COVID-19 Parent Letter, November 26th, 2020
We hope this letter finds you and your families well. As the COVID-19 situation changes in the province, we are updating protocols in schools throughout Prairie South and wanted to take the opportunity to communicate with you today.
There has been a change in direction provincially related to mask protocol in schools. Beginning Monday, November 30th all students and staff in Prairie South will need to be masked at all times when they are in school or on the school bus unless they are eating or drinking. This isn’t a significant change for some of our students, however this will be the first time that masks are required in all situations for PreK to 3 students and for all students while in the gymnasium. We have attached the updated mask protocol for your review. This protocol will be in place until the Christmas break, and we will re-evaluate this in time for the start of school in 2021.
To date we have had 19 positive cases in total in our schools and we’ve had some parent inquiries about what the process looks like when we have a positive case. When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID, we receive notice from Public Health at the school and school division at the same time. The school principal and superintendent work together to provide contact tracing documentation to Public Health, and staff from the Saskatchewan Health Authority begin to contact parents of students who might be considered close contacts. The classroom teacher is interviewed by Public Health and will provide information about mask compliance and student movement in the classroom.
When a positive case is identified, there are 4 ways that parents might receive information:
- If your child is determined to be a close contact and needs to self-isolate for a period of time, you will be called by Public Health directly.
- Depending on the cohort, other students may be designated as contacts, and will also need to self-isolate. When a student is identified as a contact, the school will notify parents.
- Parents with children in the same cohort(s) as the positive case are notified by letter from Prairie South that a case has been identified in that cohort.
- All parents in the school will receive a general letter from the school principal.
Everyone in Saskatchewan is currently self-monitoring, so the only people who need to do something different are those who are COVID positive or those who are identified as contacts or close contacts. We have learned that every instance is unique in some way, but this general process has happened consistently in the cases we have had until now.
We know this has been a stressful time for families and staff but a break for Christmas is just over the horizon. We’ll figure out 2021 together when it arrives!
Director of Education
Chair, Board of Education