A Learning community dedicated to educating all students for personal excellence

FMPSD Ready for Re-Entry 2020-2021

FMPSD Ready for Re-Entry 2020-2021

As we begin the school year in a different world, Fort McMurray Public School Division (FMPSD) has made the health and safety of our students and staff a top priority. From added day custodians for enhanced cleaning in all 16 schools to hand sanitizing stations - preventative measures for COVID-19 remain in place. Our robust re-entry plan along with detailed parent/guardian FAQs are on the FMPSD website. In addition to the physical health and safety of our students and staff, we also have a dedicated Health and Wellness plan. August 31st is the first day of school for select grades with staggered entry initiated this year. All students start together on September 8 with Early Childhood Development Program students starting together on September 10. Please see adjacent poster for details.

Please also continue to visit our website at fmpsdschools.ca and our social media: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram @FMSPD for real time updates/announcements as they arrive from the Government. Parents who are still unsure about sending their children to school, can apply for E-cademy+ our fully online program

Here’s a look at some of the top parent/guardian FAQs and need to know changes for this year:

Q: Will there be a daily health check?

A: Before leaving home each day, staff, students and parents/guardians and permitted visitors who will access the school must be screened for symptoms using the self-screening questionnaire. This questionnaire has been translated into multiple languages. This will provide guidance around whether it is safe for an individual to enter a school or worksite.  Should teachers notice any COVID symptoms in students, they will have students go to the office and notify office staff that students are on their way.

Q: How will staff and students who exhibit COVID symptoms during the school day be addressed?

A: The school will have a designated area for isolating students who become symptomatic.  They will then be required to put on a face mask for as long as they are symptomatic even while waiting for pick up. Parents/guardians will be contacted and expected to pick up their child immediately. Or, have an emergency contact pick up students immediately. 

Q:  What happens if there is a COVID case at the school?

A:  A public health team will investigate the case to find out when the symptoms developed and support the school to minimize the spread. It is likely that only the group of students and staff who came in close contact will be required to stay home for 14 days, and not the whole school. Parents will be notified if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed at school and public health officials will contact those who were in close contact with the case. See the full government outbreak plan here.

Q: Are my children required to wear a face mask to school and on the bus? If so, will schools provide the face masks? 

A: 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.

  • Masks are not required while students are seated in the classroom during instruction if following the physical distancing guidance for schools.
  • Masks 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.
  • Exemptions will be made for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical or other needs.
  • Mask use for Kindergarten to grade 3 students is optional.
  • All students and staff will get 2 reusable masks. Government will distribute more than 1.6 million masks to 740,000 students and 90,000 staff.

Will there be ample hand sanitizing stations throughout schools?

A: Hand sanitizing stations containing at least 60 per cent alcohol content (or a non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada) have been placed at entrances and classroom entrances. All persons entering an FMPSD facility will be required to make use of portable hand sanitizing stations before entering the building and prior to entering classrooms.  

Q: What other environmental controls will FMPSD implement to reduce the risk and spread of COVID? 

A: Whenever possible, doors will be propped open to reduce touch points. Schools also have been asked to identify separate entry and exit patterns for student cohorts and to maximize distancing of desks and/or their positioning, so students are not facing one another. 

Q: Will enhanced cleaning be undertaken? 

A: FMPSD in collaboration with Health and Safety professionals have developed a comprehensive cleaning protocol. This includes enhanced cleaning of all school sites, including daily cleaning and disinfecting of washrooms and high touch surfaces several times a day. Regularly scheduled cleaning will take place when students are not present. 

Q: Will water fountains be open?

 A: Water fountains will remain closed. There are two touchless water filling stations in every school. Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle to school and refill it from the refilling stations.

Q: Will students have access to their lockers? 

A: No. While Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) distance requirements are in place, students will be asked to keep all of their possessions with them throughout the school day. This will be re-evaluated based on updates from AHS.

Q: Will school cafeterias or lunch spaces be open for use?

A: Depends on the Scenario we are operating under. In Scenario 1, lunch spaces can be used with physical distancing requirements in place and cleaned in between use. Under no Scenario will sharing of food occur. 

Each school has a school counselor and access to mental health therapy as needed. As mentioned above, if families are feeling anxious and needing extra support please reach out as we have Division social workers available HERE.

Together - Better - Stronger - here’s to a safe and healthy new school year.