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COVID-19 Class Cancellation

Foothills School Division truly values parent partnerships in ensuring success and providing support for all of our children and youth.  Visit our Parent Learning Link.

Pandemics, like COVID-19, challenge the way people cope. During a pandemic it’s not uncommon to experience strong emotions and anxiety.  If you feel that you or your child are having a difficult time coping during this stressful period please contact:

Kids Help Phone Crisis Line: 1-800-668-6868
Connecteen: Call (24/7): 403-264-8336 Text (daily): 587-333-2724
AHS Toll free Crisis Line/Distress Centres – for 780 area code: 1-800-482-4357; for 403 area code: 1-800-784-2433
CMHA Distress line – 24/7: 780-482-4357
CMHA Rural Distress Line: 1-800-232-7288
 
For more information on talking with children about COVID 19 visit: 
The National Association for School Psychologists
The Centre for Disease Control  ​​​
Child Mind Institute

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UPDATE March 28, 2020

Foothills School Division received today new information from Alberta Education which will result in immediate operational changes.  We understand and respect the difficult decisions that our Provincial Government has made in these trying circumstances.

While funding for teachers and most other aspects of the K-12 system is being maintained, funding for transportation and some services not being utilized in an at-home learning environment, such as substitute teachers and educational assistants, is being temporarily reduced while in-person classes remain cancelled. Any savings from these adjustments will be re-allocated to support Alberta’s COVID-19 response.

These funding adjustments will not negatively impact Alberta’s education continuity plan. School authorities will receive the funding they require to continue providing at-home learning opportunities to their students, ensuring they do not fall behind.

“COVID-19 has changed both how we provide student learning, and the operational needs of the education system. I want to stress that this is a temporary arrangement as schools focus on at-home learning. I have full confidence the system will continue to be equipped to successfully deliver our education continuity plan.” says Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education.

Any staff impacted by these funding adjustments will qualify for the federal government’s enhanced employment insurance program and other support programs for Canadian workers.

Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19, including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools says, “We recognize and would like to highlight the incredible work all of our staff have accomplished since the announcement of class cancellations on March 15.  These new adjustments will have a significant impact on our team.  Staff impacted by these changes will be missed, this temporary staffing reduction in no way reflects the value of these roles and their contributions to our students and communities.  We look forward to reuniting with our team when schools reopen and classes resume.  FSD remains committed to the education continuity plan, learning will continue for students.”

 

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UPDATE March 16, 2020

Dear Foothills families,

We are committed to keeping you informed during these class cancellations.  We understand that these circumstances are difficult for many students and families.  We are actively working in collaboration with provincial partners to determine next steps in providing student learning.

Please consider the following:

  • Contact the school to make arrangements to pick up emergency medical supplies or equipment.  For all other items or personal belongings, please do not contact the school. Our staff are working on creating a staggered schedule in compliance with social distancing guidelines and will be providing these instructions in the coming days.
  • Foothills School Division, in collaboration with Alberta Education and other school jurisdictions across the province, are currently working to create learning plans for the foreseeable future.  We anticipate that we will be able to share more information regarding these learning plans with our families by Monday March 23, 2020.
  • Students and families are encouraged to review and engage in any recent learning activities that students were working on prior to classes being cancelled.
  • Schools are closed for students and parents.  Access is restricted.  Please do not arrive at the school without an appointment.
  • Contact 8-1-1 (Health Link) or your health care provider for questions about your personal health situation.

Superintendent Chris Fuzessy says, “We appreciate that these are extraordinary circumstances and want you to know that we will continue to partner with you in your child’s education.  It is my hope that by working together we can ensure that each learner will meet with success.  We are committed to keeping you informed as communication is key during rapidly changing times.”
 

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UPDATE: March 15, 2020

As communicated at 4:45 PM today, The Government of Alberta, Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Education announced that all K to 12 schools in Alberta will be cancelling classes effective immediately and for an indeterminate amount of time.

As a result all schools in the province, including Foothills School Division, will be closed to students from today Sunday, March 15, 2020 until further notice.  School and Division operations will continue and staff are expected to report to work on Monday March 16, 2020.   


We recognize the significant impact this will have on students, families, and staff. This precautionary measure is being taken to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our communities safe.

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools says, “We understand and respect that events like this can cause concern and many questions.  These steps are necessary to ensure our students, staff, and school communities remain safe and supported. We will work diligently to support our students and families despite class cancellations and will communicate the details of these plans as soon as possible.”

Larry Albrecht, Board Chair of Foothills School Division says, “We appreciate our communities working with us together to support students, families, and staff during these challenging times.  By working together we can create the safe learning environments necessary for our students to be successful.”

Our priority remains providing ongoing education to our students and ensuring their continued success for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We will work with our school leadership teams, teachers, and the entire FSD team to put these plans into effect.  We will communicate details to our FSD families and staff once they are available.

The Government of Alberta has indicated that “Every K-12 student will receive a final mark and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests, will be cancelled. At this time, diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.”

We continue to encourage all individuals to follow the advice of public health authorities and the federal government.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this time.

Sincerely,

Chris Fuzessy, Superintendent of Schools
Larry Albrecht, Board Chair