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Community News

Re-opening Plan for the 2020/21 School Year

todayAugust 11, 2020 109

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Planning for Re-opening

 Schools will reopen for teachers and staff on September 3, 2020, with students returning on September 8, 2020. While Manitoba is targeting a return to in-class learning for all in the fall, Fisher River Board of Education (FRBOE) has started to prepare for the following scenarios.

  1. In-class learning resumes for all, with near-normal conditions.
  2. In-class learning resumes with additional public health measures.
  3. Remote learning from home, with limited use of school facilities.

Planning considerations and conditions of preparedness are based on Provincial recommendations outlined in Welcoming Our Students Back: Restoring Safe Schools prior to the start of school.  The purpose of this document is to facilitate communication between the FRBOE and community.  The FRBOE will consider and implement Public Health orders and recommendations to ensure planning is clear and effective and addresses public health requirements and educational priorities.
FRBOE will ensure that the priority is the health and safety of all staff, students, and community members. Measures outlined in the following plan will attempt to prevent misinformation and educate about the protocols for safe learning.  We must note that even with these precautions and preventative measures we cannot control the actions of individuals who may have been in contact with any type of illness or disease.
In addition to public health guidelines and the recommendations from Manitoba Education, the FRBOE will be under the direction of local orders issued from the Fisher River Cree Nation Chief and Council and the Fisher River Health Centre.
Our primary focus is to effectively communicate our plan for the education of our children in a way that is safe and considers all of the recommendations and orders from varying levels of government and health. We want our return to school plan to inform staff, parents, and community members in a clear and concise manner.  Although we cannot predict the future course of the pandemic we want everyone to know and understand that these plans are evolving and will continue to change as the day-to-day situation changes in our world.

Planning Considerations

 Public Health Orders and Guidance

  • FRBOE will continually monitor all provincial and local health orders to ensure that our plans evolve to meet any new or changing situations. These changes may directly affect the delivery method of education for our children.
  • FRBOE will need the understanding and support of parents in the implementation of education plans. The support of community leadership will also be an integral part of the ongoing plans.
  • FRBOE will engage parents and guardians on how they see their children returning to school. Any parent or guardian is welcome to submit any recommendations or suggestions, in writing, to the education office.
  • FRBOE will communicate all plans with staff, parents, students, and community members via social media, community website, and mail out information. We will also look at doing radio announcements in the future.

School Plans General
FRBOE is proposing different return to school plans for each of the schools. This is being done to ensure that students at the different levels are aware of and practice effective physical distancing and personal health protocols.  Each of the school reopening plans are outlined in general below.
There will be extensive planning at the school level in regards to instruction.  There are many considerations to be incorporated into the plans for instructional purposes.  Teachers will be required to do instructional plans for different delivery methods and will require additional preparation time.
The decision for children to physically attend school or not to physically attend school lies at the discretion of parents and guardians. In instances where parents are not comfortable with their children physically attending school, teachers will require time to plan and develop materials for students learning at home.  Parents will be required to pick up these materials from the schools on a regularly scheduled basis.
Parents and general public will not be allowed to enter the schools or educational facilities without a prearranged appointment or schedule. In the event of an emergency, the parent must wait outside the building until an administrator screens and accompanies them to a specific area.
Extra-curricular activities will be postponed until further notice.  This includes all afterschool sports, clubs, and work sessions. School sports may resume after recommendation to do so from the Minister of Education is presented to the Board of Education and Chief & Council.
One of the focuses of this plan is to limit the interactions of large groups of students. Students in the classrooms setting should be limited and not interacting with other classes of students.  In the case of transmission, we need to monitor or trace contact among staff and students.
All staff, students, and parents/guardians will be required to wear masks provided upon entry to the schools. These reusable masks will be cleaned and sanitized daily. This will be on an ongoing basis until further notice.
School Plans – Charles Sinclair School
Students who attend Charles Sinclair School will be on a gradual return to school plan following scenario 2 recommendations. Students at the elementary school level will need to be taught to follow physical distancing measures, hand washing procedures, and healthy living practices.  The specific details of the gradual return to school plan are outlined as follows:

  • Each of the elementary classes will be divided into two groups. Each group will attend school on alternating days Monday to Thursday. Friday will be preparation, development, and review days for school staff. This part of the return to work plan will be for the month of September and may be extended as required.
  • The next step will be merging both groups Monday to Thursday, which would be in line with scenario 1 from Manitoba Education. Close monitoring of the public health and local orders may prevent this stage of return to school planning.
  • Regular classes Monday to Friday may begin starting in as early as November pending the review of the status of the pandemic.
  • Specialty areas will need to be phased in as the situation with the pandemic improves. Physical education, computer classes, and library will need to be planned in alternative manners.
  • Recess times will be scheduled at different times and teachers and education assistants will do their own recess supervision.
  • The initial focus of instruction will be on the core subjects.

School Plans – Fisher River High School
Students who attend Fisher River High School will be on a near normal return to school plan following strict protocols for physical distancing and hand washing. Staff and students will need to follow strict protocols for returning to school.

  • Classes will be kept to a maximum of 12 students in each class. This phased in plan for high school will require student to attend on an alternating schedule with the majority of classes being divided into two. Homework will be an essential part of this phased in approach. The first phase will be for the month of September, but may be extended if needed.
  • Although classes are returning somewhat to normal, some classes may not be able to run as normal. Specialty areas programming may be changed to accommodate physical distancing and health orders. Plans for these classes will be relayed to the students and parents at the onset of school.
  • A schedule for the teachers to supervise the same group of students in the specific areas will need to be established.

Screening – Staff
All school staff will be screened upon entry into the schools. This will entail a questionnaire and temperature being taken.  A record of the employees travels and potential contacts will be recorded. Staff who have a temperature of 38° Celsius or higher will be sent home for the day.
Staff who exhibit signs of illness in the form of flu-like symptoms will be sent home for the remainder of the day. In the event a staff member is ill, they may need to self-isolate under the direction of a doctor. The length of the isolation will be determined by current public or local orders. (see Enhanced Staff Screening below.)
Screening – Students
 All students will be screened upon entry into the schools. This will be a temperature screening and students who have a temperature of 38° Celsius or higher will be sent home for the day.
Students who exhibit signs of illness in the form of flu-like symptoms will be sent home for the remainder of the day. In the event a student is ill, they may need to self-isolate under the direction of a health care professional. The length of the isolation will be determined by current public or local orders.
Students who are sent home due to an elevated temperature or symptoms of illness will be given an excused absence due to covid-19. A doctors note will be required if a student is expected to self-isolate for more than two days.
Screening – Parents/Guardians
All parents and guardians will be screened prior to entry into the school. This will be a questionnaire and temperature screening. Any parent or guardian with an unfavourable response in the questionnaire or a temperature of 38° Celsius or higher will not be allowed into school facilities or buildings.
Visitors are not permitted in the schools until further notice.
School Transportation
FRBOE will be following the recommendations provide by the Pupil Transportation Board in Manitoba. These recommendations may restrict the number of students allowed to ride the bus at one time. We will need to finalize plans closer to the start of the school year.  Currently we are considering the following:

  • We are looking at modifying our buses to accommodate 1 student per seat. More than one student per seat may be considered in the case of siblings.
  • Multiple pickups and drop offs may be considered if restrictions remain in place. We may need to stagger the start and end times for one of the schools if we need multiple pick up and drop offs.

FRBOE would like to ask all parents who have a vehicle to provide transportation for their own children to and from school to ease the amount of students requiring bus transportation.  This would be until we resume normal transportation procedures.

Blended Learning
For students who may not be able to attend, due to health reasons or because of parent choice not to physically attend, materials from the teacher will be provided.  Parents and guardians will be required to pick up materials in these instances.
Should there be a lockdown initiated as a result of the reoccurrence of the pandemic, the FRBOE will look to provide alternative learning, utilizing technology. This may require the purchase of lap top computers, or other devices for students to utilize in the home.

  • Teachers will prepare learning materials and videos for students to utilize and view in an online learning environment.
  • Zoom or google classroom can be used for families that have internet connectivity.
  • FRBOE will engage with the Fisher River Chief and Council to secure funding and avenues to support online learning.
  • FRBOE staff will receive professional development in the delivery of online teaching, and the development of computerized learning materials for students.
  • Reproduced materials will need to be utilized when online materials are not available.
  • All work provided will be returned and graded before additional work is provided.

Personal Risk Factors
 As already outlined, considerations will be made for staff and students who may face personal risk factors or medical conditions. FRBOE will make every effort to accommodate staff but may not be able to meet the conditions of all employees.
Employees may need to seek support through the short-term disability provided by our service provider. This will be up to the employee to enact and to fulfill the application requirements.
Student accommodations will be made to ensure learning continues.
Recovery Learning
FRBOE understands that many students have or may not have engaged in the learning packages provided previously. As a result plans for recovery learning have started.  FRBOE teachers and staff have planned to recover learning that was interrupted because of the closure due to the pandemic. This will be done by:

  • Visiting the missed learning outcomes from the previous grade and developing grade group plans to address the gap in learning.
  • Planning coordinated learning lessons in grade groups. This means teachers in the same grade will teach the same learning outcomes at the same time.

Additional Questions
FRBOE understands that there are going to be a number of questions that may come to light on any given day with the developments in the pandemic. All students, parents, and community members are asked to submit any questions or suggestions in writing to school administration and or to the education office. A separate tracking system will be in place to ensure that questions are addressed.
Cleaning Procedures
FRBOE will ensure that there is a strict guide for cleaning.  It is going to be the responsibility of all the employees to ensure that proper handwashing, sanitizing, and cleaning processes are strictly adhered to, with:

  • Regular cleaning schedules will need to be establish for all areas including: buses, classrooms, hallways, offices, high contact areas, washrooms.
  • The supervisors in each of the areas will establish daily cleaning checklists to be approved by the Director of Education for implementation prior to the start of the school year.

Breakfast and Lunch Programs
Initially these programs will need to be delivered in the classroom setting. Teachers and education assistants will need to supervise their own classrooms for breakfast and lunch periods.
Cafeteria staff will need to develop menus that can be transported to classrooms for in-class sales.
Personal Well-being
 FRBOE recognizes that we have been in a time that has created anxiety, worry, fear, and uncertainty. This has taken its toll on the socio emotional health of our students, staff, and parents.  Our school staff will work with community organizations to promote personal well-being that addresses the physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health of the students, staff, and parents. Specific school plans will be created to meet the needs at the appropriate age level of the children.
Resources – Information related to Covid-19 and safety procedures.
Covid-19 Information Manitoba
Government of Manitoba Public Health Orders
Key Responsibilities of Employees, Managers, and Employers,a%20role%20to%20play%20in%20reducing%20the%20risk
Social (Physical) Distancing Guidelines
Transportation Guidelines
Covid-19 Resources
Mental Health Resources
Use of Facemasks
Isolation and Self-monitoring
Self-Isolation (Quarantine) & Self-Monitoring For Returning Travellers and Contacts of Cases
Guidelines on Supporting Students Who Require Interventions or Supports that Cannot be Delivered from a Distance
Enhance Staff Screening
Public Service Announcement Cree – Covid-19
Shared Health Posters
Spiritual Practices Covid-19
Learning Resources for Educators
Staff/Parents Questionnaire
Risk Assessment: Initial Screening Questions

  1. Do you, other members of your household, or your child attending the program, have any of the below symptoms:


  • Fever >38°C or subjective fever YES      NO
  • Cough YES      NO
  • Sore throat YES      NO
  • Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing YES      NO
  • Runny nose YES      NO

*Note: Other symptoms such as muscle aches, fatigue, headache, loss of smell, diarrhea may be present in addition to respiratory symptoms

  1. Have you been in contact in the last 14 days with someone that is confirmed to have COVID-19?

YES      NO

  1. Have you had laboratory exposure while working directly with specimens known to contain COVID-19?

YES      NO

  1. Have you travelled outside Manitoba in the last 14 days, excluding personal travel to border communities?

YES      NO

  1. Have you been in a large group setting in Manitoba in the last 14 days where someone has been confirmed to have COVID- 19, such as a flight, or a large meeting or event?

YES      NO

  1. Have you had close contact (face-to-face contact within 2 meters/6 feet) with someone who is ill with respiratory symptoms?

YES      NO
If you have any questions please e-mail [email protected]
Thank you!

Written by: fisherriver

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Fisher River Cree Nation is a community in which our history, language, traditions, and culture are paramount to who we are as a people. We will protect and maintain the spirit and intent of the treaties and our inherent rights. Fisher River will be a self-sustaining progressive community with a strong and accountable government. We will provide an environment where all people are healthy, safe, and respected.