Masks recommended in schools and on buses in CBE's Scenario 1 plan
CALGARY -- The Calgary Board of Education (CBE) has released guidelines for its return-to-school in September and masks will be part of the strategy.
The board announced its Scenario 1 plan Thursday that would see students learning in class for all five days of the regular school week.
A major part of the plan centres on handwashing and using hand sanitizer, particularly when it comes to arriving at school, travelling through the building and leaving at the end of the day.
The same requirements for hand washing, which include thoroughly washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, also apply to staff members, the CBE says.
Parents also have an important role to play when it comes to the daily school routine in Calgary.
"Parents and caregivers must assess their children daily for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-I9, or other infectious respiratory disease before sending them to school," the CBE says in the announcement.
Any student or staff member that becomes ill with any cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms must self-isolate and stay home for at least 10 days or until the symptoms subside.
If any student becomes sick at school, they will immediately be moved to a supervised, designated infirmary room or area.
Once there, parents or caregivers will be notified immediately and the child must be picked up within one hour. If anyone is unable to pick up their child, they must have an emergency contact on file who can.
MASK USAGE IN SCHOOLS
When it comes to mask usage in schools, the CBE says it will be sticking to provincial advice and will update parents whenever there is additional guidelines to be followed.
Current recommendations indicate that masks are recommended in schools and on buses, but the only time when students must wear them is when they are ill and could be contagious.
"In that case, your child will be given a disposable mask to wear until parents can come to pick them up."
Any student or staff member who uses public transit to get to school must abide by the city of Calgary's rules regarding mask wearing.
CLASS COHORTS TO BE IMPLEMENTED
Whenever possible, students will be organized into smaller groups, or cohorts, that are assigned to stay together throughout the day, the CBE says. Schools will work to minimize the number of teachers each cohort comes into contact with and breaks, including lunch, snack and recess, will be staggered to maintain physical distancing requirements.
"Workspaces and desks will be separated from each other by two metres where and when possible," the document reads. "If two metres cannot be arranged between desks/tables, students should be arranged so they are not facing each other (e.g. arranged in rows rather than in small groups or a semi-circle)."
IF COVID-19 IS DISCOVERED
The CBE says if there are any COVID-19 cases confirmed in school environments, the school district and administrator will work directly with Alberta Health Services for follow-up recommendations and messaging.
"The decision to send a cohort/class home or to close a school will be made by the local medical officer of health. If students are required to self-isolate, the school will support students to learn or work at home."
However, as with many other Alberta school boards, the Scenario 1 plan does come with a caveat.
"It is possible that we may have to transition between scenarios during the school year. Health officials will work with school authorities to make the decision to transition to partial in-class learning or at-home learning based on multiple factors including the number of COVID-19 cases in a zone or a school and the risk of ongoing transmission."
Full details of the CBE's re-entry plan can be found on its official website.