Questions and answers from the Heritage Heights Parent Association Back to School Survey, as answered by Glenn Gibson, Principal.
Heritage Heights Parent Association
School Relaunch Survey
Questions & Answers
Please note that these responses are as accurate as can provided as they have been answered prior to fully discussing all aspects of our relaunch plan with all staff. While these are as accurate as of August 12th, 2020 they may be tweaked over the coming days.
Q - Will classroom sizes be limited in any way?
A - There will be no limit to the class size as there is limited funding to support this. However, staff have been working to reduce clutter and non-essential furniture in classrooms to maintain or increase physical space for students.
Q - Will there be staggered start times for classes in the morning and dismissal times? What will outside break time look like?
A - Yes, we will need to stagger our break time. More details will be ironed out when staff is available after the holidays. Plans may include limiting the number of classrooms outside and asking grades to play in certain areas of the field.
Q - How many of our classrooms are unable to maintain a 2m distance between desks?
A - This depends heavily on the number of students choosing to attend classes, however with 25 students, spacing is possible in many of our classrooms. While not perfect, we will utilize other spaces where possible or outside to promote distancing as well as physical barriers. Proper hand-washing protocols do seem to have the greatest impact on reducing the spread.
Hand Hygiene, Cleaning & Disinfecting
Q - Is there going to be the option of purchasing extra hand sanitizer or cleaning products (i.e. Lysol wipes) through the school? Have they been able to source the supplies on a large scale?
A - Unfortunately, we cannot supply additional hand sanitizer and wipes for home use. Our head of facilities has secured enough for school use with the advanced hygiene requirements.
Q - How are the teachers are going to work with the kids in school to support the change in habits and infection prevention practices in a supportive, kind environment. How will exposures at school be communicated?
A - As with any new initiative or safety protocol, our staff will pull upon their understanding of trauma informed practices to ensure students understand the requirements for advanced hygiene practices at a developmentally appropriate level. Alberta Health will be involved if there are any known cases in our schools and will take the lead on contact tracing and classroom or school closures if required.
Q - My kids have noted repeatedly that the washrooms are "not clean" during the day. What will the washroom cleaning protocol be going forward? Also, in many stores and fast food restaurants, only one person can enter the washroom at a time. Will this be the case at school?
A - All surfaces will be disinfected thoroughly at the end of each school day. During the school day, high touch surfaces will be wiped down regularly both by teaching staff and custodial staff. FSD is requiring a full daytime custodian in all buildings, the details are still being finalized. At this time, we are not limiting student access to washrooms, but students will be reminded to maintain distancing and a mask will be required.
Q - It seems like it would be very difficult to have kids washing hands as often as is required in the guideline. Has the school looked into portable hand washing stations to avoid sending 500 kids to the washrooms to wash their hands several times throughout the day?
A - Hand washing is best; however, we do have limited access to sinks. Currently the school division is examining the purchase and use of portable hand-washing stations but has not made a decision yet. Bathroom schedules for hand washing and use of hallway sinks will support proper hand-washing, in between, hand sanitizer will be available to all students at multiple points around the building.
Q - Please give examples of "high touch points" that will be cleaned throughout the day. Who will do this cleaning and how will it be verified that it's completed?
A - Cleanliness is a high priority to all members of our teaching and custodial staff. We all take pride in ensuring cleanliness. High-touch surfaces include, door handles, taps, etc. If they are in communal areas, our daytime custodian will wipe down frequently as per required cleaning checklists. All surfaces and high touch points will be given a deep clean after students have left the building. FSD is requiring a full daytime custodian in all buildings, the details are still being finalized.