School Re-Entry Q&A January 2022
Division Safety Measures and Best Practices
Hand washing and hand sanitizing: Regular hand washing and sanitizing will continue in our schools. Staff and students are asked to set aside intentional time to wash and sanitize their hands regularly throughout the school day.
Masking: Masking is mandatory for students in grades 4 and up, including staff and teachers in all grades. Masks are required on school buses. Masks are recommended for students attending kindergarten to Grade 3. Please send your child to school with a mask each morning.
Cohorting: Temporary grade/class cohorting when possible will be reinstated. Large school-wide gatherings and assemblies are also on a temporary hold until further notice.
Air Quality and Ventilation in Schools: Each Medicine Hat Catholic school building is equipped with air exchange units that meet the ASHRAE guidelines for air quality management in schools during the current pandemic. This includes the recommended level of air filtration and air exchange.
School Sanitization: Schools are sanitized daily with Airx44 cleaner. Each school is also equipped with a Victory Electrostatic Handheld Sprayer. If illness is detected in a school common area or classroom, the handheld sprayer is used to rapidly and effectively sanitize the affected area. This procedure has been a best practice for our school division during the pandemic and will continue to be practiced moving forward.
Daily Health Checklist: Staff and students must continue to review the Alberta Health Daily Checklist with their children before sending them to school.
School Contact Notifications: Beginning January 2022, Alberta Health Services is no longer providing information regarding positive cases of COVID-19 to school divisions. Due to this change, MHCBE will no longer be sending contact notification emails to families.
Updated Isolation Protocols: Please be aware of the updated isolation protocols from the Alberta Government. This includes differing isolation requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
Masking is mandatory for students in grades 4 and up, including staff and teachers in all grades. Masks are required on school buses. Masks are highly recommended for students attending kindergarten to Grade 3. Please send your child to school with a mask each morning.
At-Home Rapid Tests
At-home rapid tests are intended to be used twice per week, 72 hours apart (e.g. Sunday and Wednesday or Monday and Thursday). Please note: Rapid tests are optional and are to be administered at home. Additional information: Education At-Home Rapid Testing Program: Information for parents, students and school staff.
Is there a requirement to report rapid test results to Alberta Health Services or the school? There is no requirement to report a positive rapid test result.
How will the rapid tests be distributed to staff and students? The rapid tests come in a box of five. Each staff member and students from ELP- Grade 12 will be given one box. This will provide each person with enough tests for 2.5 weeks.
What if I do not want my child sent home with a rapid test kit? Please contact your child’s school directly if you do not wish to have rapid tests sent home with your child(ren).
Is there a video or instructions on how to use at-home rapid tests? A how-to video and a rapid test program fact sheet offer tips on how to use the rapid test kits.
Potential Shifts to At-Home Learning
Will we be transitioning to at-home learning? What does that look like? Temporary at-home learning will only be used, as a last resort, when it isn’t possible to continue in-person learning due to a high number of student or staff absences.
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 online using Google Classroom.
Sports and Extracurriculars
Medicine Hat Catholic Schools will continue to allow sports practices and games, with no spectators. The division will re-evaluate allowing spectators mid-February.