additional visual cues to remind students to maintain physical distancing.
  • Furniture in the rotunda, hallways, and learning commons will be spaced apart and reduced in number to meet physical distancing guidelines.  
  • Shared spaces: The Peter Ditchburn Library, Student Success Centre, and the C.A. Smith Arts Centre which are used by students from more than one cohort or division will have enhanced controls such as:
      • Enhanced cleaning between groups;
      • Mandatory mask usage;
      • Hand hygiene before entering and upon exiting the shared space.
  • Child-friendly signage has been created and will be located across campus to promote hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, use of hand sanitizer, physical distancing, not sharing items, and use of masks will be placed throughout the school, including exits and high traffic areas, as well as above every hand-washing and hand-sanitizing station.
  • Water fountain safety will be mitigated through disabling the mouthpiece/spout, but the bottle refilling mechanism will remain on. Students will be encouraged to bring a full water bottle from home each day.
  • Washrooms:
      • Washrooms will be designated for use by specific learning groups or by Division.
      • Washrooms will be cleaned and disinfected several times throughout the day.
      • The number of students in a washroom will be restricted to allow for physical distancing.
      • Students must be masked in washrooms.
  • Cleaning staff are following an enhanced cleaning protocol:
      • Increasing the frequency of cleaning/disinfecting of high touch areas and equipment both during the school day and after hours.
      • Door knobs, handles and push buttons will be disinfected regularly.
      • Where safe, doors will be propped open to reduce touching of door handles.
  • Six large tents with furniture will be set up to provide outdoor classrooms for students and staff to use. Outdoor classrooms will be cleaned every night using the same protocols as indoor classrooms.
  • Students in Grades 4 to 12 and all staff must wear masks in high traffic areas as per government protocols. K-3 students are strongly encouraged to wear masks at school. Depending on the activity, classroom size, etc. students may be able to remove their masks when seated in class behind their personal plexiglass barrier.  
  • Students must sanitize hands when entering or exiting classrooms.
  • To the extent possible, students will stay in their classroom groupings throughout the day.
  • Within classrooms, students will have assigned seating to support Alberta Health Services’ outbreak response plan.
  • All classrooms will be decluttered to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Use of shared items or equipment will be avoided where possible. Equipment that must be shared will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Soft furnishings in the classroom that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed.
  • Classroom technology is being enhanced to accommodate learning needs for students both in-person and online including:  
      • Over the summer, two HyFlex classrooms have been outfitted to develop teacher capacity for immersive and engaging learning experiences to be used with students regardless of their location.
      • Audio-visual equipment is being added to classrooms to improve the quality of the recorded or live-streamed experience for online students.
      • Direct instruction may be live-streamed (synchronous teaching) as appropriate; alternatively, recordings of direct instruction will be available via the learning management system to accommodate students unable to join live-classes.
      • Training videos and one-on-one support will be available to families to support student success with online learning.
      • Every student will have their own device (BYOD from Grade 8 onwards, and school provided devices for K-7), and sharing of devices is not permitted.
      • Online learning will be supervised by a classroom teacher who will work as part of a team.
      • If the classroom teacher is legally required to stay away from school due to AHS isolation protocols, a substitute teacher will supervise the students in the classroom, and the students’ teacher may lead lessons remotely. 
  • Limiting transitions: Students will stay in their homeroom classes and teachers will travel to classrooms to limit large groups of students moving in the hallways. Students may move for classes like science, arts and design, physical education as needed. In addition, outside learning will be utilized when possible. Students will sanitize their hands and wear masks when transitioning between classrooms, and they may take their plexiglass trifolds with them as needed.
  • Attendance: Students staying at home to meet AHS legal requirements of self-isolation are able to participate in class and will be recorded as being present.  
  • Making lunch time safer: Lunch times have been staggered to limit interaction among students from different school divisions and to allow for more distancing among students when they eat.
      • The seating capacity in the Black Watch Bistro has been reduced to allow for physical distancing.
      • Students will travel in their class cohorts to the cafeteria and maintain physical distancing when purchasing food.
      • Students who bring their own lunch will remain in their classrooms to eat.
      • Students who pick up meals from the cafeteria will have the option to eat either in the Black Watch Bistro, outside, in designated indoor areas like the Atrium or Peter B. Ditchburn Library, or in their classroom.
      • All microwaves will be removed to avoid cross-contamination. Students will need to bring lunches that do not require heating.
  • Bussing: Student transportation is provided by Southland Transportation who will work with the School to adhere to the following safety measures:
      • Bus drivers will be trained in health protocols.
      • Buses will be disinfected twice daily.
      • Students must not board a bus if they are displaying COVID-like symptoms.
      • Students will be assigned seats. Students who live in the same household will be seated together.
      • Students will load from the back seats to the front of the bus.
      • Students will unload from the front seats to the back of the bus.
      • Students will unload from the front seats to the back of the bus.
      • All students (K-12) will be required to wear masks at all times unless they have a medical exemption on record in accordance with AHS guidelines. Bus drivers will have spare disposable face masks for both younger and older students if they arrive on the bus without a mask.
      • Bus windows will be kept at least partially open to promote air ventilation.  We plan to do this as much as possible, but may be weather dependent.
      • Only Elementary School students may enter or exit the school building from the bus loop doors.
      • Middle and Senior School students arriving and departing on buses will enter and exit the school building through the Cross doors.
  • Drop-off and pick-up procedures: Parents who come to drop-off or pick-up their children are asked to not enter the school and to maintain a safe distance between themselves and others if waiting outside.
      • Kindergarten to Grade 2: Parents can park in the visitor parking lot and drop-off students with faculty near the bus loop doors. At the end of the day, arrangements will be made to have children in Kindergarten and Grade 2 brought out by faculty to meet their parents;
      • Grade 3-6 parents can drop-off and pick-up their children at the visitor parking lot;
      • Grade 7-9 parents can drop-off and pick-up their children in front of the Strathcona doors;
      • Grade 10-12 parents can drop-off and pick-up their children in front of the Cross doors;
      • Parents with children in multiple grades should coordinate with their children such that the drop-off and pick-up happens at the location for the youngest child. 
  • Emergency Procedures: We will continue to practice our safety procedures including fire and lockdown drills, however, these drills will be modified to support physical distancing and cohorting (e.g. muster points by Division).
  • Elementary School students will continue to have access to recess, which will occur outside as much as possible. 
  • Middle and Senior School students will be encouraged to spend lunchtime outside as long as weather permits.
  • Whenever possible, physical education activities will take place outside and will be modified to increase physical distancing.
  • Activities are being modified to limit the sharing of materials among students.
  • Music and theatre activities are being modified to avoid singing, voice projection and the use of wind instruments. Students playing wind instruments will be supported through online instruction.
  • AHS issues a mid-September updated to the guidelines relating to live instrumental music. STS will maintain our current arrangements around music and band in all divisions of the school as we await further clarity on how the new guidelines should be operationalized. Our current arrangements will be reviewed on or around the end of November and any changes will be communicated at that time. 
  • Co-curricular activities will be supervised by staff and modified to ensure physical distancing and safety of participants.
  • The use of our extensive school grounds and outdoor spaces will be maximized. 

Daily self-screening

Before coming to school each day, all staff and students must complete the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 Information Screening Questionnaire to determine whether they can attend school that day. Members of the community must stay at home and follow the COVID self-assessment tool protocols if they have COVID-like symptoms. Students must stay home and use the online component of our Hybrid Learning Model until they are cleared to return to school by qualified medical personnel (AHS, family doctor).

Student Illness during COVID-19

As per the Daily Screening Checklist, parents must not send their child to school if they are experiencing any of the symptoms indicated within the Checklist that are new or worsening, or if a student has travelled outside Canada and is not enrolled in the Alberta COVID-19 International Border Pilot Project, or has been identified as close contact of an individual with COVID-19. 

If a student is experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is incumbent upon the parent/guardian to advise the school immediately by putting an attendance note in Managebac, and/or emailing or calling the appropriate division Principal and copying frontdesk@sts.ab.ca. Parents/Guardians should refer to the self-assessment link for guidance and assistance with booking a COVID-19 test, if required. 

Refer to the Student Illness during COVID-19 policy for further details

Students with pre-existing conditions

It is highly recommended that any students with a pre-existing health condition that causes symptoms of COVID-like illness be tested for COVID-19 at least once before they return to school.  A negative test would help show their symptoms are related to their pre-existing condition, and not due to COVID-19. This will help establish their baseline for being healthy. Families should notify your child’s Division Principal about any pre-existing condition and the symptoms it causes. 

School Nurse

The school has hired a nurse who will:

  • Coordinate with the local AHS Zonal Officer to ensure that the school receives the latest advice and protocols;
  • Advise staff and students on best practices for maintaining a high level of hygiene;
  • Support and augment prevention measures for COVID-19 and other communicable diseases;
  • Provide early and trained response to students who show symptoms or signs of illness.

Isolation and Communication Protocols

  • Students will be isolated in the care facility by the school nurse based on up-to-date AHS protocols;
  • Families will be notified to pick up students and will be provided support on next steps;
  • A return to school protocol will be clearly communicated to ensure that students are safe based on current AHS guidelines;
  • Communication with families and school stakeholders will be timely and based on AHS protocols and privacy legislation.
  • As directed by Alberta Health, STS will work collaboratively with Alberta Health and AHS to effectively address potential outbreaks of COVID-19 in our school setting. Please refer to Figure 3 below outlining the alert and outbreak notification process. 
Campus Re entry Plan Healthy Policies Figure 3

Figure 3: Alberta Health Appendix A: COVID-19 school outbreak notification process flow diagram. For more detailed information regarding outbreak protocols as outlined by AHS, click here

New Guidelines for students with symptoms 

On October 8, the Alberta Government provided some updated information on the requirements and recommended actions for students with potential COVID-19 symptoms. Please see the chart below for details:

New Guidleines for Students with symptoms2

For more information on isolation requirements, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/isolation.aspx

If you are a parent looking after a child with symptoms, watch the video below with advice from Alberta Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hinshaw: 

Face Masks

Students in Grades 4 to 12, all employees, and permitted visitors to the school must wear a mask in high traffic areas as per government protocols. Students in Kindergarten - Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask in class and will be required to wear a mask during transition times an in hallways.

    • Students will be provided with reusable masks from Alberta Education.
    • Parents are encouraged to purchase additional masks that fit their children as well, so that children have cleans masks every day.
    • Students with medical conditions who need exemptions to mask usage must provide a physician’s note to the Division Principal.
    • Masks that have patterns or images should be appropriate for a K-12 school (e.g. no scary or inappropriate imagery or provocative text).
    • When not wearing a mask, they should be stored in a paper bag, envelope, or something that does not retain moisture if will be worn again (as outlined here by Health Canada). STS will have paper bags on hand for students and employees to use.
    • Please review Alberta’s mask guidance at: https://www.alberta.ca/masks.aspx

 covid 19 how to wear a non medical mask

Staff and teachers at STS recognize and appreciate that the challenges of physical isolation and remote learning have different impacts on different students. While many students are excited for the social connection and support offered by in-class learning, some will be anxious. Teachers and staff will work closely with families to support the social and emotional needs of our students as we transition back to in-person learning. Supports will be available from the school nurse, Elementary, Middle, and Senior school learning strategists as well as the school’s guidance counselor.

Parents are encouraged to reach out to their child’s teacher/advisor or the Division Principal for in-school support.

Consideration of the following can help set up students for success:

  • Focus on the positives and what they are looking forward to about school.
  • Provide reassurance and help your child to feel understood and supported.
  • Focus on what you can control and help children identify situations they can control and apply practical strategies to reduce anxiety.
  • Get back into school routines at least a week early – waking up, eating, going to bed at regular times.
  • Stick to familiar routines as much as possible.
  • Allow for extra time the first day so you are not rushed.
  • Practice wearing a face mask. 

Additional resources to support families:

 

 

Athletics

STS has a long and proud tradition of leadership in athletics. We are closely monitoring the evolving guidelines for student involvement in athletics from AHS and ASAA. Guidelines released on August 11 allow only for in-school practices. The current Alberta education prohibition on all field trips requiring group transportation will apply to all travel including athletic trips. Healthy routines will be the focus of the first two weeks of school, and once these are established, approved athletic and co-curricular activities will begin.

We have received approval for Grades 7 to 12 to use the campus change rooms for Physical Education and Athletics, following agreed upon protocols that include mask wearing, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cohorting with designated areas.

As per AHS recommendations, people in Edmonton and Calgary should have no more than three cohorts, which includes their household, their school cohort, and one sport, social, or another cohort. This is a voluntary measure, and we are sharing this information as it may impact families' decisions regarding their children's participation in school or community sports and other activities. 

Click here for detailed information from Dr. Deena Hinshaw from October 26.

Co-curriculars

Co-curricular learning provides great value to STS students through opportunities for develop leadership, creativity, and inter-personal skills. These opportunities will be reimagined in the context of physical distancing. Teachers will use technology and creative thinking to allow students to participate in activities like speech, debate, MUN, Round-Square etc.

Encore in the Elementary School will be modified to reduce the mixing of cohorts for these learning opportunities.

Fine Arts

AHS issued a mid-September update to the guidelines relating to live instrumental music. STS will maintain our current arrangements around music and band in all divisions of the school as we await further clarity on how the new guidelines should be operationalized. Our current arrangements will be reviewed on or around the end of November and any changes will be communicated at that time. 

Therefore, the Senior School musical will not occur during the 2020-2021 school year. Instead, the outperforming arts department is working with Professor Christine Brubaker at the University of Calgary and with artists around Canada to allow students to showcase their creativity in small groups or through solo acts. Students will work with Canadian theatre and new-media artists to select and develop their own works of art. We are excited to support our students through this new partnership with Canadian artists.

 

Assemblies, Special Events and Field Trips

Large gatherings that bring multiple cohorts together are not permitted at this time.  When possible, virtual gatherings will replace assemblies, performances, and guest speakers.

At this time, all curricular and co-curricular field trips are being postponed.

Lockers

To limit touch points, specific lockers may be assigned to specific cohorts. Students will also be able to use areas within their homeroom classrooms to store their belongings.

Physically distanced lockers will be available for Grades 11 and 12 students. Locker usage will be revisited based on evolving conditions as well as to accommodate winter clothing safely.

Outdoor Education (OE)

OE experiences will continue to be offered on our extensive campus using newly built campsites, our trail system, and pond while exercising AHS recommendations for safe interaction. Day hikes in small groups may be offered in wilderness areas close to Calgary (e.g. Little Elbow, Sandy McNabb, Highwood) in consultation with families.

Guidance for single overnight trips is being sought from Alberta Health. Our OE team is in contact with Parks Canada and other outdoor organizations to modify the OE curriculum such that it continues to prioritize the health and safety of students during this time.

Physical Education (PE)

PE staff have modified programming to leverage the outdoor spaces on campus as well as to minimize contact and touch points. Elementary School PE activities will prioritize safety while engaging students through a variety of target activities such as modified 'Pinwheel' and 'Bull's Eye' and fun individual pursuits such as 'Twister Yoga'. In Middle and Senior School, activities like golf, archery, Frisbee golf, track and field can allow students to be active while maintaining safety. Disinfection protocols have been updated and are being reviewed regularly.

Different groups of students will use different areas of the gyms and outdoor fields for their physical activity. Masks may be worn for low impact exercises or activities (e.g. archery, yoga) for additional protection. Physical distancing will be increased for cardio-fitness activities.

Change rooms and lockers are being reviewed and re-considered to minimize contact among cohort groups.

Timetable

Timetables are being modified to allow for staggered lunches with each Division starting their lunch at a different time (approximately 11:20 am, 12:00 noon, 12:40 pm) This will minimize the number of students in the cafeteria. Students are expected to remain in cohorts as much as possible.

Middle and Senior School students will start their morning daily homerooms with their period 1 teacher and not their advisor to reduce touch points. Advisory/Flex/BLT periods will continue to be a time to connect with advisors.

Class schedules and homeroom locations will be available to students and families through Managebac, starting August 28th.

Uniforms

Uniforms

Hygiene and clean clothes are to be prioritized to lower the risk of transmission. Families are encouraged to either launder uniform items, or store them for a minimum of 24 hours, after each wearing. Further, change room access will be significantly reduced and may not be available on a given day. Therefore, the uniform policy has been temporarily modified to account for these circumstances.

Temporarily modified uniform requirements are as follows:

  • All students are permitted to wear any STS uniform item and/or any STS branded apparel on a daily basis, except on designated formal uniform days. Elementary School students will need shorts on under their tunic so they may participate in PE.
  • Formal uniform days have been reduced and will be communicated to all families in advance.
  • Formal uniforms must be worn on the first day of school (August 31) and on your child's designated school photo day (September 3 or 4)
  • Summer uniform is permitted until further notice and Elementary School students are permitted to wear their summer uniform for PE class.
  • Athletic gear is recommended on any days when PE class is attended, particularly for Middle and Senior School students.
  • PE staff will communicate with students and families in advance when students must wear PE gym strip, based on the activities planned. 
  • Students are required to wear corresponding footwear – runners for athletic gear and black polished shoes for non-athletic wear.
  • Students in Grades 4-12 are required to wear a clean mask every day. Students in Kindergarten - Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask every day.

Parents continue to be key partners in the success of STS students. While parents’ entry and travel within the school building will be restricted to support student health and safety, consistent and transparent communication with parents will continue through the use of technology.

Surveys and Town Halls

Parent participation and feedback will be sought regularly to allow for two-way communication between the school and families as we partner to support our students' learning safely at school. 

Advisory Contact

Student advisors will be a key point of contact with parents to ensure student wellness and readiness for learning throughout the year. 

Meet the Teacher

Parents will have an opportunity to learn about the curriculum by connecting with their child’s teachers online in September. This event will occur virtually using video-conferencing technology to keep families and staff safe. 

Parent-Teacher Interviews

Parent-Teacher interviews will use video-conferencing technology to allow parents to connect with teachers to learn about their child’s performance and progress.

COVID-19 Guidance for Parents of Children attending school 

guidance for parents of children attending school and childcare

 

 

If you are a parent looking after a child with symptoms, watch the video below with advice from Alberta Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hinshaw

A healthy staff focused on servicing the needs of our students and families is key to the success of the school’s mission during this period of crisis. Employees will be supported in the following ways to ensure that they are able to prioritize the learning of students:

  • Each STS employee will receive and use masks and face shields as described by Minister LaGrange.
  • Employees will be trained in the appropriate public health and hygiene protocols by the school nurse.
  • Each employee will have a clear plexiglass barrier to limit droplet transmission.
  • Employees will work in teams to develop common lesson plans for courses with a high level of integration with ManageBac to ensure continuity of learning if:
      • a staff member has to be away from school for health or family reasons
      • to support students who are away from school for any reason
      • if the Province mandates a switch to Scenario 2 (hybrid) or 3 (online learning)
  • Employee contact with parents will primarily be through the use of audio and video-conferencing technology to ensure mutual safety.

Cohorts

Students will remain in class cohorts: e.g. 1A and 1B would remain in their individual classes. When possible, specialist teachers will move to the students in order to minimize transitions. The Learning Communities (Kindergarten-Grade 2, Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6) are learning groups who will have their own entrances, washrooms, lunch areas and recess areas.

Boot Rooms

The boot rooms will be utilized by one Grade per learning community to allow for physical distancing. For example, students in Grade 2 will use the boot room while the Kindergarten and Grade 1 students will need to keep their items with them in the studio. 

Learning Studios

All excess furniture and soft seating will be removed from the learning studios. Student seating will be organized in a manner that will allow students to sit facing forward and/or provide physical distancing. Plexiglass trifolds will also be used when students are seated as a group. Individual desks and studio tables will be used within studios to allow distancing.

Recess

Students will remain in Learning Communities for recess activities.  Students will wash their hands before and after recess. Each Learning Community will have an area outside that supports physical distancing.  Recess supervisors will also remind students to maintain physical distancing. 

Lunch

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 4 who would like a purchased lunch will need to pre-order their lunch from a set menu. The Black Watch Bistro (cafeteria) has a set menu for Kindergarten to Grade 4 students on the MySTS parent portal website. Pre-orders must be submitted ahead of time and are set for two months at a time. Students in Grades 5 and 6 should have money on their cafeteria account if they wish to purchase food from the cafeteria. Money can be added to accounts using the payment link found under the Black Watch Bistro section of the MySTS parent portal.   

Students in Kindergarten to Grade 2 will now be eating in the cafeteria. This is to allow more spacing for the students eating and easier cleanup. Grades 3 and 4 will still have their hot lunch delivered to the studios and they will eat in their studios or common areas. Grades 5 and 6 will eat in their studios or in the commons. Purchased food from the cafeteria will be available for Grades 5 and 6 students. They will come down to the cafeteria (with their masks on) to order and pick up their own food.

All microwaves have been removed to avoid cross-contamination. Students will need to bring lunches that do not require heating.

 

Homerooms

Students will be assigned a homeroom location by section (e.g. 7A, 8B, 9C etc.) for all core classes (English, social, science, math). Students will remain in their homeroom and teachers will travel to the students. 

Uniforms 

To allow for ease of laundering and rotation of uniform pieces during the pandemic, and as the weather cools off, we will now permit students to wear an STS branded crewneck sweatshirt (not hoodie) in meeting the 'two above' rule. This does not require families to purchase a sweatshirt as the sweater and blazer options continue to apply. This is simple another option intended to provide additional flexibility. 

Footwear should match uniform bottoms and adhere to the STS uniform guidelines. In other words, sneakers should only be worn with athletic gear. 

As we refine our protocols after our settling-in period, we ask students not to wear uniforms on non-PE days. This means there will be one day each week when all students in a grade will wear regular (non-PE/non-athletic) uniform. 

The regular uniform (non-PE/non-athletic) day for each Middle School grade is: 

  • Grade 7 - Fridays 
  • Grade 8 - Mondays
  • Grade 9 - Thursdays 

Lunch

A 40-minute lunch period has been set aside for Middle School students. Students should remain in cohorts for lunch unless they can safely physically distance (e.g. outside areas).

Middle School students are welcome to purchase their lunches at the Black Watch Bistro during their designated lunch times. Students may present their name or  four digit account code if they wish to pay with their credit account. Cash is also accepted, but is discouraged.

A daily menu is displayed in the Black Watch Bistro. Middle School students are welcome to eat their lunches, whether purchased or brought from home, in the Bistro, atrium, outside, or in the Peter B. Ditchburn Library.

All microwaves have been removed to avoid cross-contamination. Students will need to bring lunches that do not require heating.

Open gym and other lunch activities are suspended for school opening and may restart once we evaluate the implementation of our safety procedures. 

Physical Education

Students will remain in their section cohorts during Physical Education (PE) and will use separate areas of the gym and grounds for their lessons which have been modified for physical distancing (e.g. golf, track & field, yoga).

Equipment will be disinfected between use and increased physical distancing will be required for cardio exercises.

We have received approval for Grades 7 to 12 to use the campus change rooms for PE and Athletics, following agreed upon protocols that include mask wearing, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cohorting with designated areas. Students have the option to change their clothes before and after their PE class. For hygiene reasons, we encourage students to make use of this option. However, PE faculty will alert students in advance about activities that require them to change. 

Options Classes

When students need to travel outside their homeroom (e.g. for science labs, language learning, or to the design or arts studio), they will sanitize their hands, wear masks, and move to the new room. They will wear masks (if appropriate) in their new room for all activities and sanitize their hands before returning to the homeroom. Students may take their trifolds with them as needed.

Arts Program Update

In lieu of selecting a Fine Arts option, a new multi-disciplinary arts program will allow each student cohort to participate in a rotation of visual arts, music, and theatre during their Fine Arts block. 

AHS issued a mid-September update to the guidelines relating to the live instrumental music. STS will maintain our current arrangements around music and band in all divisions of the school as we await further clarity on how the new guidelines should be operationalized. Our current arrangements will be reviewed on or around the end of November and any changes will be communicated at that time. 

Athletics 

Alberta Health Services has indicated that students may belong to more than one sport cohort at the same time, whether they are school or community based.  AHS has also recommended that families limit the number of cohorts (sport or otherwise) that they belong to. STS supports these guidelines, and we are following AHS recommendation that this decision be left to families.    

 

Principles

Students have increased choices and responsibilities in Senior School. While cohorting will be used in Grade 10, students will be expected to wear masks, wash their hands regularly, use plexiglass trifolds, and physical distancing as multiple layers of protective strategy for infection control.

Uniforms 

To allow for ease of laundering and rotation of uniform pieces during the pandemic, and as the weather cools off, we will now permit students to wear an STS branded crewneck sweatshirt (not hoodie) in meeting the 'two above' rule. This does not require families to purchase a sweatshirt as the sweater and blazer options continue to apply. This is simply another option intended to provide additional flexibility. 

Footwear should match uniform bottoms and adhere to the STS uniform guidelines. In other words, sneakers should only be worn with athletic gear. 

As we refine our protocols after our settling-in period, we ask students not to wear uniforms on non-PE days. This means there will be one day each week when all students in a grade will wear regular (non-PE/non-athletic) uniform. 

The regular uniform (non-PE/non-athletic) day for each Senior School grade is: 

  • Grade 10 - Mondays and Wednesdays
  • Grade 11 - Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (STS branded athleticwear is permitted on Wednesdays only)
  • Grade 12 - Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays (STS branded athleticwear is permitted on Wednesdays only)

Note on black shorts and leggings: Black shorts and leggings (e.g. Lululemon tights or yoga pants) may only be worn during Senior School PE class (please ask your PE teacher for details). They are not permitted outside PE class blocks even on PE days. Note that as per the uniform guidelines, black, opaque, plain stockings (also known as tights) can only be worn with kilts instead of knee-high socks. 

Lunch

A 40-minute lunch period has been reserved for Senior School students.

Senior School students are welcome to purchase their lunches at the Black Watch Bistro during their designated lunch times. Students may present their name or  four digit account code if they wish to pay with their credit account. Cash is also accepted, but is discouraged.

A daily menu is displayed in the Black Watch Bistro. Senior School students are welcome to eat their lunches, whether purchased or brought from home, in the Bistro, atrium, outside, or in the Peter B. Ditchburn Library.

All microwaves have been removed to avoid cross-contamination. Students will need to bring lunches that do not require heating.

Grade 10

Grade 10 students will be assigned a homeroom (e.g. 10A, 10B, 10C) and will remain in a cohort grouping for all their core classes.

When students need to travel outside their homeroom (e.g. for science labs, language classes and options classes), they will sanitize their hands, wear face masks and move to the new room. They will wear face masks (if appropriate) in their new room for all activities and sanitize their hands before returning to the homeroom.

Grades 11 and 12

Each Grade 11 and 12 student will be assigned a locker to store books and clothes. 

Due to the range of options of Alberta and IB courses taken by Senior School students in preparation for diverse post-secondary destinations, cohorting is not possible.

Students will be required to wear face masks during all class changes and must sanitize their hands between every class.

Senior School Band

AHS issued a mid-September update to the guidelines relating to live instrumental music. STS will maintain our current arrangements around music and band in all divisions of the school as we await further clarity on how the new guidelines should be operationalized. Our current arrangements will be reviewed on or around the end of November and any changes will be communicated at that time. 

To support student interest and maintain opportunities for students, a modified percussion-only band program is being offered for students in addition to some online home-based work through the use of technology. More details to follow. 

University Planning

University planning is key to students’ success after STS. University planning classes will continue with in-person classroom sessions offered in the theatre to allow for physical distancing as well as family conferencing through the use of technology. 

Athletics 

We have received approval for Grades 7 to 12 to use the campus change rooms for Physical Education and Athletics, following agreed upon protocols that include mask wearing, hand hygiene, physical distancing, and cohorting with designated areas.

Alberta Health Services has indicated that students may belong to more than one sport cohort at the same time, whether they are school or community-based.  AHS has also recommended that families limit the number of cohorts (sport or otherwise) that they belong to. STS supports these guidelines, and we are following AHS recommendation that this decision be left to families.    

 

Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is committed to supporting the learning of all students in-class or online. As the scope and nature of the pandemic changes, so will our response evolve to support the health of all members of our community. Please note that this document and guidance will be updated as needed and any changes will be communicated to all members of our community.

Questions?

Please reach out to your child(ren)’s Division Principal:

Elementary School

(Kindergarten - Grade 6)

Middle School

(Grades 7-9)

Senior School

(Grades 10-12)

Jen Conway

Jessica Richmond

Anand Mahadevan

conwayj@sts.ab.ca

richmondj@sts.ab.ca

mahadea@sts.ab.ca

(403) 938 8305

(403) 938 8320

(403) 938 8309

Alberta Education (2020). K to 12 school re-entry.

https://www.alberta.ca/k-to-12-school-re-entry-2020-21-school-year.aspx

Edmonton Public Schools (2020). COVID-19 Division Re-entry strategy 2020-2021.

https://epsb.ca/media/epsb/schools/goingtoschool/schoolre-entry/DivisionRe-EntryStrategy.pdf

Jones, E., Young, A., Clevenger. K., et al., (2020). Healthy Schools: Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Healthy Buildings program.

https://schools.forhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/19/2020/06/Harvard-Healthy-Buildings-Program-Schools-For-Health-Reopening-Covid19-June2020.pdf

Sick Kids. (2020). Updated Covid-19: Guidance for School Reopening.

https://www.sickkids.ca/PDFs/About-SickKids/81407-COVID19-Recommendations-for-School-Reopening-SickKids.pdf