School Directory

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 School Contact Notification Process

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October 7, 2021

 

Dear parents and guardians, 

On October 5, the Alberta Government indicated that school divisions will now be taking part in a COVID-19 tracing process now known as "Contact Notification". This process will begin next week across the province. While similar to last year's contact tracing, there are a few very key differences that families need to be aware of.

Parents/guardians will now be notified directly if their child has been exposed to a COVID-19 case who was present at school while infectious. This may include in their classroom, on the school bus or during a school-related activity (club/sports/ out of school care). Contact notification letters will be sent to parents/guardians via email From: communications@mhcbe.ab.ca Subject: School Contact Notification.

Parents/guardians can expect a contact notification:

  • Each time a new positive case of COVID-19 is identified in a classroom, parents/guardians will be sent a notification letter. Children may continue in-person learning. 
  • If a case of COVID-19 has been identified on a school bus or during a school-based extracurricular (team/club/out of school care), you will also receive a notification letter. Children may continue in-person learning. 
  • If a school has 10 or more cases in a 14 day period, they will transition to outbreak status. All school parents/guardians will receive a notification letter. Children may continue in-person learning. 
  • Grades K-6 ONLY: If three positive cases of COVID-19 are identified in a classroom during a five-day period, the class will transition to at-home learning for 10 calendar days. 

Helpful links:

It is our hope that the information provided answers any questions you may have at this time, please contact your child’s school for further clarification if needed.

Thank you all once again for your patience as we adapt our approach.

God bless!


Dr. Dwayne Zarichny
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education

Close Contact Notification Process

October 5, 2021

At 3:30 p.m. the Government of Alberta announced that a COVID-19 close contact notification process will be implemented in school divisions across the province beginning next week.

Full update here: https://youtu.be/Nk4WymjZ2cA  

We are aware that families may have questions regarding the impacts of this announcement. Our senior administration team is working closely with Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services to learn more about the updated COVID-19 notification process. We will share information with staff and families as soon as a formal process has been developed. Our school division will continue to share COVID-19 updates on our division social media and division website.

We thank you once again for your continued support and patience as we navigate this change in direction.

Staying safe and healthy this school year

COVID-19 Provincial Update

The Government of Alberta declared a state of public health emergency. This evening, several enhanced public health actions were put into place to reduce the impacts of COVID-19 across the province.

Government of Alberta enhanced measures for schools:

  • Mandatory masking for students in Grades 4 and up, plus staff and teachers in all grades.
  • Elementary schools to implement class cohorting.
  • Indoor sports, fitness, recreation, and performance activities are permitted in schools, with requirements to maintain 2 metre physical distancing where possible.
    • Masks and distancing are not required by youth under 18 while engaged in physical activity.
    • Spectator attendance restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity and limited to households or 2 close contacts for those living alone. Attendees must be masked and distanced. 

Effective tomorrow (Sept. 16), masks will be mandatory for all students grades 4-12 and all division staff members. We kindly ask that parents/guardians send their children (grades 4-12) to school with a clean mask tomorrow.

While enhanced measures are in place, masks will be required in:

  • Shared spaces
  • Classrooms when students are not sitting at their own desk
  • All indoor areas where physical distancing is not possible

We are pleased to be able to continue to provide in-class learning for the incredible students in our division. I want to take a moment to thank you all, for the constant support as we navigate the ever-changing circumstances. As always, we will continue to provide updates to families in a timely manner. 

 

God bless,

Dwayne Zarichny
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education

Helpful links:

Enhanced Safety Measures in Schools - Sept. 10, 2021

Cases of COVID-19 and respiratory illness are visible in our city and increasing. These cases are now being identified in schools as we begin the new school year. As we begin a new school year with new staff, new families, and new health measures in place, we believe it is important to address the changes to the COVID-19 contact tracing process as well as the measures put in place to keep staff and students safe at school.

Contact Tracing

As of July 29, 2021, Alberta Health Services is no longer required to notify school divisions when a positive case of COVID-19 is connected to a school. This means, our COVID-19 contact tracing procedure has changed as we enter the new school year. If a case of COVID-19 is identified in your child’s school, an initial letter will be sent by your school principal. A page has been developed on our division website to identify schools with active cases. 

In an effort to help staff and families better understand the updated contact tracing process, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions

Enhanced Safety Measures effective Monday, September 13

Currently, our schools have several health and safety best practices that are followed daily, in an effort to limit the spread of illness in schools, the Board of Trustees has made a motion to put enhanced measures in place beginning on Monday, September 13.

  • Masking is strongly recommended (but not mandated) for all staff and students in common areas or where they cannot physically distance.
  • Masking is mandatory for all students riding a bus.
  • All visitors, including central office staff, are required to mask when they enter any school in the jurisdiction for any reason.
  • Each school will now have an atomizer which is capable of completely sanitizing a classroom in approximately ten minutes. This will allow schools to sanitize a classroom very quickly during the school day if needed.
  • Schools are to suspend large indoor gatherings of students. E.g. A school-wide assembly in the gymnasium. Outdoor school-wide events may continue.
  • Students participating in activities in public venues during the school day must follow all health guidelines for public spaces.
  • Regular hand washing and sanitizing will continue in schools.
  • Schools will continue to encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • As of July 29, 2021, Alberta Health Services is no longer notifying school divisions when a positive case is connected to a school. Our school division will notify parents upon the first occurrence of COVID-19 in their child’s school. The division will maintain school-specific information on our website after the initial case has been identified.

Medicine Hat Catholic Schools continue to: 

  • Remind families to screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and isolate if they have core symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Ask that staff and students stay home if they are feeling sick
  • Offer a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to wear a mask at school
  • Deep clean schools each evening and disinfect high touch surfaces throughout the school day
  • Promote regular handwashing and sanitizing among staff and students
  • Support physical distancing

We strongly believe in supporting a comprehensive approach to mental health and wellness that includes nutrition, exercise and our faith. Our school division continues to work with local public health officials and implement additional measures such as mandatory masking and other health requirements as determined by public health.

We thank you all for your support and understanding.

God bless,


Dwayne Zarichny
Superintendent of Schools
Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education

Preparing for the 2021-2022 School Year

August 13, 2021

As announced by the Government of Alberta earlier today, students across the province will return to school this fall with minimal restrictions. In addition, classroom and school activities such as sports and extracurricular activities will now be permitted. 

MHCBE is committed to keeping staff, students and families safe as we return to in-class learning. Here are a few best practices we will continue in our schools during the 2021-2022 school year:

  • We ask that staff and students screen daily for symptoms using the Alberta Health Daily Checklist and isolate if they have core symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
  • Staff and students will not be required to wear masks in school buildings at this time, but our schools will continue to offer a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to wear a mask at school.
  • Masking will be permitted for all students riding the school bus until September 27, as per Government direction.
  • School busses will continue using seating plans in order to limit contact on the school bus. All school buses will be disinfected daily.
  • Regular hand washing will continue to be implemented at each school and schools will continue using their hand sanitizer stations at the entry of the building and outside of each classroom.
  • All school buildings will be deep cleaned each night and high touch services cleaned throughout the school day.

It is our hope that students and families are comfortable and eager to return to the classroom with the proper health measures in place. Detailed information regarding return to school will be shared families in a letter from the Superintendent of Schools early next week. 

Helpful Links:

COVID Return to School Update

July 1, 2020

The Government of Alberta has announced that all schools will be able to resume in the fall 'near normal' with minimal restrictions in place. As more information becomes available to us over the summer, we will update parents with any changes or new requirements. Current details regarding guidance and health measures for schools can be found here: 2021-2022 School Year Plan

Daily Health Checklist Updated July 5, 2021

Isolation and Quarantine Requirements for Vaccinated Albertans

With more and more Albertans eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, now including children ages 12 and up, we are seeing a change in close contact isolation requirements. Please read the information below regarding isolation requirements for vaccinated Albertans. Any further questions should be health with through Alberta Health Services directly by calling 8-1-1. 

Learn more: Government of Alberta Isolation and Quarantine requirements

Isolation and quarantine requirements for vaccinated Albertans (May 31, 2021):

If you are fully-vaccinated* and are exposed to a COVID-19 case:

  • If you have no symptoms, you are not required to quarantine.
  • If you do have symptoms, you must isolate for 10 days and should get tested – your isolation can end early if you test negative.

If you are partially vaccinated* and are exposed to a COVID-19 case:

  • If you have no symptoms, you must quarantine for 10 days and should get tested.
    • Your quarantine can end early if you test negative on day 7 or later.
    • If you test negative before day 7, you must remain in quarantine and need a second negative test on day 7 or later to end quarantine.
  • If you do have symptoms, you must isolate and should get tested.
    • If you test negative before day 7, you must continue to quarantine (10 days total from exposure date).
    • If you test negative on day 7 or later and your symptoms have resolved, your quarantine can end.

*You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving both doses in a 2-dose vaccine series, or 1 dose in a 1 dose vaccine series.
You are considered partially vaccinated 14 days after receiving the first dose in a 2-dose vaccine series.

 

We want our families to know that we are committed to following all guidelines and directives from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Education to ensure our school facilities continue to be a safe place for learning.

We want to thank you for the continued support of your child’s school administration, teachers and staff members. With patience, grace and positivity, we will all learn and adapt to these new procedures and grow stronger as a school community, together.

Division COVID-19 cases