COVID-19 Information

continuing learning
COVID-19 Information
Posted on 03/20/2020
COVID-19 Information

UPDATE - April 1, 2020 

Starting at the end of April, parents and guardians can expect monthly busing fees to be returned via cheque. This will continue for each month that busing services are not provided to students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools are in the process of returning other school fees to parents and guardians. For fees collected to cover materials, they will be returned to parents and guardians if the materials have not already been purchased. Thank you for your support!


UPDATE - March 29, 2020

High Prairie School Division is committed to providing quality public education to our students in a welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe learning environment. On Saturday, March 28, Alberta Education announced to the province that they will be adjusting K-12 education funding. "While funding for teachers and most other aspects of the K-12 system is being maintained, funding for transportation and some services not being utilized in an at-home learning environment, such as substitute teachers and educational assistants, is being temporarily reduced while in-person classes remain cancelled. Any savings from these adjustments will be re-allocated to support Alberta’s COVID-19 response." read a press release from Alberta Education.

As with the continuing evolution of COVID-19, so is the landscape of education. The directives from our Education Minister have reflected the change in our province as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to providing a continuity of student learning and content delivery. The plans to do so were developed with/by our schools and included all of our school-based staff. The announcement yesterday was very disappointing and in direct contrast to the message from Minister LaGrange on March 15 stating "...school authorities will still receive their full allotment of funding for the 2019-20 school year".

Our schools depend on support staff to effectively deliver the Alberta curriculum to our diverse student population. We count on them each and every day to perform their duties and support our educational enterprises. The demand for substitute teachers, educational assistants, librarians, secretaries, and all other non-teaching staff has not diminished in this new delivery model. The need to provide extra supports to our students has become even more vital with a distance learning model. The preparation of differentiated curriculum-based resources to be successfully distributed to our over 3,100 students and their families was counting on our whole team of professionals to get the job done.

On Monday, March 30, school authorities will be meeting with provincial leaders to see what our next steps are in this new reality. We will be working, again, with our school leaders to put new plans in place if we are unsuccessful at finding any other options to mitigate this significant setback. Please know that your child's education remains our top priority. We will work together to ensure that we continue to support your children as best we can. In the press release from Alberta Education, it additionally stated that "Any staff impacted by these funding adjustments will qualify for the federal government’s enhanced employment insurance program and other support programs for Canadian workers". The full media release can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=699465898F7E9-EA93-B067-439512D7916A21C2.

We are extremely concerned about our staff who will be impacted by these decisions. This is a very difficult time in education, in our province, and in our world. We appreciate your continued support and understanding as we work through another new challenge together. Further information will be provided once we are able to finalize those details. At this time, our thoughts are with the valued staff who are at the heart of these decisions.

UPDATE - March 20, 2020

High Prairie School Division is working with students and their families to meet the new directive from Alberta Education. We will continue to provide support to students and their families with a continuity of education. This will be done with respect for staff who work from home, as needed. Full details on the expectations from Alberta Education for student learning can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=69874B5C32DE7-C7B9-FAFF-518A0FF91DCFD41D.

With respect to fees paid to schools, including busing, we anticipate having further information by the end of next week. Thank you for your patience as we finalize those details.

High Prairie School Division is dedicated to ensuring that each learner is successful and supported in their education. We cannot do this without you and value your continued support. Our staff are ready and willing to help students and families through this modified learning environment.

UPDATE - March 19, 2020

We would like to provide you with an update on the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers have been reaching out to students across our division to continue delivering content. As we move into the regularly scheduled spring break next week, our schools will be closed starting Saturday, March 21 and will reopen on Monday, March 30 for staff only, pending no further changes or directives from Alberta Education or Alberta Health Services.

Students are still prohibited from returning to class.

We are posting updates on our website at www.hpsd.ca/covid19. Updates from the Government of Alberta can be found at www.alberta.ca/covid19.

At the Board meeting yesterday, the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school year calendars were approved. They are on our website now at www.hpsd.ca/calendar/school_calendar.

Lastly, the Government of Alberta has released information about a new mobile app to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic. Their media release states:

Albertans can now meet with Alberta-licensed physicians through their smartphone, thanks to an initiative by TELUS Health. Babylon by TELUS Health is a service already available in British Columbia via a free downloadable app. The app can serve as a new tool for Albertans to access health-care information and support in response to COVID-19 – from anywhere in the province. Albertans can use the service to check symptoms, book appointments, see a doctor, and get prescriptions and referrals for diagnostic imaging and specialists – all covered by Alberta Health Care. https://www.telus.com/en/ab/health/personal/babylon


UPDATE - March 17, 2020

We would like to provide you with an update regarding the COVID-19 situation in our division. We are aware of the positive testing in the AHS north zone. We strongly encourage anyone concerned about personal contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to follow direction from Alberta Health Services at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16944.aspx.

The Government of Alberta has declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. All events over 50 people are to be cancelled, no attendance at rec centres, casinos, bingo halls, bars, theatres and other facilities. Sit-down restaurants can remain open at a lower capacity. Again, this information can be found at www.alberta.ca/COVID19.

We know there are many questions about content delivery to students. This is something that we are working on within our division, and within our education zone. Many of our teachers have been reaching out to students and families, as possible. If you haven’t heard anything yet, we kindly ask for your patience as we are working with our school staff and education partners on this key issue.

We know how stressful this time has been and would like to commend our communities fortheir calm and resilience. As stated in previous updates, the information surrounding this situation is constantly evolving and we are working to keep you up-to-date with accurate information in a timely manner. To receive text messages from our division, please opt-in by texting “y” or “yes” to 978338. Thank you for your support in these unprecedented times.

UPDATE - March 16, 2020

Thank you for your patience as we work through the next-steps in this new reality for education. We have received a number of questions and are still finding answers and working closely with our government to ensure the information you receive is accurate and timely. As stated yesterday, effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited. Students and their families may come to school to pick up personal items provided the following is adhered to:

  • Access to pick up personal items must be scheduled with the school. No parents or students are to enter the school without an appointment.
  • Appointments must be made to limit the total number of people in the school
  • Access will be limited to entering the school, picking up their personal items, and exiting.
  • If the personal items are not needed urgently, we would ask parents and guardians to wait until a later date to retrieve those items.

No persons are to enter the school if they are sick, on self-isolation, or have not made an appointment with the school. No exceptions. All school doors are to be locked and entry is to be logged with the name, date and time, and contact numbers. This is for the health and well-being of everyone.

We will continue to update you as we are able to. Thank you for your continued support.


UPDATE - March 15, 2020

The Government of Alberta has made the decision to cancel all classes in the province.

“...We are indefinitely cancelling all classes across the province. Students are expected to stay home” stated Education Minister Adriana LaGrange.

According to a media release from Minister LaGrange, "Teachers and other school staff will still be expected to work, either from home or at their workplace, to ensure these expectations are met and to support student learning. Decisions on how to do this are still to be made, and it may vary depending on the school jurisdiction. Given the unique situation, my department and I will work with school divisions throughout this process, and school authorities will still receive their full allotment of funding for the 2019-20 school year. I know these are challenging times for everyone. I will be sending an open letter to parents in the coming days, and Alberta Education will be working directly with you to help navigate through these changes."

Further, the Government of Alberta website alberta.ca/COVID19 states the following:

Schools
Effective immediately, student attendance at schools is prohibited.

School authorities are expected to continue their regular day-to-day operations and ensure the safety of school facilities. Maintenance, capital projects, cleaning of facilities and administrative work will continue.

Every K-12 student will receive a final mark and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests, will be cancelled. At this time, diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.

Teachers and other school staff will still be expected to work, either from home or at their workplace, to ensure these expectations are met. Decisions on how to do this are still to be made, and it may vary depending on the school jurisdiction.

Quick Facts

  • The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
  • This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, disposing of tissues appropriately, and staying home and away from others if you are sick.
  • Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
  • For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.

We anticipate more clear directions from Alberta Education in the coming days and we will provide those updates as they become available. The government is posting updated information on their website, alberta.ca/COVID19. Thank you for your support as we work to address this new information.

For more information on the coronavirus from the Government of Alberta, go to alberta.ca/COVID19.

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