Year-end message & School Re-entry Information

June 25, 2020

Dear Aspen View families,

I want to thank the parents/caregivers and students of Aspen View Public Schools for the flexibility and patience you demonstrated when we made the sudden shift from in-school to at-home learning. As a division, we worked hard to respond to academic needs, emotional and psychological needs, and even basic needs by extending the nutrition grant dollars out into the community. It has been a steep learning curve for everyone, and I applaud the efforts of our students and their families over the last three months.

As the 2019-20 school year draws to a close, we know that many families have questions about what the start of the 2020-21 school year will look like, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you may be aware, on June 10, 2020, Education Minister Hon. Adriana LaGrange announced three possible scenarios for the start of the 2020-21 school year:

Scenario 1: In-school classes resume (near-normal with health measures in place). Alberta Education identifies Scenario 1 as the preferred and most likely scenario.

Scenario 2: In-school classes partially resume (with additional health measures in place).

Scenario 3: At-home learning continues (in-school classes suspended/cancelled)

Alberta Education has committed to determining the school-entry scenario by no later than August 1, 2020. However, school divisions have been advised to plan for all three scenarios, and be ready to pivot quickly from one scenario to another if necessary.

To support our planning for the 2020-21 school year, Aspen View Public Schools formed a re-entry committee composed of representatives from each department and school administration. The role of the re-entry committee, which has already met a number of times, is to plan not only for the physical re-entry of students and staff in August, but also to plan for the re-entry of students into learning.

Some aspects of school re-entry are already well-established. For example, regardless of which scenario we come back to in August, you can expect to see:

  • enhanced cleaning and sanitization practices, including additional frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces; custodial staff will receive extra training to ensure best practice;
  • staff and students will be required to perform frequent hand hygiene, including when entering the school building and classrooms. Hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations will be provided throughout schools;
  • protocols will be in place to support physical distancing practices, appropriate movement of students during the school day, and limiting the sharing of materials. 

These are just some of the measures we anticipate; others will be confirmed based on decisions and information from Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services. As well, our board is in close contact with trustees around the province through the Alberta School Boards Association, and as Superintendent I am well informed about practices in other divisions through College of Alberta School Superintendents. These organizations share plans and information freely with others and we will reciprocate that sharing as we develop our plans.

Thank you to the parents/caregivers, students and staff who participated in our recent re-entry survey. Your responses provided rich data that will also guide our work as we plan for re-entry.

We appreciate the concerns students and parents may have about returning to school in August. We will continue to consult with health and education experts to develop appropriate plans. Once a final decision on a re-entry scenario is made by Alberta Education on August 1, 2020, we will have much more information to share.  

In closing, I wish everyone a safe and relaxing summer break, and sincerely thank you for your ongoing support.

Neil O'Shea
Aspen View Public Schools
780-675-7080 (11)

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