Division News

Division News

COVID-19 Update

Posted on January 15

January 15, 2022


Dear Parents and Guardians:


I am touching base to inform you that the Minister of Education has approved an operational shift extension for Athabasca Delta Community School (ADCS). ADCS students will continue to participate in at-home learning until Tuesday, January 18, 2022, with a return to in-school learning on Wednesday, January 19, 2022. The shift is being made due to low in-school attendance numbers.
Teachers will be in contact with families to ensure students have what they need to be successful in an extended at-home learning environment.


We are pleased to make you aware of a parent resource called Technology Resources for NSD Parents https://sites.google.com/nsd61.ca/technologyforparents/home. The website is designed to help you understand the technology tools your child uses. We also understand this is a time of high anxiety. If you are looking for mental health resources, please visit the Northland School Division website https://www.nsd61.ca/about-us/division-news/post/covid-19-mental-health-resources.


Thank you for your cooperation and support as we work through this challenge. The decision to extend at-home learning is not taken lightly as we know this puts additional demands on parents and students. However, we feel it is necessary to meet the learning needs of students. If you have school-related questions please contact Principal Tegan Vacheresse at 780-697-3933. For any health-related questions please call Health Link at 811.

 

Sincerely,

 


Dr. Nancy Spencer-PoitrasSuperintendent of Schools
Northland School Division

January 14, 2022

Attention Parents and Guardians:

Northland School Division has been informed by Fort McKay First Nation that the community access restrictions have been removed. 

Therefore, NSD staff will be excited to see the students learning at the school on Tuesday, January 18, 2022. 

Thank you for your continued support. Be safe!

January 7, 2022

Important Notice for Fort McKay School Parents and Guardians

Attention Parents and Guardians:

On January 5, 2022, the Government of Alberta confirmed that classes for all students will resume on Monday, January 10, 2022.

Due to the level 3 response in Fort McKay First Nation, which restricts access for school personnel to the community, Fort McKay School students will participate in at-home learning starting Monday, January 10, 2022.

Learning packages are prepared for students registered with Fort McKay School. The Fort McKay First Nation will drop them off to families.

We will update you on staffing for the school as it becomes available in the coming days.
Thank you for your continued support. Be safe.

January 7, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians:

On January 5, 2022, the Government of Alberta confirmed that classes for all students will resume on Monday, January 10, 2022. We are excited to welcome students and staff back to in-school learning after the holidays.

Additional Health Measures

  • Rapid Tests and Medical Masks: To lower the risk of transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, all school divisions are receiving voluntary rapid test kits and medical masks for students and staff from the Government of Alberta. Once we receive the rapid test kits and masks at central office, they will be delivered to schools and families. Click on the website link on how to properly use an at-home rapid test https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4q7EuAbgE8. These kits will be replenished by the government in a staggered approach for a time period as yet not disclosed.
  • Upgraded Filters: Northland took a proactive approach against potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. In September 2021, the Maintenance Department upgraded filters to improve air quality and better protect students and staff against potential airborne transmission of COVID-19. The department installed Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) 13-rated filters, which is capable of capturing particles between 0.3 micros and 1.0 with 98% efficiency. 


Reminder of all other Health Measures listed in Back to School Plan

Since the beginning of the school year we have exceeded the safety requirements set by Alberta Health Services and the Government of Alberta in our 2021-2022 Back to School Plan. We will continue to lead by example in our efforts to have the health and safety of students and staff as our first priority. Below is a list of health measures we have in place:

  • Masks: Mandatory use of masks for all staff and students grades 4-12 and highly recommended for students K- grade 3. We are strongly encouraging parents to work with the K-grade 3 students, to wear the masks in the school, but for the masks to be effective the children need to keep their hands off the masks as much as possible.  Mandatory use of masks for all students, K - grade 12, riding the school bus.
  • Enhanced Cleaning: Enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols in all NSD schools and facilities. Hand sanitizer has been provided to all Northland schools, buildings and on buses.
  • Daily Screening: All parents/guardians are required to use the Alberta Health Daily Checklist to screen their child(ren) for symptoms every day before school. Click on the website link to access the checklist https://open.alberta.ca/publications/covid-19-information-alberta-health-daily-checklist
  • Cohorting: Cohort and physical distancing strategies whenever possible. A classroom cohort is defined as a group of students and staff who remain together. 
  • Physical Distancing: Whenever possible, students and staff are encouraged to physically distance—maintain at least a two-metre space between two or more people. Schools have also re-arranged classrooms and daily schedules to encourage space between students. All extra furniture has been removed from classrooms to allow more space for physical distancing. This will be re-evaluated as the year progresses. 
  • Field Trips: Field trips are permitted with health protocols in place. This includes physical distancing, use of masks, cohorting for students in kindergarten through grade 6, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and enhanced cleaning and disinfection.
  • Extracurricular Sports and Sports Teams: All extracurricular sports and school sports teams for elementary, junior high and senior high have been suspended until further notice. This will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. 
  • Assemblies, Performance Activities and Celebratory Events: Large assemblies will continue to be virtual rather than in-person. Student performance activities such as singing, dancing, playing instruments, and theatre will be virtual.
  • Visitors: Visitors are not permitted in the school or workplace without an appointment. To make an appointment contact the school directly.

To view the Back to School Plan in more detail please visit https://www.nsd61.ca/covid-19-resources. If you have any questions please contact the school. 

Thank you for your continued support. Be safe.


Sincerely,


Dr. Nancy Spencer-Poitras
Superintendent of Schools
Northland School Division 

January 5, 2022

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange confirmed that classes for all K-12 students will resume on Monday, January 10, 2022.

Northland School Division will provide follow-up information to families before the end of the week.

More info from the Government of Alberta can be found here.

January 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians: 

On December 30, 2021, the Government of Alberta extended the holiday break for all K-12 students. At this time, classes are scheduled to resume Monday, January 10, 2022.

Student Learning 
During the week of January 4, 2022, school staff will be using this time to better prepare learning for students when classes resume on January 10, 2022. Alberta Education will provide school divisions more information in the coming days for students returning to in-school learning on January 10, 2022. NSD will communicate the information out to parents as it becomes available.

Diploma Exams and Provincial Achievement Exams (PATs)
To further support high school students whose learning is disrupted by this extension, January diploma exams have been cancelled. A decision will be made later in 2022 regarding April and June diploma exams. In addition, Alberta Education is delaying the administration of PATs (Part A) to the week of January 20, 2022. They also stated that this missed instructional time will not be made up in the rest of the school year. 

Rapid Tests and Masks
To assist with the safe return to classes, all school divisions will be receiving rapid test kits and additional medical masks for students and staff. The rapid tests will provide two five-test kits to each student and staff member. The distribution process for the rapid tests will be communicated when more is known about when they will arrive.

Let’s do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19
With COVID-19 cases increasing in the province, we all have to do our part to stop the spread. Let’s protect each other by practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, staying home if you feel sick and isolating when you are required to. 

We remind families and staff to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist https://open.alberta.ca/publications/covid-19-information-alberta-health-daily-checklist. Students and staff must complete the checklist prior to attending school. If you or a member of your family has any of the symptoms of illness listed, please fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811. 

The health and safety of our staff, students and community is paramount. We know discussions regarding COVID-19 are difficult and support is available. We encourage you to visit the Northland School Division Mental Health Resource webpage https://www.nsd61.ca/covid-19-resources

Thank you for your continued support. Be safe.

Sincerely,


Dr. Nancy Spencer-Poitras
Superintendent of Schools
Northland School Division 

December 30, 2021

The Government of Alberta has extended the holiday break for all K-12 students. At this time, classes are scheduled to resume Monday, January 10, 2022.

Northland School Division will provide more information to families and staff members when it becomes available.

More info from the Government of Alberta can be found here.

November 26, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Health Canada has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. On November 23, 2021, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that Albertans can book appointments beginning November 24, 2021. 

Appointments for children aged 5 to 11 can be booked through the Alberta Vaccine Booking system https://bookvaccine.alberta.ca/vaccine/s/,  or by calling Health Link at 811. Appointments will be available primarily at Alberta Health Services clinics around the province. Vaccines will not be available in schools at this time. If and when it changes, we will provide more communication. 

Parent or guardian consent is required for children to get their vaccine, and it can be provided either in-person at the vaccine appointment or by a signed consent form https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/frm-21765.pdf. Parents and guardians are encouraged to seek out reliable and factual information to inform their decisions on vaccines for their children. We appreciate your support in sharing accurate information with families in your school communities. The following resources provide additional information COVID-19 immunization for children under 12:

All public health guidelines, including physical distancing, practicing good hand hygiene, masking when in public and staying home when sick remain in effect. It is important to continue to protect one another during this time.

As always, thank you for your continued support. Be safe. 


Sincerely,


Dr. Nancy Spencer-Poitras
Superintendent of Schools
Northland School Division 

November 24, 2021

Letter from the Chief Medical Officer of Health on vaccinations for children ages 5-11

October 7, 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Throughout this challenging time, all Northland (NSD) schools have surpassed provincial requirements. Since the start of the school year, we have implemented;

  • mandatory use of masks for all staff and students grades 4-12 and strongly recommended for students K- grade 3;
  • mandatory use of masks for all students riding the school bus;
  • enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols;
  • daily health screening before for students and staff before coming to school;
  • strict stay at-home guidelines for individuals who feel unwell or have symptoms related to COVID-19;
  • enforced public-health measures; and
  • cohort and physical distancing strategies whenever possible. 
  • Inform families when a positive case has been identified in their school.

NSD will continue to use a range of safety strategies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We feel that extra precautions are necessary to reduce risk in the school communities we serve. In regards to communication with families about COVID-19 related topics, I want to explain an upcoming change. We went beyond provincial expectations and have been informing families when a positive case has been identified in their school and the grade level of the individual. The provincial government and Alberta Health Services (AHS) will now be assisting school divisions in completing contact tracing in all schools.

On October 5, 2021, the Government of Alberta announced new measures to manage COVID-19 in schools. One of the measures talked about school authorities determining in-school close contacts. As a result of this announcement, all COVID-19 related communication for NSD schools will include information about a positive case and instructions for students/staff identified as close contacts, effective the week of October 12, 2021. The communication will follow guidelines we receive from AHS and Alberta Education. We have not received this information yet.

Given the high number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta, we all have to do our part to stop the spread. Let’s protect each other by practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, staying home if you feel sick and isolating when you are required to. We remind parents/guardians of students, as well as any staff to monitor for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Please remember to complete the Alberta Health Daily Checklist each day before attending school, which can be found at https://open.alberta.ca/publications/covid-19-information-alberta-health-daily-checklist. As a reminder, if you/your child has any of the COVID-19 symptoms of illness listed on the Alberta Health Daily Checklist, please fill out the online Alberta Health Services COVID-19 self-assessment or call Health Link at 811 and stay home/keep your child at home.

Parents and guardians, we thank you for taking the time to have serious conversations with your children to reinforce how important it is to follow the safety guidelines and protocols, both in school and out. If you are looking for resources, please visit the Northland School Division Mental Health Resource webpage https://www.nsd61.ca/about-us/division-news/post/covid-19-mental-health-resources

If you have any health related questions please call Health Link at 811.  As we receive any updates from AHS, we will provide more communication. 

Thank you for your continued support. Be safe.


Sincerely,


Dr. Nancy Spencer-Poitras
Superintendent of Schools
Northland School Division

Leave a comment: