COVID-19 Division UpdatesPosted on
August 30, 2020
On Saturday, August 29, a case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in an individual from École St. John Paul II School school. MHCBE and the school administration have been working closely with Alberta Health Services (AHS) to ensure necessary measures are in place to protect all staff and students.
After a thorough investigation conducted by AHS, we are pleased to share that no additional staff members are required to isolate. Our MHCBE facilities team is performing a deep sanitization of the school building to ensure the school is disinfected before the first day of class. School is still scheduled to open on Monday, August 31 as planned.
We believe this outcome is the result of school staff adhering to the guidelines and directives put in place but the Government of Alberta and the Chief Medical Officer of Health. We want to thank Alberta Health services, school administration, and our facilities and maintenance team for working diligently to keep our school buildings as safe as possible.
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Visit our Fall 2020 Re-Entry Page for updated regarding the 2020-2021 school year.
Thursday, June 11, 2020
- Letter to Families RE: Re-Entry 2020-2021 - June 11, 2020
- Alberta aims for ‘near-normal’ schooling - Medicine Hat News
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
- Government of Alberta Re-Launch press conference - June 10, 2020
- Getting ready for 2020-21 school year (Government of Alberta)
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
What can open with restrictions:
- K-12 schools, for requested diploma exams and summer school, following guidance
- More surgeries
- Wellness services such as massage, acupuncture and reflexology
- Personal services (esthetics, cosmetic skin and body treatments, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial treatment, artificial tanning)
- Indoor recreation, fitness, and sports, including gyms and arenas
- Movie theatres and theatres
- Community halls
- Team sports
- Pools for leisure swimming
- VLTs in restaurants and bars
- Casinos and bingo halls (but not table games)
- Instrumental concerts
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Opening May 14:
- Retail businesses, such as clothing, furniture and bookstores. All vendors at farmers markets will also be able to operate.
- Museums and art galleries.
- Daycares and out-of-school care with limits on occupancy.
- The resumption of some scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will continue gradually.
- Regulated health professions are permitted to offer services as long as they continue to follow approved guidelines set by their professional colleges.
Opening May 25:
- Hairstyling and barbershops.
- Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars will be permitted to reopen for table service only at 50 percent capacity.
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Alberta Education update on student learning and school re-entry engagement:
Supports for families and parents
Alberta Education has instituted a helpline and email for parents of students, particularly those with disabilities, during COVID-19 and at-home learning.
The line is 780-422-6548 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or via email at: email@example.com.
Even with the excellent work being done by teachers and school divisions supporting the learning and inclusion of students with disabilities, we know that the changes in how education is being delivered is affecting students differently. For families of students with disabilities, there may be questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.
Alberta Education has established the helpline and email to assist families with their questions and connect them to their boards where appropriate. This could include key members of the school district (teacher, principal, school district leadership, school board) to find collaborative solutions to meeting their child’s learning needs at home.
The Parent Help Line will be answered Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Re-entry plan engagement
No decisions have been made on school operations for the 2020-21 school year starting in September. The province is working with school authorities and education system partners on developing a comprehensive re-entry plan that considers three scenarios, which could exist by September. They are:
- Normal school operations are able to resume.
- Schools are partially re-opened, with some level of restrictions.
- Teacher-directed at-home learning continues.
The re-entry plan will prioritize the safety and well-being of our teachers, staff and students. In addition to the feedback gathered from the education system, the plan will honour collective bargaining agreements, and will be informed by Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy and advice provided by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
This initiative is one element of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy that must be in place before Alberta can begin to safely remove public health restrictions. For more information, visit alberta.ca/covid-19.
- Minister LaGrange news conference (video) – May 6 at 11:45 am
- Alberta Education Media Release - PDF
- Update on student learning and school re-entry engagement
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
This week, each Monsignor McCoy graduate will receive a personalized letter in the mail from the Board of Trustees. We understand the disappointment that graduates may be feeling as their previously scheduled graduation date comes near. We want all graduates and families to know that the Monsignor McCoy High School Class of 2020 will be celebrated and acknowledged.
Read the full letter from The Board of Trustees below:
- Letter to 2020 Graduates from The Board of Trustees - May 4, 2020
Monday, May 4, 2020
- Letter to Families RE: Continuing Education from Home - May 4, 2020
- Mental Health Resources for Families - Updated May 4
Friday, April 3, 2020
- Too essential to part with: Local school divisions avoid laying off educational support staff - Medicine Hat News
- Alberta school divisions find workarounds to dodge or delay layoffs - CBC Edmonton
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
- Mental Health Resources for Families - Updated March 25
- Government of Alberta press conference - March 25, 2020
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
- Government of Alberta press conference - March 24, 2020
Monday, March 23, 2020
- Government of Alberta press conference - March 23, 2020
Friday, March 20, 2020
- Letter for Parents from the Minister of Education - March 20, 2020
- Education Continuity Plan Q&A- March 20, 2020
Thursday, March 19, 2020
- Catholic board starting to roll out learning options - Medicine Hat News
- Local teachers continue to plan for student learning at home - CHAT TV
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
- MHCBE COVID-19 Update - March 18, 2020 @ 8:00pm
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
- Government of Alberta Press Conference - March 17, 2020
Monday, March 16, 2020
Update for families 4:00pm: During these unprecedented times, we want to let our families and staff know that we are here to support you. We hear your questions and are eager to share answers as soon as we receive them.
We are currently working with Alberta Education to discuss potential next steps and a plan for the continuation of education with the suspension of classes. Once a plan is in place we will share it out with families.
We are encouraging families to take this week ahead to process these new changes, spend time together and wait for additional information.
You can support your children by reassuring them about their personal safety and health:
✅ Limit their access to news, online stories and be mindful of adult conversations happening around them.
✅ Encourage your child to talk to you about their worries.
✅ Let them know it is normal to feel worried and confused.
✅ Reassure them they are safe.
✅ Pray with them.
✅ Pick up the phone or video chat with friends and loved ones.
✅ Let them know that they can do their part by washing their hands, covering their cough, eating healthy, getting lots of rest and staying home as much as possible.
We want to thank you all for your patience and kindness.
- Government of Alberta Press Conference March 16, 2020
Sunday, March 15, 2020
5:00pm: The Government of Alberta has declared a province wide school cancellation. Classes are cancelled until further notice.
We will work with Alberta Education to structure programming for students during this time. This is an unprecedented circumstance and we appreciate your patience as we work hard to adapt to this change; we will provide direction to staff and families as soon as possible.
We will provide an opportunity for students to go to their school to gather their belongings and will provide a plan for that as soon as possible.
Teachers and support staff are expected to be at work as normal and to continue to follow the preventative public health measures as recommended by Alberta Health Services.
Visit our website and social media for regular updates. https://www.mhcbe.ab.ca/our-district/news/post/covid-19.
We are all in this together, God bless.
2:30pm: Our team is in the process of finalizing a Q&A for families to help answer questions related to child and staff attendance.
The Government of Alberta is scheduled to hold a COVID-19 Press Release at 4:30pm this afternoon. To make sure our information for families is as accurate as possible, the Q&A will be posted shortly after the update from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time of uncertainty in our province. Families will be notified via email when the Q&A has been posted.
Saturday, March 14, 2020
Alberta School Board Representatives and Senior Administration teams met in a teleconference town hall this morning with Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Dr. Deena Hinshaw, for a COVID-19 update and information for school jurisdictions. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and share updates as we receive them.
Staff and students exhibiting any respiratory symptoms such as: fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, and including symptoms that may seem like a mild cold must remain home. This is to be considered a zero-tolerance direction.
- MHCBE COVID-19 Update March 14, 2020 @ 3:00pm
- Alberta Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs
- Government of Alberta Press Conference March 14, 2020 @ 3:30pm
Friday, March 13, 2020
According to the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), Province wide school closures will not be implemented at this time (March 13 @ 5:00pm).
In accordance with the CMOH’s direction, Medicine Hat Catholic Schools are implementing the following direction immediately and it will remain in effect until further notice:
- Activities involving students and staff at this time can continue as planned, providing these are small group activities involving individual classes.
- All activities outside of the jurisdiction, province and country are cancelled.
- Activities which will involve outside persons, such as Parent Teacher Interviews, performances, sporting events are postponed.
- Schools may not hold assemblies until further notice.
Our school division has measures in place to keep schools clean, safe and running as normal. Staff have been given access to online training and resources. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and share updates as we receive them.
- MHCBE COVID-19 Update March 13, 2020 @ 11:30am
- Government of Alberta Press Conference March 13, 2020 @ 4:00pm
Thursday, March 12, 2020
MHCBE is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and have been following recommendations from Alberta Health Services and the Cheif Medical Officer of Health throughout this outbreak.
We will continue to monitor the situation and are positioned to respond effectively as directed by the Cheif Medical Officer of Health.
- MHCBE Response to COVID-19 March 12, 2020 @ 3:00pm
Information for Families:
There are two important ways to prevent and control respiratory viruses in school settings:
The first is for students and staff who are ill with respiratory illness symptoms (fever, cough, fatigue, and/or muscle aches) to stay home from school. If your child is not feeling well, we ask that you keep them home so that they can rest and recover. As always, please remember to inform the school of the absence.
The second way to prevent and control viruses is the consistent practice of good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene:
- Wash hands with soap and water often.
- Avoid touching their face with unwashed hands.
- Covering the mouth and nose during coughing or sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues in a plastic-lined waste container, followed by hand hygiene.
We are enhancing our communication to students about hand-washing, sneeze/cough etiquette, and preventing illness – including new signage and supplies at each site across the school division.
Mental Health Resources for Staff, Children and Families -updated regularly
Hand Hygiene Information
How to Handwash Using Soap and Water
How to Handwash Using Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer
Hand-Washing Steps (video)
Cover Your Cough
Note: Masks are not necessary for people who are not experiencing symptoms. In children in particular, masks can be irritating and may actually increase touching of the face and eyes, which increases the risk of infection. Children who have symptoms should be kept home from school rather than relying on masks.
Keeping Schools Safe and Clean
MHCBE custodial staff have been instructed to increase daily cleaning regimen in schools and buildings to help prevent the spread of viruses. This includes special focus on high contact touch points such as doorknobs, sinks, toilets, handles, keyboards etc.). Custodial staff continues to use disinfectants that are rated as virucides and approved for school environments in daily cleaning. In addition, custodial staff is insuring all dispensers are full at all times including hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towel and toilet paper with garbages removed from the schools daily.
Food Sharing Prevention
Students should not be sharing food, utensils, dishes, and water bottles or drink containers. Although this practice is important for preventing exposures to allergens, it is equally important in reducing virus transmission between children.
A new virus such as the COVID-19 can create anxiety and be difficult for students/children to understand, especially if someone they know is sick, or they see or hear troubling messages on the radio, internet or television. It is normal for children to feel worried and nervous and have questions. Visit our COVID-19 Mental Health Resources page for information on how to support your children during this pandemic.
Health Information and Resources
- Albertans are encouraged to use this self-assessment tool (launched Friday, March 13) to help determine whether you or your loved one should get tested for COVID-19.
- Contact 8-1-1 (Health Link) or your health care provider for health questions and concerns.
- COVID-19 Share Facts NOT Fear (CDC)
- Information for Albertans (Government of Alberta)
The COVID-19 pandemic can impact your mental health. If you need support, call the 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642. Helpful advice on handling stressful situations and ways to talk to kids is also available at alberta.ca/COVID19.