Dear Victoria Park Families,
We are currently operating with “near normal” conditions this fall in our Alberta schools and we would like to provide you with some information that may help you to understand how we are facilitating your healthy return. We are very excited to have our students back in the building and are aware that the risks of the covid-19 pandemic has necessitated adjustments at school.
What does “near normal” mean?
Near normal operations entail classes resuming as they would in any other year with a few alterations addressing safety and wellness as our combined responsibility. Class size at Victoria Park High School does not allow for 2m of distance between people, with the exception of our Community Outreach, Grade 9 Alternate, Pathways and DLA classes. This means we will rely on our staff and students to practice heightened hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette (coughing or sneezing into their elbow), staying home with signs of illness, and getting tested should symptoms of covid-19 appear. Students and staff must wear a mask in all areas where physical distancing is not possible, ensuring that masks are used correctly and discarded or washed thoroughly after use. During the day, students and staff are working together to ensure that surfaces are sanitized. Our capable and committed caretaking team are following the division cleaning protocols each night. Some flexibilities (class changes etc.) and co-curricular activities have been altered or cancelled as compared to years passed. If covid-19 presents itself in Victoria Park High School, Alberta Health Services will provide direction to stop the spread and take care of affected individuals.
What is a cohort?
You might have heard that Alberta schools are scheduling students in cohorts when possible. A cohort is a grouping of students who stay together to limit interactions, like those in an elementary classroom. Scheduling at Victoria Park ensures that students are limited to 2 class groupings a day; one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The Community Outreach School COS, Grade 9 Alternate, Pathways and DLA classes are following their traditional timetable as they are already grouped into cohorts to begin with. During the school day students and staff are asked to maintain their distance from others whenever possible and limit the potential spread of illness by keeping property and food to themselves. It is important to note that lockers will not be available for use during the first semester of the 20-21 school year, and possibly for the second semester, as well. Students who are not in class must be engaged in a break in the gym or outdoors. Those students who do not have a class to attend must leave campus as there is no space allocated for unassigned class time.
At home learning.
Our school division has a system for supporting students who have elected to “opt-out” of at school learning. These students are now enrolled in home programming co-supported by the division high schools. For example, students who learn at home may have a math teacher from Victoria Park, a science teacher from Lethbridge Collegiate, and an English teacher from Winston Churchill. Students learning from home may have limited specialized programming and/or elective options. All VPHS students who are electing on-line learning will be registered with LCI to support their on-line schooling access.
It is assumed that students who have not opted out will attend at Victoria Park High School on a daily basis. It is important to note that this decision for at school learning or at home delivery was a commitment up until the first “pivot point” of the school year, November 1st, at which point, students will have the option to change their method of learning, should they choose.
In the meantime, we ask for your patience as we work our way through this exciting, yet challenging year. This era in our world is unprecedented and we are very proud to be navigating history with you. We enjoy seeing you each day.
Victoria Park High School and Lethbridge Alternative Schools & Programs
Lethbridge School Division