How to prepare for back to school this year

As the world navigates COVID-19, many changes and updates have been made to schools. In preparation for back to school, here are details from the latest Calgary Board of Education (CBE) plan announced mid-August.

Masks will be required for staff and students 

Students from kindergarten to grade 12, as well as CBE staff, will be required to wear masks in public schools. In addition to mandatory masks while in schools, they will be required on Calgary Transit or on yellow school buses as well. The Government of Alberta will be supplying all students and staff with two reusable cloth masks, and disposable ones will be available if any students forget theirs. It’s advised that families purchase additional masks for their kids.

We are working on mask guidelines including support for students and staff who are unable to wear a mask due to medical conditions or other needs. When staff and students take breaks for wearing a mask, it will be important for other measures to be adhered to like physical distancing, hand hygiene, and sanitizing surfaces. [CBE]

Specific school entry plans are available 

Continue to monitor the CBE website and communications surrounding updates, as they are coming regularly as back to school time is fast approaching. Details on specific safety measures for schools are outlined on this CBE page.

Increased safety measures 

Every public school in Calgary will receive a kit that includes items to better support physical distancing including acrylic barriers, social distancing floor decals, tape and public safety posters. Schools will also be equipped with reusable cloth masks, nitrile gloves, face shields, sanitizer and various other items to keep staff and students safe during the pandemic.

We are hiring additional temporary custodial staff to maintain the additional cleaning requirements. The number of custodial staff in schools will be increased by 240 temporary full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. This will ensure that high touch point cleaning in schools can be conducted while also maintaining the regular school cleaning standard. Staffing is underway with the objective of having additional staff in schools by the first day of school. [CBE]

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to keep up with CBE updates as September nears. A lot of information is available on the CBE website and they are updating parents and students as frequently as possible. If you have kids returning (or starting) to school this fall, we wish you health and safety and a stress-free transition.