How We Try to Keep You Informed During the Pandemic

January 20, 2021 -- 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 identifying potential close contacts in the school. This work is done in consultation with and confirmed by Public Health.

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 may need to do.

  3. School staff and division office staff telephone all confirmed 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.? This work is the responsibility of Regina Public Schools staff.

  4. Once close contacts and staff have been called and informed, communication with the school community, the public and the news media is completed.

    • If there is a need to immediately contact all school families for their health and safety, or to announce the closing of a school or program, a recording and a set of text messages will be made and telephoned to the entire school community.

    • In the past, these messages were sent every time there was a case in a school. As of January 2021, these messages will only be used to quickly inform school families if they need to be informed of a change in school attendance or routine.

    • In the event that telephone and/or text messages are made to close-contact students and/or families, the message will clearly identify if it is a close contact call or an information-only call.

    • In every case of COVID-19 at a school, school families will be notified by letter, usually on the same day or by the next school day.

    • Close contacts and affected classes get one letter with instructions for self-isolation or self-monitoring. All school families will receive an informational letter.

  5. If there are any close contacts at a school, following direct communication with those families, the school division will post information on the school’s website.

  6. 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.

  7. The school division’s Twitter account is also used to inform families, the public and, after business hours and on weekends, the news media.

  8. Usually by the next school day, the school division will inform all school division employees.

There has been a lot of speculation why sometimes schools are closed, why sometimes it is only a classroom and why, at other times, learning continues as normal. 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 and follow Public Health direction, but keep the classroom open. If there were many close contacts in one or several classrooms, we may 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 temporary 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. Sometimes, however, the number of close contacts is too large, challenging our ability to operate the school. At those times, the school may close and students would go to temporary remote learning.

Things to keep in mind

You may get a telephone call or text from Regina Public Schools even if you do not have a child in an identified school or any school.  In rare cases, this is an error. Most likely, if you do get called or texted, you have been made an emergency contact by someone else – a relative, a friend or a neighbour. If you get these calls and you are not an emergency contact, please contact your local school or email; provide your name and phone number and we will try to fix it.

If you do have a child in a school but do not 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 during the pandemic and 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 continues to evolve. We appreciate your patience and your ongoing support!

Survey time!

January 14, 2021--Your Board of Education and school division would like to know your thoughts about the recent temporary remote learning in which all students participated, before and after the holiday break.

We are asking parents, guardians, students and employees to participate in a voluntary, anonymous and confidential survey. Deadline for completing the survey is January 29, 2021.

A summary of the survey results will be on the Regina Public Schools website, when available.

Surveys were sent home from all schools on January 14, 2021. The survey link is available here.

Attached here is the letter that went home to school families.

Welcome Back

JANUARY 5, 2021 -- Welcome back to all staff and students. Temporary remote learning has begun for all elementary, high school and eSchool students. Schools will reopen for in-class learning for elementary and high school students on Monday, January 11, 2021.

The school division office is now open for regular business hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:25 p.m. Monday to Friday. All visitors to the school division office or to schools are asked to please follow instructions posted on every building entrance, including using the QR code for potential future contact tracing. All visitors must also  wear masks and use the hand sanitizer available at every entrance.

COVID Identified, Parents Called

December 14, 2020 – the Saskatchewan Health Authority informed us that there was one case of COVID-19 in an individual at Ruth Pawson School.

For the safety of students and staff, and in consultation with Public Health, we have informed all close contacts and provided them information about self-isolation.

Information letters will be sent to families on December 15. 

Please remember that remote learning began for all students at Regina Public Schools on December 14 and will continue until December 18th. The scheduled holiday break is from December 21 until January 1, 2021. Remote learning will resume on January 4 and continue until January 8, 2021. In-class learning resumes on January 11, 2021.

If there are any additional close contacts at the school, they will be contacted directly by Public Health. A close contact is someone who has been within two metres (six feet) of someone for a cumulative 15 minutes. 

If any staff, student or school family members show any symptoms, they should please stay home and contact Healthline 811. Symptoms are described here.

For more information about the process Regina Public Schools follows when there is a case of COVID-19 in our schools, please read this on our web site.

Board Season's Greetings

DECEMBER 11, 2020 -- The Regina Board of Education has made a video wishing all Regina Public Schools employees season’s greetings. When you have a moment, please take the time to view the heartfelt messages from our trustees.

This video is also a great opportunity for parents/caregivers, students and the public to be further introduced to the new Board members. It is worth the watch! Subtitles are included in the video for the benefit of all viewers.

Board Season’s Greetings Video