January 7, 2022
Dear Students/Parents/Guardians of Chinook,
We are excited to welcome students back to school on Monday to connect with everyone again and wrap up the first semester of 2021-2022!
As the Omicron variant of COVID 19 wave sweeps through our community our primary goals will be to keep students and staff well, keep in-person learning going at the school, and help mitigate the spread of COVID. We are revising some of our safety and operational protocols to ensure that we can do our best to accomplish these goals. We have not finalized all these changes as we wait for the revised re-entry plans from both Alberta Education and Lethbridge School Division. We will be receiving these finalized plans before school begins on Monday and will notify families of any further changes. We will meet with students via teams first thing Monday morning to go over all the updated protocols. Here is what students can expect as they return:
• Students and staff will wear masks at all times (unless they have received a Lethbridge School Division mask exemption), including when seated in desks. Masks may be removed temporarily to eat or drink. Eating and drinking will not be allowed while moving through the halls.
• Students and staff will be provided with 20 medical grade masks each (provided by Alberta Education). We are strongly recommending these be worn rather than other forms of masks as they are much more effective at preventing transmission. The first shipment of these should arrive by the end of next week. We will provide further details on distribution when we have them.
Maintaining Distancing and Minimizing Contact
• Classroom doors will be opened at 8:00 AM, and student will be asked to move to class as quickly as possible and not gather in hallways or common areas before and after classes
• Classes will remain in their rooms as much as possible, and minimize use of common spaces
• Field trip and off campus activities will be postponed until at least January 17th.
• Students who have a spare are asked to leave the school if possible (dependent on transportation and weather)
• Students are asked to leave the school to eat lunch if possible (dependent on transportation and weather)
• Seating in common areas will be limited
Extra and Co-Curricular
• Please see the division update HERE for details
Cleaning and Sanitization
• We will continue to maintain our high standards of cleaning and sanitization
• Students are asked to hand sanitize when entering the school and classrooms
• Students are asked to clean all desks/tables/work areas when they are finished using them
Health and Absences
• All individuals must still review the Alberta Health Daily Checklist with their children before sending them to school. Students and staff exhibiting any symptoms must remain at home until symptoms resolve. A new checklist is currently in development, and the Division will share this with our community once it has been released by the government.
• It is extremely important that absences due to illness be reported to the office in a timely manner and be reported as an illness.
• In the case of a high number of student or staff absences, it may become necessary to move to temporary online learning. Should this happen, learning will take place primarily using the Teams platform.
• Rapid test kits for use at home on a voluntary basis will be provided by the Alberta Government for use by students and staff. These will be distributed to students when we receive them in the coming weeks
• Please click HERE for details from the school division
• We continue to encourage everyone who can be fully vaccinated, including those eligible for boosters.
We know that everyone is tired of the necessary restrictions bought on by the ongoing COVID crisis. We are confident in the amazing job our students, staff and community does working together to keep our students safe, well, and growing. We will be reviewing all measures regularly over the next few weeks and revising them as we get updated information.
Have a Safe and Restful weekend.
Principal, Chinook High School