Dear Victoria Park Families,
With the recent announcement that schools in Alberta will be back to “near normal” operations this fall, we would like to provide you with some information that may help you to understand how we are planning for your return. We are very excited to have our students back and are aware that the risks of the covid-19 pandemic will necessitate 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 will 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 can choose to wear a mask (unless they are mandated by government), ensuring that masks are used correctly and discarded or washed thoroughly after use. We recommend that students add a mask to their school supply shopping list. During the day, students and staff will work together to ensure surfaces are sanitized. Our capable and committed caretaking team will follow division cleaning protocols each night. Some flexibilities (class changes etc.) and co-curricular activities may be 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 will schedule 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 will ensure 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 will follow their traditional timetable as they are already grouped into cohorts to begin with. During the school day students and staff will be 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.
At home learning.
Our school division has now sent out a survey asking parents if students will “opt-out” of at school learning (see our website below for a link to the survey). If students opt out, they will be 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.
It is assumed that students who don’t opt out will attend at Victoria Park High School on a daily basis. Once it is determined where students will attend, schedules will be developed, and then communicated nearer to the start of the school year. It is important to note that this decision for at school learning or at home delivery will be 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 plan for what will be an exciting, yet challenging year. This era in our world is unprecedented and we are very proud to be navigating history with you. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Victoria Park High School and Lethbridge Alternative Schools & Programs
Lethbridge School Division