Wolf Creek Public Schools welcomes students back

Wolf Creek Public Schools welcomes students back

Opinion

This new school year shapes up to be like none we have ever experienced before. Many students have not seen their friends and certainly their teachers since March, when in-school learning was shut down due to the initial spread of COVID-19. We know there is a level of excitement and nervousness as this school year begins. And, of course, there are many changes in Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS), as our staff at the district and school level have worked over the summer months to prepare for the return to in-class learning.

The most important first step to the new school year for students, staff and families is a daily self-health check each morning. If students or staff have any symptoms of COVID-19 or feel ill they need to stay home from school. That is just one of the changes that has been put in place to help keep everyone safe and healthy and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

In mid-August, we shared the Wolf Creek District Re-Entry Plan, outlining the guidelines for our schools that would help keep schools safe and healthy, while preserving an in-school learning environment that students are familiar with. The District plan is overarching in scope, and outlines enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of schools, increased janitorial hours throughout the school day, continued hand sanitizing and washing, the provincial requirement for masks in students in grades 4-12 (when physical distancing isn’t possible) and optional masking for students in Pre-K to Grade 3.

Because we know there are still families who may not be ready to return to in-person classes, the WCPS plan provided information on learning options. Those options are in-class learning, a locally administered, parent-led Virtual Learning Program, staffed by Wolf Creek teachers, and information around homeschool options outside the jurisdiction. Additionally, schools began finalizing their plans to communicate to families, outlining school specific measures such as locker use, drop and pick up locations, staggered arrival and dismissal, class cohorting, and lunch and recess breaks to name a few.

To best answer questions related to school re-entry, we hosted a very successful and widely viewed Virtual Town Hall, where we collected more than 200 email questions and via our WCPS YouTube channel answered as many questions as we could. We want to thank everyone who sent in questions and watched the Virtual Town Hall, and encourage those who weren’t able to tune in live to watch the video on our website at wolfcreek.ab.ca. Of course, if you continue to have questions, please reach out to your local school and to the District, and continue to visit the many school re-entry and COVID-19 resources on the District website and linked on your Wolf Creek school site. Your questions not only help your family, but they help us better communicate with all Wolf Creek families.

To get a better sense of where families were on their decision to return to in-class learning, we sent a survey out in August. We received 3,694 responses, and of those nearly 80 per cent indicated they are planning on returning their children to the school classroom. Please accept our sincere gratitude for all those who participated in the survey; the results are encouraging and helped us be better prepared for the school year.

It is a unique time for us all. There are many changes in stores, public places and as mentioned in schools. But we trust in the professionalism and passion of our staff, the resiliency and enthusiasm of our students and the patience and understanding of our school families and communities. This is a time that is made better through continued cooperation. We are ready for the school year to begin; welcome back.

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Most Read