COVID19 Updates

For the most up-to-date information on current public health measures that apply to schools please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/k-12-learning-during-covid-19.aspx

All students, parents and visitors planning to enter the school building must complete this daily health checklist.

Update: October 9th, 2021

Dear Changemaker Families, 

 

Yesterday the Premier, the Minister of Education, and the Minister of Health announced new actions to manage COVID-19 in schools. This includes:

  • Public reporting of COVID-19 cases in schools

  • Initiating contact notification in schools

  • Clarifying COVID-19 outbreak definitions

  • Providing rapid testing for K-6 schools experiencing outbreaks

  • In addition, where there have been three or more COVID-19 cases in a class over a five day period in K-6 schools a shift to at-home learning for that class will be required.

Starting in the week of October 12th, schools will be notified by Alberta Health Services if there is a student or staff member with a confirmed positive COVID19 test. Alberta Health Services will take over the lead on contact notification in schools and guidance for parents within the next several weeks

Upon legal advisement in relation to our unique school context and in alignment with our Board’s ethical views, our organization and school will not be implementing a policy that requires that anyone including our staff disclose their personal medical or health information to our organization, parents or stakeholders. However, for those who are concerned, based on voluntarily shared information, you may find comfort in knowing that it seems all of our teachers and employees are already fully vaccinated. Additionally, we continue to limit the number of visitors, volunteers and parents who enter our building regardless of vaccine status.

Regarding students who are eligible for the vaccine, Minister Adriana LaGrange recently sent this information for parents to read: 

 

"Alberta has no specific provincial legislation that requires K-12 students to have specific vaccinations to attend in person school. Alberta Education is not considering mandating vaccines for students in the K-12 education system. School authorities cannot deny their students access to education due to their immunization status. Moreover, every child in Alberta is entitled to have access to an education program as per the Section 3(1) of the Education Act.” 

We kindly ask that all of our school community members and parents continue to do their part and revisit the health waiver and sickness policy you signed at the start of the year.

Please direct any and all questions regarding the above information to the Head of School and/or the Board of Directors.

We understand these are trying times for everyone. We will continue to do all we can to keep our school community physically safe while carefully balancing the mental health needs of those in our building. Thank you for your continued trust, understanding and support. 

Update: September 15th, 2021

 

Dear Changemaker Families, 

 

In follow-up to the COVID19 Update earlier this evening by the Alberta Government and communications from both Minister LaGrange and Deputy Minister Andre Tremblay, I would like to share some additional details and changes that are specific to the Calgary Changemaker School: 

 

Newly Mandated Public Health Measures (Effective September 16th, 2021)

 

Masking

  • When indoors at school, masking will now be mandatory for students in grades 4-12 (Div 2) and for all staff and teachers. 

  • Please e-mail the Head of School if your child in Grades 4-7 has a medical mask exemption for the 2021-2022 school year so we can create a new note for their file this year. 

  • Please work with your child at home to ensure they understand proper mask use and mask hygiene. It is important they also understand that masks do not replace other types of good hygiene such as hand washing. Please see this PDF poster for more information on mask hygiene. 

  • Students will need a break-away mask-lanyard and at least two masks per day. Reusable masks should go home at the end of each day for washing. 

  • Students will continue to spend plenty of time outdoors without masks and will be provided with mask breaks for eating, drinking and quiet physically distanced work periods. PE and physical exercise will continue to take place outdoors and are not impacted by these new masking measures. 

  • Staff may take their masks off to eat, drink or work quietly at their desks at a distance from students and other staff members. Staff may also take their masks off in cases where the use of facial expression and/or speech-language instruction is essential as long as they are at a 2m distance from students. Staff will not wear masks outdoors.  

  • Masking is still optional for students in Kindergarten and Div 1 (Grades K-3) unless on a school bus.   

  • Parents, special guests and visitors are required to wear a mask when indoors and are to enter the school-side of the building by appointment only. We are always happy to assist you in the Main Office. Masks are not required outdoors. 

 

Cohorting

  • According to the guidelines, our entire school population is still small enough to be considered a single cohort. 

  • However, we will continue to do our best to cohort by division while indoors (Kindergarten, Div 1 and Div 2) as we already have been. This change will only affect a few students who are in multi-division choice clubs on Fridays, otherwise there are no other changes from our existing indoor or outdoor operations.

 

Physical activity in schools:

  • Students are not required to mask or maintain two-metre physical distancing during a physical activity such as physical education indoors although, at our school, PE and physical exercise takes place outdoors except in extreme weather. There are no restrictions on outdoor activities or outdoor classrooms.

  • Indoor sports/performance/recreation/special interests are permitted with requirements for two-metre physical distancing, where possible.

 

Outdoor Events:

  • For outdoor events where parents and/or guests attend, physical distancing is required between non-cohorting families. There is a limit of 200 individuals at outdoor events and guests may only enter the building for bathroom use.

 

*Please continue to be mindful of the health-waiver you signed at the start of the school year. Students should not be attending school if they are sick or showing symptoms of any potentially contagious illness. 

 

Although there are not too many changes at our school, the changes recently announced for the whole province may be very upsetting to some and more of a relief for others. Please continue to be kind and empathetic to everyone’s unique lived experiences and varying levels of frustration and anxiety. 

 

We promise to continue to deliver an exceptional, empathetic, safe and joyful environment for your young Changemakers regardless of what comes this year. 

 

Thank you for your understanding. 

Current School Year - Updated: August 17, 2021

  • Collectively, we were able to successfully keep all of our students and staff free from COVID19 last year. We will continue in a similar manner this year: carefully balancing student mental health with physical health and making adjustments as we monitor the situation in our neighbouring communities closely.  ​

  • Sickness Policy & COVID19. We feel our best defence against all contagions is to implement a strict 'stay at home until well' sickness policy. This policy relies on a collaborative effort by our entire school community and is outlined in greater detail in our school waivers.

  • At this time, mask use for all students and staff continues to be optional (except on buses as per current provincial mandates) as our class sizes and school population remains small.

  • We will cohort by division indoors during the first few weeks at which time we will assess the situation and provide any changes or updates. We will not be cohorting while outdoors. 

  • We will continue to monitor COVID19 cases within our school community and the overall hospitalization rates in our province and adjust as needed. 

  • We will continue with increased hand washing and hygiene education as well as enhanced school cleaning protocols.

  • We still have a basic school supply list to limit the sharing of high-touch items.

  • We will continue to limit the number of adults and visitors inside the building for the time being and will continue to offer the option of virtual meetings. 

  • We still have our automatic UVC germicidal lamps in every bathroom and AHS approved disinfectant spray to use on surfaces in classrooms.

  • As always, we plan to spend as much time outdoors as we can! 

  • ​You can also support your child's immune system and wellbeing by ensuring they get plenty of quality sleep at night, eat balanced and healthy foods, and allow for downtime or activities that lower their stress levels and/or support mental health. (Read the research here).

  • We will keep our registered families posted if there are any changes. For the latest government and Alberta Education updates please visit: COVID19 Updates.

(July 1 2021)

Update July 2021: Alberta Education

  • Specific health best practices will be developed over the summer and recommendations may vary by age group. Extensive health measures in place for 2020-21 will be eased or removed.

    • It is expected that students and staff will no longer be required to wear a mask.

    • Some transmission prevention practices will continue, including increased cleaning of high traffic and high touch areas, staying at home when sick and hand cleaning hygiene practices.

    • Isolation and quarantine requirements, along with contact tracing requirements, will continue to evolve as immunization rates increase.

    • By fall 2021, the majority of Albertans 12 years and older will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated. Vaccines for children under 12 are still in clinical trials.

  • If the COVID-19 situation changes, the plan includes 2 contingency scenarios similar to those implemented in the current school year that will guide K to 12 schools.

June 30 2021: Update re: return to school

“I’m pleased that students can expect a return to a normal school year in September. With the continuation of Alberta’s Open for Summer plan, Alberta’s government expects the extensive health measures currently in place in schools will be eased or lifted. We have a detailed plan for next school year that includes contingency scenarios for continuing student learning in case there is a significant change in the COVID-19 situation. Alberta Education together with Alberta Health will provide more details about the upcoming school year [at the end of] the summer.”

-Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

May 26 2021: Update re: vaccinations

"It is important to note that the decision to be vaccinated is a personal choice, and the decision made by parents/guardians for their children is private. In accordance with Alberta’s privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection Act and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, staff must respect the health privacy of students, including their vaccination status. At this time, school administrators or staff should not inquire about or collect vaccination information from students. In the unlikely event this should this change, Alberta Education will advise school authorities accordingly." 

-Andre Tremblay, Deputy Minister of Education

 

(Last School Year, August 1 2020):

 

The province has announced Scenario 1 meaning “near-normal” school operations.

Highlights of our Changemaker School COVID19 efforts:

  1. We are focusing on cohorting rather than masking. We already planned on having an average regular class size of 12 with very spacious classrooms. We are already set up as small, full-time cohorts and each division has its own entrances, exits and bathrooms and our student common areas are outdoors.

  2. As our entire school is capped at 50 students for the 2020 school year and each class will have an average of 12 students, if the government announced a switch to scenario 2 we should not have to make any major modifications. 

  3. As an outdoor focused school much of our time will be spent outdoors. Gym and music classes were already planned to be outdoors for most of this year.

  4. We have installed automatic touchless UVC germicidal-LED switch lights, UV light hand dryers and automatic soap dispensers in each bathroom and have budgeted for more soap and more hand sanitizer.

  5. We have hired professionals to fully manage the cleaning/sanitization/disinfection of our school daily. 

  6. We have made an effort to replace most of our seating, rugs and pillow fabrics with wipeable/washable vinyl or marine fabric material and have added removable chair covers that can be easily washed for anything that can't be wiped down. We have a washer and dryer in our school building for washing fabric materials as needed.

  7. We will be issuing parents with a modified school supply list for so that every student will have their own personal items to limit the sharing of high-touch materials. 

  8. We have established a collaborative culture that includes teachers and staff working together to cover sick leaves and to support at-home learning for children who are sick. We have in-house certified substitute teachers as well. 

  9. Finally, we have a clearly laid out re-entry plan posted on our website that balances mental health needs with physical health needs that was carefully created with Alberta Health guidelines in mind and in consultation with our parents, students and faculty. Please review our 2020 re-entry plan HERE.