Westwood's Re-entry Plan
Westwood Community High School
(updated) October 30, 2020
Dear parents, families, students and staff,
Thank you for your patience as we have worked through the start up process for the 2020-2021 school year to safely return to in class learning. We know that there have been many adjustments to how school works this year, and we have really appreciated your cooperation and support in returning to Westwood. Our students have really shown their great character and understanding as they have worked with us to learn the new protocols and processes of what this school year looks like. Westwood has an incredible group of students and supportive families that we are so grateful to call our Westwood school community.
Safety remains our priority as we return to in-person classes under the near-normal circumstances, with added health and safety measures in place. We continue to ask for your understanding as we all navigate through what will be our “new normal”. We are making small tweaks to our processes as we seek out what needs to be improved, as new provincial guidelines and direction comes from AHS. Our procedures will be following provincial health requirements and recommendations to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while delivering robust learning experiences for our students. We have always valued our partnership with parents in delivering educational programming to our school community and we will continue to maintain a strong relationship. The Fort McMurray Public School Division has released the most up-to-date Re-Entry guidelines on their website on October 30th; please review this document for the overarching guidelines. In addition, here are some points to become aware of:
- We will require ALL students, staff and visitors to conduct daily health checks prior to entering the building. The COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire is linked here. If any staff or student answers “yes” to any of these questions, the person must stay home and use the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to determine whether a COVID-19 test is required.
- We will enforce a strict stay-at-home protocol for those feeling unwell. Please inform the office when/if your child will be staying at home due to illness.
- Physical distancing will be encouraged as much as possible. Please speak with your child about what 2 meters looks like and encourage their adherence to this expectation while entering the building and any movement throughout the building while inside.
- Masks will be required, where physical distancing is not possible. It is mandatory for all persons to wear a mask upon entry and movement throughout the building, as when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible. Two reusable masks per student will be provided to each student once they arrive at school on the first day. Students are encouraged to always have a backup mask with them in a ziplock bag in their backpack.
- There will be increased custodial services (cleaning and disinfecting) in our school.
- We have mapped out one-way directional patterns throughout the hallways. The staircases are marked as one directional.
- Students will be cohorted as much as possible for grade 7-9 students. They will remain in their “cohort classes'' for their core instruction and teachers will move to them. Students will move to their option class locations as required, while wearing masks and maintaining a physical distance throughout their movement.
- Students in grades 10-12 will physically rotate to their scheduled classes. Masks will be mandatory for all movement throughout the building, and physical distancing in a one-directional path.
- Strict hand hygiene will be required and instruction will be provided on proper instructions for mask use and proper hand hygiene care.
We also know that the COVID-19 circumstances may change in the weeks and months ahead, as we return to in-person classes and recognize that there may be adaptations that are required for the continuity of instruction for students. The FMPSD has made a substantial investment in video conferencing platforms, technology and staff training to support high quality instruction for learning in the classroom and online. We have taken steps to minimize the instructional disruption. If there is a need to shift to online learning throughout the year; we are prepared. You may get the most up to date information on our website and social media accounts.
There are still a significant number of textbooks that have not been returned from last year; if you have any at home, please return them to the school asap, as we are short on some.
Families can expect to see proofs of photos from LifeTouch during the first week of November. We have a NEW day scheduled for retakes, which is Nov. 18th, 2020.
If you need help accessing your PowerSchool Account, please call the main office for assistance. We strongly encourage all students and parents to ensure that their PowerSchool accounts are working properly, as that is where attendance, marks and report cards can be viewed by parents. Fees need to be paid directly through the Parent Portal through PowerSchool. Bus passes for future months will not be distributed to students without payment.
We know that not all students are able to return to the physical building due to health or personal circumstances. However, we are committed to still providing a robust learning experience for our families. Westwood will be the host school for E-Cademy+ learning for the 2020-2021 school year for high school students. Mrs. Heather Terry will be the Counselor in Student Services who will be assisting with this learning program for Westwood. I have been working closely with Mrs. Terry and the E-Cademy+ team of teachers to help to deliver a meaningful learning experience for our virtual learners. There is a section on our website under the parent tab that provides E-Cademy+ information.
Please be aware that this is an evolving plan, as circumstances change and develop. The FMPSD is going to be updating the division plan twice per month to keep our families as updated as possible; Westwood’s plan will also be updated twice per month. It will be on our website as well. In addition, please find a link to Frequently Asked Questions, which is also available on our website and the FMPSD website. You may also reference the Westwood High School Website for additional information. Please call the school should you have any questions or concerns. Follow us on Twitter @WWhighschool, Facebook and Instagram. We are very much looking forward to seeing you again.
Principal, Westwood Community High School
Parent Visits to School
We sincerely value our community and parent volunteers; unfortunately, we are not able to have volunteers enter the building at this time. We look forward to when we will be able to work physically together again.
At this time, we will ask that parents arrange for an appointment to enter the school to meet with a Student Services Counselors, a teacher or Administration.
All visitors will need to enter and exit through the main doors of the school and check in with the office, where you will need to sign in and out. People authorized to enter the building at this time are Canada Post, delivery and maintenance personnel as well as FMPSD staff.
If a parent needs to enter the building to pick up a sick child, that will be arranged through the office as needed. Please call the school when you arrive, before entering the building @ (780) 791-1986. The parent (or designated emergency contact) may only enter the building after completing the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire, sanitizing hands and if they are wearing a mask.
If a parent needs to drop off a lunch for their child, they can call the office ahead of time and procedures will be shared with the parent for entering the building. All health protocols must be followed (ie: screening questionnaire, wearing of a mask, and proper hand hygiene). There will be a table in the office to place the student’s lunch. The student will then be called to the office to pick it up. The student name must be clearly displayed on the bag/container. Unfortunately, office staff will not be able to provide you with pens to use. Parents must also indicate their name and phone number once they enter the office.
We look forward to starting up our School Council for the 2020-2021 school year; we will be meeting virtually.
Any parent that has a child at Westwood may be a part of our School Council. We encourage parents to be a part of this body. Please watch for emails and social media announcements for meeting dates and how to become involved in the School Council body.
Daily Screening for Illness, Protocols if a Student Becomes Ill (Updated)
Before coming to school each day, all staff and students must complete the Government of Alberta’s COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire to determine whether they can attend school or must stay home. The questionnaire is available in several languages on the website Screening Questionnaire, mul-languages.
If the answer is “Yes” to any of the questions, staff and students must stay home and use the COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool to determine whether a COVID-19 test is required.
Screening questionnaire forms do not need to be submitted to the school. The questionnaire is a tool to assess wellness prior to coming to school.
Stay home when sick
All students, staff and visitors who meet the following criteria must stay home as per Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines.
Adults over 18 are legally required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days if:
● they tested positive for COVID-19
● they have any core symptoms and have not been tested, and are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition. Core symptoms include:
○ shortness of breath
○ sore throat
○ runny nose
● quarantine for 14 days if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or if they travelled outside Canada
Children are required to isolate for at least 10 days or until symptoms are gone, whichever is longer, or until they test negative for COVID-19, if they have any of the following core symptoms:
● loss of taste or smell
● shortness of breath
Children under 18 stay home and monitor for 24 hours if they have one of the following symptoms:
● sore throat or painful swallowing
● runny nose or congestion
● feeling unwell or fague
● nausea, voming, diarrhea
● unexplained loss of appetite
● muscle or joint aches
● conjunctivitis (pink eye)
If the symptoms have improved after 24 hours, the child can return to school.
Should the symptoms worsen after 24 hours, or if additional symptoms emerge, or if the child has any two symptoms from the core COVID-19 list, they are to continue to stay home, and testng is recommended.
People unsure if they should self-isolate should self-assess using the COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool and contact Alberta Health Link at 8-1-1, or the public health unit to speak to a health professional.
For guided support in helping determine if children need to stay home, visit Alberta Health Services’ Guidance for Parents of Children Attending School and/or Childcare.
Illness at school
Anyone presenting core symptoms will need to leave the school. In addition:
● students who develop core symptoms at school will be asked to wear a non-medical mask and be isolated in a separate room or kept at least 2 metres away from others
● parents will be contacted to pick up their child immediately. All students must have an emergency contact on file for student pickup in the case that the parent/guardian is unable to do so
● once the student has been picked up, the infirmary will be sealed off until custodians can complete a thorough cleaning and sanitizing
- any items the symptomac person was in contact with will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected
Students and staff with pre-existing conditions
- People who have health issues (ie. allergies or chronic cough unrelated to COVID-19) and are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms should be tested once, according to the Alberta Health Services Guidance document; this will establish a baseline for people. If symptoms change or worsen, the person will need to leave the school, follow illness protocols, and have another COVID-19 test to determine if the symptoms are related to the pre-existing medical condition. If the test is negative, the person may return to school. Families can learn more about COVID-19 testng and book a test online through Alberta Health Services.
Drop off and Pick up
We recognize that there has been a significant increase in families who are dropping off or picking up their children.
We ask parents to enter the YMCA parking lot to drop off and also to pick up your student. The back half of the YMCA parking lot is reserved for WW student parking. Parents may park in a stall to drop off or pick up. We ask for your cooperation and patience with the volume of traffic flow to safely enter and exit. We ask that the staff parking lot not be used for drop off or pick up of students. The front bus lane will be closed during peak drop off (7:30 - 8:15a.m.) and pick up times (2:30 - 3:15p.m.), as it is a fire lane and must remain accessible for emergency vehicles. We ask that parents remain inside their vehicle throughout this process.
Tundra Drive is a main street and a bus stop designation. We kindly ask that parents who stop on Tundra Drive for drop off and pick up make sure to allow for busses to have access to their stops and that student safety remains as the top priority when travelling through this school zone.
We also ask that students who drive to school also park in the back YMCA parking lot, as this is designated for Westwood students. Please respect the signage for parking locations.
We have specific entrances designated for specific grades to enter the building, which will minimize the number of students entering at specific points, allowing for greater physical distancing to take place. The entrances are as follows:
- Grade 7 - Portable side entrance (past the picnic tables)
- Grade 8 - House C Entrance (Foods hallway)
- Grade 9 - Theatre Entrance
- Grade 10 - Theatre Entrance
- Grade 11 - Main WW Entrance (@ the Flag Pole)
- Grade 12 - YMCA FRONT Entrance (facing Tundra Drive)
*** Access to other parts of the YMCA is off limits at this time. There will be exceptions for teacher supervised transition to the gym.
Students will exit the building according to the area of the school that they are in for the last block of the day. This will minimize the traffic flow throughout the building for exiting safely, following social distancing and in a timely efficient manner.
- House A - Theatre doors or Front Doors
- House B - Theatre exit
- House C - House C or theatre
- Portables - Portable Side Door
- Streets - Theatre Doors or Front Doors
We will have limited space for students to gather in common areas, so we ask that students arrive as close to the school start time as possible (8:10am). Students will not be permitted to arrive early to socialize and gather with friends. Students will not need to go to their locker, so they can proceed directly to their first block class upon entry.
In the event that a student must arrive earlier than 8:05 (arriving on a bus for example), there will be allocated places for students to wait before entering their classrooms. If students arrive early, they will be asked to wait in the library or designated atrium areas in a social distancing way until they proceed to their classes. The school will not be accessible prior to 7:30 am. Students will also be expected to leave after school unless there is a scheduled meeting with a teacher (for extra help for example).
Students who are on spares will be asked to go to the library or to leave the building. There will not be an option to work in the hallways, YMCA or the cafeteria during spares.
Transportation & Bussing (Updated)
Bussing to Westwood is provided by the Wood Buffalo Transit Services. On their website you will find the School Transit Service information with bus routes, maps and schedules. The Westwood specific bus routes can be found here. Students will be expected to respect physical distancing while getting on and off the bus.
The RMWB has extended free bussing into the month of November! The cost of bussing is $41 per month. Any payments made in Power School will be carried over to a future month. Parents can pay monthly online through PowerSchool for bussing fees onward. The RMWB has announced that as of Aug. 31st, students in grades 4 to 12 will be required to wear a mask while taking public transit to and from school.
If a student drives to school, they are asked to park in the YMCA back parking lot to maximize parking availability and to encourage physical distancing. Please adhere to the parking signage posted in the parking lot. The front half of the parking lot (closest to the YMCA) is reserved for YMCA staff and members. The back half of the parking lot is for Westwood access.
Parents are directed to park in the YMCA parking lot to drop off and pick up their child to reduce traffic congestion in the front bus loop, which is also a fire lane. Adults who pick up students from school will be asked to stay in their vehicle and to maintain a safe physical distance between themselves and others.
The front bus loop will have accessibility closed during peak drop off (7:45 - 8:15 am.) and pick up times (2:30 - 3:00). The staff parking lot is also not permitted for drop off and pick up due to poor traffic flow.
Tundra Drive is a main street and the bus stop location; please do not use it as a waiting area to pick up students after school, as it needs to be accessible by city transit.
**Parents, please use the YMCA parking lot loop for drop off and pick up of students. We want to maintain the safety of our students, staff and families while also making this process as efficient as possible for all involved. We appreciate your cooperation.
Traffic Flow within the School
Students will have specific entrances and exits to the building.
Upon arrival, students will see hand sanitizing stations, mask wearing reminders (and other signage), as well as floor markings to indicate flow direction and 2 meter physical distance indicators. Students will be required to wear masks upon entry of the school.
If students are more than 15 minutes late (ie: 8:25 or later), they should enter through the front doors and check in at the office; this applies to all grades.
**All parents or authorized visitors MUST check in at the office and sign in, providing their name and phone number.
Main door entrances will only be utilized by grade 11 students, students who are late (passed 8:25 am) and authorized visitors such as Canada Post, delivery drivers and parents (with authorized entry). One door will be an entrance and two will be exit flowing doors. These are clearly marked by the tape and stickers on the floor. There is a hand sanitizing station set up in the front foyer.
Upon entering the building, there will be the option of taking a hard right turn to enter the main office. The office staff will ensure social distancing and start line-ups if necessary. After exiting the office through the second door they will cross the transition zone to put them on a path towards the pit area. To exit the building, one must follow the floor direction path around the ramp and then exit through the right hand side of the main entrance to exit.
After entering the building you have the option of taking a right turn into the Student Services hallway. This hallway is divided and will be a two way hallway. Tape and stickers mark the path. Student services will only be taking appointments and will monitor the entering and exiting to ensure there aren't traffic flow problems. This hallway will also be the entrance to the library and students will exit through the front of the library by the streets when they are finished.
The pit area is one large traffic circle with one way direction only. It will move counterclockwise allowing students to enter the gym streets area, cafeteria/portables, theatre streets or head back in the direction of the office and House C.
The gym streets will be entered and exited through the traffic circle at the pit. It is a large hallway that has been divided to allow for two way traffic. The stairs leading up to House A across from the trophy case will be an UP staircase only. Students/Staff will not be permitted to come down this stairwell.
The flow of access into the library will be a one way footpath. Students will enter the library from the Student Services hallway and exit through the main library door into the pit area. For textbook distribution, students will collect their textbooks from the library as a group during the first week of classes.
The ramp is not accessible for regular use; it will be reserved for people with physical mobility needs (Eg: students on crutches).
The Portables side entrance will be the entrance for grade 7 students. The portable hallway has been divided to allow for two way traffic. Upon entering the portables from the criteria students will be required to walk up the ramp in a one-way direction. When exiting the portables to go back to the cafeteria students will be required to use the small set of stairs. **Special exceptions of ramp use will be permitted for students requiring it.
The House C entrance is allocated for grade 8 students to enter the building.
Students will be able to go up the stairs to House B or through the House C entrance or through the House C hallway to access the routes to the rest of the school. The hallway from the theatre streets into House C will be used one way and allow only ENTRANCE from the theatre streets. The fish pond in the middle of House C will act as a traffic circle with the other two hallways being divided to allow for two way traffic. Exiting from House C to the school will only occur by the Robotics and Foods room. The parking lot doors in House C will also serve as an exit but only to entirely exit the school. The back House C stairwell will be earmarked as an UPWARD direction only.
The theatre entrance is allocated for grades 9 & 10 students to use for entry.
Staff will also enter through the theatre doors.
The theatre hallways (aka: streets) will be entered and exited through the traffic circle at the pit. It is a large hallway that has been divided to allow for two way traffic. The staircase coming down from House B in this hallway will be DOWN only. Students/Staff will not be permitted to go up this stairwell. The hallway leading into House C from the theatre streets is one way traffic and will only lead into House C. There will be no exit from House C into the theatre streets.
The YMCA is still closed.
Grade 12 students may enter the FRONT YMCA doors to make their way up the House A stairway (one direction only) or through the Student Services hallway to the rest of the school. Students will not have access to the YMCA at any time outside of entry into the building through the front entrance (although there will be exceptions for Physical Education classes, with a supervised teacher). Locker rooms, hallways, and YMCA facilities will NOT be accessible by students.
House A can only be entered through the YMCA side stairwell and the stairwell in the gym streets. The landing at the centre of the school for House A will be an EXIT only. All students with classes in House A will enter through one of the two UP staircases and upon completion of their class will exit through the centre landing and down the stairs by the main office. There is an automatic water filling station in House A.
House B can be entered through the staircase by the main entrance and the staircase in House C by the parking lot. House B will act as a large traffic circle and students will be able to exit through the staircase down into the theatre streets or through the landing and going down the staircase closest to House A by the main entrance.
The cafeteria will have a two way walkway to be able to access the portables and to get back to the main part of the school. After exiting the cafeteria into the Pit area students will have to use the traffic circle and go around by the Art Room. There will be NO food service in the cafeteria and there will be no microwaves accessible to students. There is an automatic water filling station in the cafeteria. The cafeteria will be off limits for students to gather, visit or have their spare. Seating in this space will be inaccessible until COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
Students will use the exit doors closest to their classroom at the end of the day to exit the building, always maintaining a 2 meter distance in a one-directional path.
FYI - the doors will be sanitized and cleaned several times throughout the day.
- If the student is in House A, they will exit down the one way path through the stairway into the streets by the gym OR the upstairs landing and exit either out the front doors or the theatre doors. THE YMCA staircase will not be accessible to exit, as the staircase is an upward directional traffic flow only.
- If the student is in House B, they will exit down the stairway to the theatre doors. The House C staircase is an upward flowing traffic staircase only, and will not be used as an exit.
- If the student is in House C, they will exit through the House C exit.
- If the student is in the Main Street area, they will exit through the theatre doors or front doors
- If the student is in the Portables, they will exit through the Portables side exit doors.
Please keep in mind that these are for regular day pathways. For emergency exits, we will follow the predetermined pathways as outlined in classroom fire evacuation routes. As always, we will have practice drills.
If students would like to stay after school to work with a teacher, they may do so with prior arrangements.
** Students will not be permitted to stay in the school at the end of the day; they will need to leave the building as soon as the student-teacher meeting is over. There will not be spaces for students to hang out after school.
Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing Stations
There are hand sanitizing stations at every entrance to the building, as well as every entrance to each classroom. Students will be expected to follow hand hygiene practices upon entry to the building AS WELL AS entry to the classroom. There will be specific instructions for students for appropriate hand hygiene practices.
Students will be expected to use these upon EVERY entry and exit, before and after any classroom group work and also before and after eating. We also encourage students to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use.
**There are also some classrooms equipped with sinks, so added hand washing stations are available there.
All students will be expected to wash their hands with soap and water after using the restrooms and follow a 2 metre physical distance for entering and exiting those spaces. Plexiglass dividers are also installed to separate the spaces between urinals and sinks in washrooms.
Student Belongings (Updated)
We recognize that the winter months are upon us and students wish to have a secure place to store their personal items, namely winter coats and boots. We also need to balance maintaining safety measures for our students and staff. We have one way paths for walkways throughout the school; locker accessibility should not interfere with student movement at class change time or lunch time. Lockers will be an additional touch point, so we will be allowing access to lockers under specific conditions and asking that students and parents sign a contract of usage.
In early November, we will be starting to assign lockers to those that wish to use one, under some very specific conditions. Here is a link to the Student Locker Access During COVID-19 Conditions. Students may store their coats and boots in the locker, accessing it at two main points of access throughout the day. Students may store their textbooks in lockers as well, however, students will not be permitted to access the locker throughout the day (other than to get their coat).
We do ask that students carry their daily materials, lunch and supplies with them throughout the day.
Please do not bring valuables that may be lost or left behind. A student is welcome to bring their own device to school; however, they must be able to bring it with them from class to class and be mindful of all of their belongings as they move throughout the building.
If a student leaves for lunch, they may access their coat, but lunchtime is not a time that students will be permitted to go to their locker otherwise. Students should have all of their daily supplies with them in their backpacks, including their lunch and such.
Teachers will be working with students to let them know in advance if their textbooks are needed for the next day’s class. We will not be storing textbooks in classrooms to reduce the touching of books.
** Locker usage can be revoked if the conditions deem it necessary or if students are not complying with the outlined expectations of usage.
Locker rooms will continue to not be accessible to change for gym class. If a student is enrolled in Physical Education class, they will outside as much as possible and will rotate the use of the gym and outside. Students will be required to bring inside shoes to use in the gym when they are scheduled there. Teachers will give students notice of inside or outside class the day before. Students should wear clothes to school that are consistent with appropriate use for movement in PE class if they are enrolled in such as class. Students will be assigned a classroom for every PE class. They will meet in the classroom for attendance and then transition to their PE class location after attendance has been taken. Their belongings will be stored and LOCKED inside that classroom while they transition to the gym or outside. No one else will have access to that locked room while they are away. At the end of the class, the group will return to the classroom to gather their belongings before they are dismissed.
Recess, Lunch, Transitions
Westwood will be a closed campus for grades 7 & 8.
Lunch time is 11:28 - 12:10 (42 minutes).
This means that students are not permitted to leave campus.
Students will also not be permitted to share food or water bottles.
Grade 7 & 8 students will eat their lunch in their 2nd block class, after literacy. There will be a schedule for outside access during lunch.
- Grade 7s will eat in their block 2/literacy classroom. They will eat first and then be permitted to go outside (Portable exit/entrance) for the last half of their lunch time (11:50 - 12:05).
- Grade 8s will be permitted to go outside from 11:30 - 11:45 (House C exit/entrance) first and then return to their classroom to eat from 11:45 - 12:05
If students do not wish to go outside, they will remain in their classroom for the duration of their lunch. Students will be expected to use the hallways as a transition place only, and will not be permitted to stop and visit with friends during this time. We recognize that this will be an adjustment. We do appreciate your support in speaking with your child to understand the safety needs for this requirement. We will be taking these steps to decrease the risk of transmission as students transition throughout the building.
Breaks - One big adjustment for grade 7s will be the transition from ‘recess in grade 6’ to ‘break in grade 7’. There is a scheduled 10 minute break for our grade 7 & 8 students in the morning and a 9 minute break in the afternoon. This will be time for students to transition if they need to move to an option class. Students will be permitted to visit the washroom as needed throughout the day, as to avoid a rush to use this space during break times. Teachers will also be exercising opportunities to take the learning environment outside as much as possible to offer diversity in the physical environment.
Westwood will be an open campus for grades 9 - 12.
Lunch time is 11:27 - 12:02 (35 minutes).
This means that students will be permitted to leave campus during their lunch breaks. If a student becomes ill while away at lunch, they are not to return to the building, but to contact their parents and make arrangements to stay at home. There will be an expectation that students will leave or stay, rather than going in and out multiple times during lunch time.
***There are strict guidelines about eating protocols, including proper hand hygiene before and after eating. As such, food will not be permitted during class time. Students will be provided with lunch time to eat. If students leave to purchase lunch, they will have two choices:
- leave for the duration of the tutorial and lunch time, and return for block three having eaten their lunch.
- They may leave after the tutorial is over (@ 11:27) to go pick up food and return to their second block class to eat. They will need to eat their lunch before block 3 starts. Students will not be permitted to eat in the classroom in block 3.
**Students will not be permitted to bring lunch for other students, or share their food in any way.
Breaks - There is a scheduled 7 minute break between classes in the morning and another 7 minute break between classes in the afternoon. Students will NOT be permitted to access their lockers during these breaks. Students will not be going to lockers, so there should be ample time to transition to the next class. Students will be expected to use the hallways as a transition place only, and will not be permitted to stop and visit with friends during this time. We recognize that this will be an adjustment. We do appreciate your support in speaking with your child to understand the safety needs for this requirement. We will be taking these steps to decrease the risk of transmission as students transition throughout the building. Teachers will also be exercising opportunities to bring the learning environment outside as much as possible to offer diversity in the classroom environment throughout the day.
Student Spaces for In Class and Learning Activities
Physical distancing can be a challenge for students, and will be a large adjustment for returning to classes in the school setting.
- Classrooms will have desks spaced as far as absolutely possible within the space provided.
- Seating students at desks or tables that do not directly face each other
- Students will be expected to wear masks when 2 meter distancing is not possible. Students should keep a spare mask in a ziplock baggie, in such a case that they will need a backup mask.
- Staff will be expected to wear masks as well. Some staff may also choose to wear an additional face shield, if they so choose.
- Seating plans will be implemented in each class.
- Students will be expected to keep their belongings with them in their backpacks at their desk and with them as they move throughout the building. Lockers continue to be unavailable at this time.
- Additional plexiglass shields are in place where physical distancing is challenging (eg; art room).
- Junior high classes (more than half of the school population) will have minimal movement throughout the building, limiting the number of people who are transitioning in the hallways between classes.
- If there is group work, or areas that require multiple touch points, students will be asked to sanitize their hands directly before and after the group work (eg: lab).
- Seating will be unavailable from the common areas, such as the cafeteria and streets.
- We will not be hosting large gathering events, such as assemblies at this time.
- We will be taking advantage of outdoor learning spaces whenever opportunities are appropriate.
- Physical Education classes will take place outside as much as possible (weather permitting).
- Extracurricular activities involving physical activity and sport have started.
Provincial assessments UPDATED
FMPSD has made the decision not to administer the Grade 6 and 9 Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) for the 2020-2021 school year. Grade 12 Diploma Exams are optional for the November sitting and at this time are required for all other sittings. High school students enrolled in diploma courses through the E-Cademy+ program fall under the same guidelines noted above. Exams continue to count as 30% of the student's final diploma course mark.
Course Specific Information at Westwood
Classes that teach food preparation may occur as long as students follow general precautions, such as ensuring hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, wearing non-medical face masks, maintaining 2 meters physical distancing and avoiding handling common or shared serving utensils or cookware. Any food preparation during a class that teaches food preparation should be served by a designated person. Students should follow physical distancing measures while eating and during food preparation.
Music at Westwood 2020-2021
Band at Westwood will look a bit different this year as a result of COVID-19. We feel it is important for our student’s physical and mental health to still be allowed to participate in music if they choose to do so. As a result of this we will continue to offer the following programs to our students:
- Instrumental Music (Junior High and Senior High)
- Choral Music (Junior High and Senior High)
There will be some different protocols that will have to be followed in order to follow the health and safety guidelines set forth by the Government of Alberta in the Guidance for Live Instrumental Music and Guidance for Singing and Vocal Performance documents (linked).
For all Westwood Band and Choir Classes
- Our Music Leadership Group will meet once a week at lunch (Thursdays starting in November).
- Students must bring their own lunch.
- Students will remain distanced but able to discuss aspects of the program that may benefit from their perspective
- Where to store instruments aside from lockers
- Protocols for the instrument storage room
- Social activities (we have some instruments and parts we can utilize for crafts and fundraising and can make our own bell covers
- Team-building and future-planning
- We will continue to monitor the local COVID conditions to make any determination about jump-starting band and choir activities prior to February or potential concerts that might happen outdoors at the end of the year.
- Attendance at all activities will be taken and kept for the duration of the school year for contact tracing purposes.
- Students will be required to go through the screening questionnaire that they do each morning AGAIN before rehearsals and meetings.
- Hand hygiene will be practiced as they enter the practice area, upon using any equipment for the first time and as students leave the practice area.
- Only music staff and students will be permitted in the rehearsal area (with the exception of administration.
- There will be a Google Classroom for both courses.
- All students will need to exit the building upon completion of the rehearsal. Students will not be permitted to linger and socialize.
- There will be no fundraising markets this year.
- No uniforms will be distributed.
- There will be no travel this year.
- Students will be given the opportunity to purchase optional music department hoodies as in previous years. Hoodies are not mandatory.
- The number of participants in each group will be limited to 28 students.
Instrumental Music Specific Protocols
- No sharing of instruments will be allowed
- A student’s first choice of instrument will have to last the entire year – cannot switch mid-year as has previously been allowed.
- Students who had instruments last year will be given the same instrument – they have been quarantined this entire time so are safe to return.
- Bell covers must be utilized.
- Masks must be worn when not playing
- At least 2m distance must be maintained between musicians (3 meters for trombones)
- All equipment (chair, stand) must be sanitized before being put away
- Students must look after their own equipment (chair, stand, instrument and case)
- Students must have their own materials (sheet music, reeds, supplies, etc.). No sharing.
- Students may play for 30 minutes than must take a 10 minute break to allow for aerosols to clear the rehearsal space
Choir Specific Protocols
- Students will meet Tuesdays afterschool in the Theatre.
- Directional signage to enter and exit must be followed.
- Students must wear a mask when singing.
- At least 2m distance must be maintained between singers as well as being staggered (not in straight lines)
- Students must have their own materials (music, folders, etc.). There will be no sharing of materials.
- Students must look after their own equipment (chair, stand, instrument and case).
- All equipment (chair, stand) must be sanitized before being put away.
- Students may play for 30 minutes than must take a 10 minute break to allow for aerosols to clear the rehearsal space
- Because the program is truncated this year, choir will operate as a club this year instead of a class. No credits will be given for students in grades 10, 11, or 12. We anticipate this will be back to normal for 2021-2022.
Athletics at Westwood 2020-2021
Athletics at Westwood will look a bit different this year as a result of COVID-19. We feel it is important for our student’s physical and mental health to still be allowed to participate in sport if they so choose to. As a result of this we will continue to offer the following programs to our student athletes.
- Cross Country (Junior High and Senior High)
- Volleyball (Junior High and Senior High)
- Basketball (Junior High and Senior High)
- Curling (Senior High)
- Badminton (Junior High and Senior High)
- Soccer (Junior High and Senior High)
- Rugby (Senior High)
- Track and Field (Junior High and Senior High)
- Golf (Junior High and Senior High) **season moved to spring if possible
There will be some different protocols that will have to be followed in order to follow the health and safety guidelines set forth by the Government of Alberta in the Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Guidance document. To view this document click here.
For all Westwood Athletics
- Practices will be permitted starting September 28 for all fall season sports. No competition between schools will take place before the end of October. We will continue to monitor the local COVID conditions to make any determination before competing against other schools.
- Attendance at all practices will be taken and kept for the duration of the school year for contact tracing purposes.
- Student athletes will be required to go through the screening questionnaire that they do each morning AGAIN before practices.
- Change room access will be limited so student athletes will be asked to come prepared for practice. If this is not possible, the change room will be provided on a one at a time basis.
- Hand hygiene will be practiced as they enter the practice area, upon using any equipment for the first time and as they leave the practice area.
- Only coaching staff and student athletes will be permitted in the practice and game area (with the exception of administration and live-streaming personnelle).
- We will be trying to limit group meetings throughout the season and instead will have a google classroom for each of the teams in order to better communicate with each other.
- All student athletes will need to exit the building upon completion of the practice. Students will not be permitted to hang around post practice and socialize.
- For any potential competitions there will be no spectators permitted. All games will be live streamed and available to watch online. If there are students or families that are not comfortable with live-streaming, please contact Mr. Upper with your concerns.
For sports that students are not able to maintain distancing, we will be required to follow the sport cohorting model. Sport cohorts can consist of a maximum of 50 people including coaches. Sport Cohorting at Westwood will be required for volleyball, basketball and soccer. Teams within a cohort can change midway through a season, provided there is a 14 day break period where no inter-school competition takes place. We cannot limit the number of sport cohorts a student participates in, but the Government of Alberta has recommended that families consider the number of cohorts they allow their children to partake in.
Senior High Specific Details
At this time we are unable to travel for sport due to COVID-19 restrictions. The earliest the ASAA is considering hosting any zone competitions or provincial competitions is January 2021. We are permitted to have competitions with other schools. If it is a sport that we cannot maintain distance from our opponents, the competition would have to fall into the cohort model. We are decreasing the number of practice days for our senior high athletes, while increasing the duration of their practices so they still have time to develop. Limiting the practices allows for better contact tracing.
Junior High Specific Details
For junior high athletics that require close contact we will be following more of a house league model of play. We will be cohorting the students together in an after school group. During this time they will spend some time developing fundamentals of sport, as well as participating in simulated game play. We are hoping there may be the possibility later in the season to narrow this group down to a few teams and compete in one finalizing tournament.
Student athletes can wear masks when they are not engaging in intense physical activity. Masks should not be worn during intense physical activity. Masks and face shields cannot be assured to stay in place. There is some evidence to suggest that wearing a mask during high intensity activity could have negative health effects.
Students will keep masks on going to the practice area or gymnasium and during any instructional times. Once moderate to high intensity activities begin they can remove their mask. It will need to be put back on to leave the building. Coaches during practices can take it off if they can maintain distance or they are participating in moderate to high intensity physical activity.
During competition players are to keep their masks on until they are beginning to be physically active. If a player is on the bench and has not yet been active, they are to remain with their mask on. Coaches should be masked during competition unless they maintain distance.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding athletics at Westwood this year don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Upper at the school (780-791-1986) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Supports
While there are many students who are excited to return to school, there are others who are feeling anxious about the process. Our goal is to support students through physical and emotional safety as they participate in the re-entry process. You may find a variety of Wellness Supports on the FMPSD website, where you can utilize available resources or make a direct request for specific support.
Westwood Student Services counselling supports:
- Mrs. Carla Joseph, LAC and grade 7 & 8 Counselor, email@example.com
- Mrs. Heather Terry, ELL Coordinator and grade 10 & 11 Counselor, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mrs. Christine Tulk, ADLC Liaison and Grade 9 & 12 Counselor, email@example.com
- Mrs. Pam Power, Mental Health Therapist (referral only)
- Mrs. Katie McGaghey, Mental Health Therapist (referral only)
Staff emails can be found on the Westwood website under the Staff Directory. Please reach out to teachers or grade specific counselors staff with any questions that you may have. You may contact the main office by calling (780)791-1986.