March 16, 2020 - 10 a.m.
I know many of you have questions about the class cancellations announced late yesterday afternoon and I want you to know that we are committed to getting you those answers as quickly as possible.
On Saturday morning, division leadership participated in a conference call with other school division leadership from across the province, Alberta Education and Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. We reviewed guidelines for schools that had been developed to address the spread of COVID-19. This included standards for cleaning, handwashing and social distancing in schools, amongst other things.
We spent time after the conference call, and on Sunday, preparing to implement the recommendations on Monday and developing updates to share with our staff and families. As has been our practice, we wanted to wait until the province’s daily news conference was held so that our communication included information that was as up-to-date as possible. It was at that time that we found out, along with the rest of the province, that classes would be cancelled and schools closed to students immediately.
Today we will be seeking further clarification from Alberta Education about what the cancellation of classes means for our students and our staff. We will also be meeting at the division and school levels to develop plans for the next few days and to start looking at longer term plans as well.
We do not have a clear idea of what the next few days, weeks or months will look like, but as we confirm information and our plans are developed, we will share that information with you. Please monitor your email and check our website (nlpsab.ca) and Facebook page (@nlpsab) for updates.
I realize many of you are anxious about what this means for your children and their learning and I want to assure you that we are committed to doing what we can to minimize the impact on student learning as much as we can while adhering to protocols and direction provided by Alberta Education.
We deeply appreciate all of the support we have received over the last few days. This is a difficult situation and we value your cooperation, understanding and empathy.
Northern Lights Public Schools
March 15, 2020 - 3 p.m.
Dear Parents, Staff and Students of Northern Lights Public Schools,
I wanted to take the opportunity, before the new school week starts, to personally thank all of you for your patience and cooperation as we deal with the impact the global COVID-19 pandemic is having on our schools and communities.
The last week has been challenging for students, staff and parents throughout Northern Lights Public Schools and we know we will be facing more challenges in the weeks ahead. What I want you to know is that the health and safety of our students continues to be one of our top priorities. All of the decisions we will make in the coming hours and days will be focused on how to maintain safe and healthy school environments for our students so they can continue to learn and participate in the opportunities provided to them by our schools.
Communication will be key over the next few weeks as we continue to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. This is a complex and evolving situation so at times our communication may be lengthy, however, we feel it is necessary for our stakeholders to have as much information as possible so you can make informed decisions for the health and wellbeing of yourselves and your families.
We will be sending out additional information soon about what steps we will be taking over the next few days to address the global COVID-19 pandemic. If you have not been receiving our emails, please contact your child’s school to confirm your contact information. During times like these, it is critical that the information provided to your children’s school is up to date.
I know this is a very stressful and sometimes frustrating time for parents and I appreciate the support that has been shown to our schools and our staff during this time. Getting through the next few weeks will require all of us to work together, support each other, and, most importantly, support our children and students. It is important that we maintain a calm and caring environment and minimize the anxiety our students will undoubtedly be experiencing. Part of that is making sure we also take care of ourselves and the people around us.
Please watch for further updates to be provided and if you have questions, please contact your child’s school.