ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - Extended Winter Break & COVID-19 Impacts on Grasslands Schools

event Published 2022-01-03T03:05:17.290Z

On December 30, 2021 the Province of Alberta announced that all students in Alberta public schools
would have their winter break extended to January 10, 2022. All students in Grasslands, Pre-K to
Grade 12 will not attend school the week of January 3rd-7th, 2022. This is an additional week of
vacation for our students.

This extra week was provided to school divisions to prepare our schools for the presence of the
Omicron, COVID-19 variant which is highly transmissible. We are using this additional time to ensure
that all of our existing COVID-19 protocols are revisited. At this time Alberta Education has indicated
that January 10th will be the date your students begin attending in-person classes again. There is,
however, a possibility that in person classes may not resume and we encourage families to use this
time to create back-up plans for their children. This time also allows our teachers and school
administration time to prepare for any shifts to at-home learning.

When your students return to in-person classes on January 10, 2022 there are a few things we ask
you to keep in mind.

1) All existing COVID-19 protocols will still be in place and enhanced. This includes masking
requirements for all students on buses, masking guidelines for students in grades 4-12,
enhanced cleaning and cohorting. Updated guidelines will continue to be bolded in the
Grasslands Return to School Plan.
2) Rapid tests and new masks are being shipped to school divisions for distribution to students
and staff. We cannot guarantee that these will have arrived from the province to Grasslands
for the first day back at school but would like to assure you that as soon as they arrive, we
will work diligently to get these out to our schools and into the hands of families who wish to
receive them.
3) Please be prepared for temporary shifts to at-home learning to occur should staffing levels
become impacted by illness. It is the expectation from the province, as well as from
Grasslands that teachers are prepared for this. Parents will also need to be prepared for their
students to be at home on short notice.
4) All school athletics and extra-curricular activities are paused until January 10th or further
notice. This is a directive from the provincial government while students are on their
extended break.
5) A reminder that students aged 5-12, or students ages 12 and older who are not fully
vaccinated, and who have travelled outside of Canada during the break, are subject to the
updated Federal isolation guidelines which include a school-exclusion period. This may
impact your student’s ability to attend school. Please let your child’s teacher know if they will
be unable to attend school once in-person classes resume on January 10th.

We recognize that this announcement brings with it additional stressors for many of our families. We
will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Thank-you for your
continued patience, understanding and support as we navigate this pandemic.

Scott Brandt