The Chinook School Division released its Return to School Plan. Following is the
The provincial government has lifted restrictive measures and Public Health officials have stated that it is safe for schools to resume traditional in-class learning. Chinook School Division will follow provincial health guidelines while continuing to protect the health and safety of students and staff.
The Return to School Plan is based on the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education’s 2021-22 Safe Schools Plan. We have also consulted with Saskatchewan Health Authority public health officials, including the local Medical Health Officer, to develop the plan, which focuses on continuing enhanced cleaning, improved ventilation and other general practices previously implemented in schools.
Division and school plans will evolve as required by emerging health risk assessments.
Chinook Return to School Plan: Fall 2021
Illness and Symptoms
● The Illness in School Protocol will continue to be followed (refer to link to infographic).
● Students and staff should monitor for symptoms and stay home if they are ill. Self-Monitoring and Symptoms
● Staff and students should continue the practice of monitoring and self-screening for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Any respiratory illness should be considered as possibly COVID and prompt testing is strongly recommended.
● Multiple modes of ongoing communication will occur when needed.
● Masks are required during school bus rides for students and staff. School buses will continue to
run at normal capacity at this time.
● Seating plans on school buses will continue, in order to streamline the contact tracing process and minimize potential contacts.
● Cleaning and disinfection will remain in place and be a standard practice.
● Weather permitting, windows of the buses can be opened, allowing for improved ventilation.
● Public Health emphasizes the importance of vaccination for all eligible persons, including bus drivers.
● Schools who have developed effective options for staggered lunch and recesses are encouraged to continue these safe practices.
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● Non-essential visitation to schools will be limited at this time. Parents are asked to contact the school in advance to schedule any necessary visits.
● Masks are required and self-screening applies to all parents/caregivers and other visitors; schools will post entrance door signs for screening.
● Schools will maintain a log of all visitors to the school, including parents, visitors and others.
● Public Health states that masking is one of the best protective measures in keeping students safe and maintaining the health of our school populations as well as minimizing disruption to in-person learning.
● Masks are recommended for all PreK-12 students and staff in classrooms. Students and staff who wear masks will be supported.
● Masks are required for all PreK-12 students and staff in hallways, washrooms, and common spaces when other classes are present.
● Masks are required for all PreK-12 students and staff on school buses.
● Masks are required for all visitors, including parents/caregivers.
● Protective measures may be increased in individual schools or division-wide, as necessary to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 and we will follow the recommendations by the provincial government and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
● For outdoor activities such as recess or outdoor gym classes, there is no recommendation for students to mask, however physical distancing is encouraged.
● A school-wide plan for enhanced cleaning and disinfection will continue similar to the previous year, including frequently touched surfaces and shared equipment.
● Improvements have been made to the ventilation and air quality in Chinook schools, including the addition of Jade Air Purifiers and Bipolar Ionization Units.
● Hand sanitizer and hand washing facilities will be accessible and stocked with supplies. Common Areas
● Foot traffic flow and markings through entrances and hallways will remain in schools.
● Water fountains will not be used, but bottle fill-up stations will continue to be used.
● Respiratory etiquette will be promoted and proper hand hygiene expectations will be enforced when entering and exiting the school and classrooms, before and after eating.
● Students may carry their own personal hand sanitizer, in addition to products approved by Health Canada that will be made available by the schools for general use.
● In all grades, physical distancing is encouraged where possible and practical.
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Chinook Return to School Plan: Fall 2021
● Seating plans will continue in all grades to minimize the number of potential classroom contacts and assist in the contact tracing process.
● Full Saskatchewan curriculum will be taught by teachers.
● The Provincial Education Interim Plan provides guidance for this area.
● Mixing of classrooms for instructional purposes is not recommended for K-5.
● Individual classrooms or entire schools may move to remote learning in consultation with Public Health if there are cases in schools.
● Provincial exams are optional for the 2021-22 school year.
Extra-Curricular, Fine Arts and Special Activities
● Library, laboratory, dance, drama, band, choir, sports and fitness activities, nutrition programs, extracurricular activities and field trips, before and after school programs, and other special activities are allowed, with optimal spacing where possible.
● Further guidance on specific measures for extracurricular and fine arts activities will be provided as it becomes available. Chinook schools will continue to follow the recommendations of the government and SHA, as well as the SHSAA, SWAC and affiliated sport governing bodies.
Meals and Nutrition Programs
● Schools will ensure students are following safe food handling guidelines when preparing food
● Elementary schools will continue to have students eat meals/snacks within their classrooms.
● Schools will ensure that students follow safe practices when eating (seated, hand hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces, etc.).
● Public Health continues to advise against sharing food, utensils, or other supplies in the classroom, lunchroom and cafeteria.
● School wide or classroom meals may resume with food brought in from vendors in individual servings, with precautions for safe food handling.
● Events and meetings may be adjusted based on size, layout and needs of the school.
PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION
● Public Health recommends that every eligible person in Saskatchewan receive a completed vaccine series, as this is one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves and our community from COVID-19.
● The Saskatchewan Health Authority may also continue to offer school-based vaccination clinics. These clinics will enhance vaccine accessibility for those students or staff who have not been vaccinated, or who have only been vaccinated with a single dose.
● As an additional measure to increase the reach of vaccinations, any individuals turning 12 in the current year (2021) are immediately eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. This means that individuals born in 2009 can now be vaccinated, regardless of their birth date, at any COVID-19
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Chinook Return to School Plan: Fall 2021
vaccination site, including pop-up clinics, participating pharmacies, or school-based vaccination clinics.
● Rapid tests are currently available to Chinook staff.
● The Government of Saskatchewan is developing a rapid test self-administration pilot for families
and students in targeted schools in the province.
Contact Tracing and Quarantining
● The collaboration between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and schools will continue and will reflect the needs of the school as required.
● Public Health has advised that when cases are identified in schools, school divisions will continue to be notified by Public Health officials in order to inform students and parents. Contact tracing will continue to occur, and unvaccinated close contacts may be directed to self-isolate as deemed appropriate by Public Health.
● The Saskatchewan Communicable Disease Manual has revised the definition of a close contact. A close contact is “Anyone who is not fully immunized and has had a close-range conversation with a case or has been in settings where a case engaged in singing, shouting or heavy breathing (e.g. exercise), without adhering to appropriate individual-level and setting-specific risk mitigation measures”.
● Close contacts to whom this definition applies would therefore need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of last exposure, and the communicable disease team will recommend testing. Because of the current vaccine eligibility criteria, persons between 5-11years of age are more likely to be considered close contacts when exposed to COVID-19 and thus require self-isolation.
We will be prepared to increase protective measures in individual schools or division-wide, as necessary to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 and will continue to follow the recommendations by the provincial government and Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).
If you have any questions regarding protective measures at your school, please contact your school administrator.