I hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy some of Saskatchewan’s great summer. I’ve noticed lots of my friends exploring parts of our province they’ve never seen before and although this summer is different, we’re looking forward to your kids sharing about all of your adventures when we finally get to come back together at school.
My family had a quiet summer, with one week at Waskesui with my sisters and their families. For a 3 year old only child, a week with the cousins is heaven, with a few (ok, lots) of tantrums thrown in for fun. I have enjoyed the slower pace of summer but am definitely ready to be back at work and getting things ready for us to have an awesome year at ACS.
I know that you have many questions about what school will look like here and as with everything COVID-related, we are constantly shifting plans to respond to new information as it becomes available. Thank you for your patience as we navigate this.
My goal will always be to share with you information and planning as it becomes available, since I know many of you are trying to make decisions about what is best for your family this fall. Here’s where we are as of today:
What We Know AT THIS TIME
- Grade 4-12 students will be required to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible in the classroom. Students are strongly encouraged to bring masks from home, but we will have some available here if that’s not possible or if kids forget.
- Grade 9-12 courses will be set up in a quad system – this means that some courses will run for a quarter of the year. There are many benefits to this system:
- Students/teachers have fewer classes to juggle should we need to pivot back to online learning at some point this year
- We reduce the traffic in hallways because students will be in the same class for longer periods of time.
- Longer classes are better suited for some courses, like science labs or PAA.
- All ACS students will be in cohorts of 60 students or less. This means that we’ll do our best to ensure that your student has contact only with those kids in his/her cohort, during breaks, recess or lunch. This is the recommendation of the Chief Medical Health Officer and supports efficient contact tracing, should that become necessary. Details of staggered lunch and recess and specific entries for specific grade levels will be communicated prior to the start of school.
- In line with guidelines from the government and Prairie Spirit’s return to school plan, the Prairie Spirit Music Ed team (Mr. Martin has been teaching music at ACS to Grade 5 and 6 students), will not be visiting schools for the first 6 weeks of school. All ACS students will still receive music instruction as part of their Fine Arts curricular requirement.
- Lockers will be unavailable in an effort to reduce crowding in hallways. If your student is unable to carry what they need for the day in a backpack, special requests for a locker can be made. Elementary teachers will be creating supports and storage systems in the classroom to help kids manage outerwear, lunches etc.
I have appreciated those of you who have reached out with questions and who have shared your thinking about how we can best navigate this return to school. Please continue to do so! I will aim to provide at least one update a week as we continue to learn and plan. I am confident that we will be able to work together as a school community to create safe, healthy and happy learning opportunities for kids to this fall.