Welcome back to another school year. We are looking forward to seeing our schools full of our amazing students, staff and families. First day of school is on Monday, August 30 with staggered entry featuring grades 1 and 7 only.
Yes, this means only students in these grades attend school. August 31 is for grades 2, 8 and 9, while ECDP, K, (staggered over two days) 3, 4, 10, and 11 attend on September 1, and September 2 is for ECDP, K, 5, 6, and 12. Students return to school together on September 7 following the Labour Day long weekend.
This year, masks are highly recommended as per provincial guidelines. However, masks are required by students and staff on school buses. Staff at FMPSD are carefully monitoring Alberta Health Services recommendations and our local community context and are prepared to shift our preventative practice guidelines as required.
Studies have shown that some responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the closure of schools to in-person learning and cancellation of extra-curricular events, led to a deterioration in children and youth mental health. It is important to consider the negative impacts of measures when looking at a population that has shown to be at lower risk of severe outcomes.
Hence, all restrictions/guidance pertaining to school activities from last year have been lifted at the moment. Schools may continue with these activities as they normally would. These include activities and services such as, but not limited to:
- Field trips
- Performance activities
- Physical activities
- Diploma exams
- Provincial Achievement Tests
- Food services
- Student transportation
- Work experience
- Ceremonies and celebratory events
Lockers, food services, and water fountains are also permitted as per Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines.
FMPSD’s 2021-2022 school re-entry plan with details can be found here.
“We are working hard to continue to ensure our students and staff remain healthy and safe. Thanks to our diligent Operations & Maintenance department, and our amazing custodians, FMPSD will continue with enhanced cleaning practices daily. Our admin teams will ensure that hand sanitizers and hand washing posters will be in all schools. All FMPSD buildings will close daily at 8:30 p.m., with no entry on Sundays so the facilities can rest and be readied for the new week. Together, we will continue to be vigilant, and keep the safety of our FMPSD Family at the forefront,” noted Jennifer Turner, Superintendent, FMPSD.
Like past vaccines administered in schools, namely Measles, Mumps, Rubella, HPV, and Chickenpox, AHS is now indicating that the vaccination program will also make the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA COVID vaccination available for eligible students (those born in 2009) and staff.
Please note, this is a voluntary program. Parent/Guardian letters and consent forms will be sent home the first day of school by school messenger.
Unlike the start of the pandemic, AHS Public Health will not inform school authorities or administrators of individual cases of COVID-19 within the school setting.
However, individuals who test positive for COVID or have core COVID symptoms are required to isolate. FMPSD encourages all students and staff to do the daily check-list found here.
Here’s to a healthy and safe start-up. Together, we can continue to navigate this fluid situation.
For more information, visit fmpsdschools.ca, and our social media @FMPSD – on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.