Temporary Remote Learning Announced

DECEMBER 7, 2020 -- Regina Public Schools is announcing that all schools will move to temporary remote learning. Effective December 14, 2020, all Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in all elementary and high school classes will move from in-class learning to remote learning, and will return to in-class learning on January 11, 2021.

All Regina Public Schools staff will continue to work safely in schools and offices. Teachers and school-based staff will provide ongoing online learning coursework and resources for all students to continue their learning for the weeks of December 14th and January 4th, with the scheduled holiday break taking place from December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

The decision, locally made by Regina Public Schools, to move to remote learning for all students is a proactive intervention to ensure safe continued learning for students, for the health of all student and employee families, and for the ongoing business continuity of the School Division and its schools.

Regina Public Schools hopes to avoid a prolonged move to Level 4 remote learning across the division and in all schools by taking this proactive intervention, by adding one week of remote learning to either side of the scheduled holiday break. Provisions have been made to allow high school students to complete Quint 2 classes before December 18th and for all elementary students to continue their learning during that period.

As of December 7, 2020, Regina Public Schools has seen:

  • 63 student and 26 staff COVID-19 positive cases
  • 39 (out of 57) schools affected
  • 56 classrooms closed
  • 8 elementary schools closed, 1 collegiate closed
  • More than 8,422 employee absence days so far this year (24% more than at this point in a typical year)
  • More than 1,100 employee absence days due to quarantine leave
  • Chronic shortfall of replacement staff due to more employee absences and a reduced pool of available substitute staff
  • Growing anxiety and other mental health challenges to all employees and students

Safe operation of schools requires an appropriate number of adults in the buildings. Teachers, support staff, administrators and facilities staff are all essential to student safety. Increased employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 and our inability to fill those absences is challenging the ability of school staff to keep students safe.

Business continuity is an important element of this proactive intervention. By reducing the number of people in all schools and buildings and allowing for more physical distancing, the fear and anxiety of becoming exposed to COVID-19 at work may be minimized. Taking these temporary measures will ensure that students will continue with uninterrupted learning. Also weighed in the decision were the following key benefits:

  • Teachers and all employees can continue to teach and work without disruption. Currently, the impact of one school-based student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 can affect multiple people in a school. This proactive intervention can help ensure that a single case will not disrupt and affect the learning and working of many others.
  • Students can learn from home without the fear of exposure to COVID-19 at school or of exposing others.
  • High school students can complete Quint 2 and be ready for Quint 3 in January.
  • As a measured action to reduce in-school risk, this proactive intervention may allow all schools and buildings to reopen and in-class learning to resume on January 11th.
  • Attempt to reduce possibility of a long-term School Division-wide move to Level 4 described in COVID-19 Response Plan.
  • The School Division will continue to provide supports for vulnerable students, such as community food programs and the provision of devices for students that need them to learn remotely.

The Regina Board of Education supports this move to a proactive intervention. Currently, more than 1,000 families have had to plan, almost overnight, for their children to learn from home when a classroom or school is closed. It is hoped that this plan provides families the peace of mind that students will continue their learning and will not get sick at school or be identified as a close contact and have to be quarantined from their loved ones over the holiday period.

This is a summary of the schedule for all students of Regina Public Schools for Monday, December 14, 2020 to Monday, January 11, 2021:

December 7 to 11, 2020

In-class learning

December 14 to 18, 2020

Remote learning – students will learn from home and staff will work in schools

December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021

Scheduled December break – no school for students

January 4 to 8, 2021

 

Remote learning – students will learn from home and staff will work in schools

January 11, 2021

In-class learning resumes

eSchool Learning

DECEMBER 3, 2020 – Updated -- Regina Public Schools is now providing remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. eSchool – Regina Public Schools Online Learning is for students who require an alternative way of learning outside of a school classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courses are for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students and are specifically designed for learning in an online environment. Each online course will be taught by a teacher who will provide learning resources, activities, assessment, and opportunities for interaction. Because online learning is facilitated through the internet, course materials and activities will be accessible to Regina Public Schools students as long as a student is currently registered at a Regina public school and has a device and internet connectivity. However, some learning is also designed to take place offline, in part to avoid excessive screen time. eSchool is administered by Regina Public Schools and there will be no cost to our school families.

Kindergarten to Grade 8 curriculum is available. High school core credits are available; high school elective credits will be offered based on need. Intensive Support programming will be offered. Elementary French Immersion programming may be available based on student need and available resources.

Students who register for eSchool will be required to commit to remote learning for a designated time frame. Part-time enrolment is not available. Students will have opportunities to return to their home school at natural transition times during the school year (end of reporting periods).

General registration for eSchool is facilitated through students’ home school.

To register for eSchool:

Elementary eSchool Registration and Deadlines

As of November 5, 2020, all new eSchool students must follow the below process to register for eSchool:

  1. Contact home school to discuss transition from in-person classroom to eSchool.
  2. Parents/guardians and students will collaborate with home school administration to facilitate a referral to eSchool.
  3. Home school administration will share eSchool registration form with students and parents/guardians.
  4. eSchool administration will be notified of application by home school administration.
  5. Students will be contacted by eSchool staff to arrange for registration.

This process will take 7 to 14 days to complete as students need to be transferred and enrolled in the online environment. Please call your home school for more information. 

Elementary eSchool registration will re-open January 25, 2021 and close February 2, 2021.

The registration of an elementary student in eSchool reflects the commitment from a student and their caregivers to remain at eSchool until March 8, 2021.

Future Elementary eSchool enrolment dates

The final elementary eSchool registration dates for the 2020-21 school year will be open from March 8 to 19, 2021.

High School eSchool

As of November 5, 2020, all students interested in registering for eSchool must follow the process below:

  1. Contact home school to discuss transition from in-person classroom to eSchool.
  2. Parents/guardians and students will collaborate with home school to facilitate a referral to eSchool.
  3. Home school administration will share eSchool registration form with students and parents/guardians.
  4. ESchool staff will contact student to arrange for registration.
  5. Note for Regina Public high schools have differing Quint schedules: eSchool staff will make every effort to offer students the classes in which they are currently registered at their home school. While every attempt will be made to offer the same classes, eSchool cannot guarantee that all classes will be offered each Quint.
  6. New registrations for Quint 3 will be accepted:
      1. Between December 7 and December 14, 2020. All registrations submitted by December 14, 2020 will begin classes on January 4, 2021.

and

      1. Between January 4 and 6, 2021. All registrations submitted by January 6, 2021 will begin classes by the January 13, 2021.
  1. Registration will close January 6, 2021. No new registrations will occur after this date.
  2. Registration dates for Quint 4 will be announced at a later date. 

*The registration of a high school student in eSchool reflects the commitment from a student and their caregivers to remain at eSchool until the end of Quint 3. 

This process will take four to seven days to complete as students need to be transferred and enrolled in the online environment. Please call your home school for more information.

If you have any questions, please email eschool@rbe.sk.ca

For information relating to Home-Based Education, please click here.

New Board Chair and Vice-Chair

The Organizational Meeting of the Regina Board of Education was held on November 17, 2020. Mr. Adam Hicks was declared elected by acclamation to the office of Chairperson, and Ms. Tara Molson was declared elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson, both effective immediately.

In addition, the Board adopted the following motion:

That, during the period December 2020 to September 2021, regular meetings of the Board be held on the following days:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020      Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021        Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tuesday, February 9, 2021        Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Tuesday, March 2, 2021            Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tuesday, March 23, 2021          Tuesday, September 7, 2021

commencing at 5:30 p.m., to be held at the Regina Public School Board Office, 1600 4th Avenue, Regina, unless otherwise scheduled by resolution; and that the 2021 Organizational Meeting be held on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at 5:30 p.m., in the Regina Public School Board Office, 1600 4th Avenue, Regina.

More information about the newly elected and re-elected trustees and the subdivisions they serve, meeting agendas and meeting minutes can be found at https://www.reginapublicschools.ca/board_meetings.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, ongoing health and safety protocols, and until further notice, meetings of the Regina Board of Education will be closed to the public. They are, however, live streamed and recorded for public viewing. To see the board proceedings from the November 17th meeting, to watch previously held meetings or to watch any future meeting, please visit https://www.reginapublicschools.ca/watch_board_meetings.

A Message from Saskatchewan's Education Partners

NOVEMBER 17, 2020 -- Please click on the letter below to read an important message from the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO), Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) and Saskatchewan League of Educational Administrators, Directors & Superintendents (LEADS), requesting that we all do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Regina Public Schools is an active member of each one of these Saskatchewan education sector organizations.

Open Letter from Saskatchewan’s Education Partners

How We Try to Keep You Informed During the Pandemic

NOVEMBER 12, 2020 -- Ever wondered what happens when there is a case of COVID-19 at a school? A lot of work goes on behind the scenes. After the notification from Public Health, it usually begins with school division and school-based administration doing contact tracing. What is contact tracing? We are trying to find out where the staff member, or student, was on the day that they were contagious. Were they in one classroom or several? Did they go throughout the school or stay in one office? How close did they sit or stand to others and for how long?

Once that has been determined, the school division springs into action. This could be during the school day, at night or on weekends or holidays. To keep all employees and families informed, we follow these steps:

  1. We are informed by Public Health.
  2. We call all school staff and inform them of the specifics and what they need to do, if anything.
  3. School staff and division office staff telephone all close contacts and provide them with the information they need to know. For instance, do they need to quarantine for 14 days? Do they need to self-monitor, etc.? In most cases, this work is done by the school division, not Public Health.
  4. Once close contacts and staff have been called and informed, a recording is made by the school division office. This recording, and related texts, are informational only. They serve to inform school families about what is happening. These messages usually note that close contacts will be called directly. This informational, recorded phone call is not the close-contact call.
  5. In a rare case that the recorded message goes out before the close-contact telephone call, it may be for the following reasons:
    • School must be closed and informing all school families is first concern;
    • Not all close contacts can be immediately identified.
  6. Following the recorded message, the school division will post information on the school’s web site.
  7. The school division will then inform Regina-area news media who help inform school families and the public. We are grateful for their support and assistance.
  8. The school division’s Twitter account is also used to inform families, the public and, after business hours and on weekends, the news media.
  9. All school division staff are informed.
  10. Usually on the next school day, letters go home to families...one letter to the whole school informing them of a case (or cases) of COVID-19; and a more specific letter with instructions goes to the affected class(es). Both these letters are written in consultation with Public Health.

There has been a lot of speculation why sometimes schools are closed, why sometimes it is only a classroom and why, at other times, nothing is closed. It is all about the close contacts. If the individual who has COVID-19 was out of the school while contagious, nothing needs to be done; we just inform school families. If that individual was in one classroom and there were several contacts, we will inform them but keep the classroom open. If there were many close contacts in one or several classrooms, we must close the classrooms and switch to remote learning for up to 14 days.  

Why do whole schools close?

If there are many close contacts and the potential for further infection is possible, or the disruption to learning is too significant, we will close the school and go to remote learning. The other situation may be that many staff members are close contacts and the school cannot operate without an appropriate number of employees.

We can bring in substitute teachers, educational assistants, facilities staff, administrators and even temporary principals, but sometimes the number of close contacts is too large, and for the safety of students and staff. At those times, the school must close and students go to remote learning.

A couple of things to keep in mind. You may not have a child in an identified school or any school, but you still get contacted. In rare cases, that is an error. Most likely, you have been made an emergency contact by someone else...a relative, a friend or a neighbour. If you get these calls, please contact your local school or info@rbe.sk.ca; provide your name and phone number and we will try to fix it.

If you do have a child in a school but don’t get informed, then you are not on our parent/guardian contact list and should be. Please call your local school. They can also help get you set up to get text messaging. These messages are important, not only during the pandemic but also when other important information needs to go out, such as an incident at a school or a cancellation in busing.

Regina Public Schools employees are working hard to create a learning and working environment that is as safe as possible for students and staff. We are also striving to keep our school families well-informed and prepared, even on weekends and holidays. The process we follow isn’t perfect and it continues to evolve. We appreciate your patience and your ongoing support!

New Mask Requirements

NOVEMBER 5, 2020 – Effective Monday, November 9, 2020, all Regina Public Schools students from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 will be required to wear a non-medical  mask in school and on school buses. This change comes at a time when all schools and the school division are working to focus on limiting health risks to students and staff and to minimize disruptions to student learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please read the letter to all parents and guardians from Director of Education Greg Enion. It explains the background and the rationale for this decision.

We have also updated a number of documents to reflect this change. This is a great time to review these documents below.

If you have any questions, please direct them to your school principal.

Re-open Plan

Return-to-School Parent Handbook

Return-to-School Safety Plan Poster