The province has announced a 30-day state of emergency beginning at 4 p.m. on March 20, 2020, to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
To learn more about what this move means, please visit the provincial website.
Provincial officials are describing this as a proactive response to slow the spread and minimize the COVID-19 impact on our health care system and in our communities. We are following the Minister's directive and providing regular instruction this week and preparing for the two weeks when classes are suspended. Home-based learning experiences will be made available in time for March 23, 2020. Learn more about our educational plan during COVID-19 here. Schools will be open March 16-20, 2020 and classes will be held as usual.
We understand there are concerns and questions surrounding COVID-19 and its possible impact on our community. The health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is at the core of all decisions. Our leaders have been closely monitoring the situation, since it first began developing. Pembina Trails School Division has a plan prepared, and our leaders are working with Manitoba Education and the province’s team of health professionals in order to ensure that appropriate actions and preventative measures are in place.
As you may already know, the first presumptive cases of the virus have been confirmed in Manitoba. The Public Health Agency of Canada is still assessing the risk associated with this virus as low for the general population.
What this means for staff
Teachers will continue to be on the job, creating learning plans and using the tools provided by the division or other available sources. This new world of teaching apart from the kids may be done remotely, including from home.
Pembina Trails is following the recommendations set out by the province, and moving forward with a work-from-home option for many of our non-teaching staff during the time classes are suspended. We ask employees to connect with their direct supervisors regarding exceptions and expectations. As always, we are committed to supporting student learning.
Steps we are taking
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living is recommending a number of proactive measures, including social distancing, to help our communities stay healthy.
Here are a few of the proactive measures Pembina Trails has put in place:
•All schools have been directed to postpone large assemblies and gatherings of students and staff until further notice
• Our trained cleaning staff have been and will continue to use a disinfectant, approved by the World Health Organization. Increased attention will be paid to hard surfaces, doorknobs, etc.
•Buses will be thoroughly disinfected after every route
• All field trips are cancelled until further notice
• All permits to use school space have been canceled until further notice
• All sporting, arts and programming, such as Kindergarten Here We Come, have been canceled until further notice
•Regular and proper hand washing will be encouraged for all in Pembina Trails
• Staff and students are asked to stay home when sick to avoid spreading illness to others
We encourage families to take a moment and visit Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living's website for current information and additional recommended precautions.
As always, if your child is feeling unwell, please keep them at home. Parents and guardians with questions and or concerns regarding their children’s attendance are asked to contact the school directly. With parental permission, the absence is informed (excused) during the week of March 16, 2020. There will be no academic repercussions for missing school during this time.
We are following the Minister's directive and providing regular instruction during the week of March 16-20, 2020. Our educators are also preparing for the two weeks when classes are suspended. Home-based learning experiences will be made available in time for March 23, 2020. Learn more here.
Like many school divisions, we have been carefully following Covid-19 travel advice and advisories set out by the Government of Canada. Out of an abundance of caution, all in or out of province school trips are cancelled at least until the end of April. We believe in the rich opportunities that travel can provide, yet understand that this situation is fluid. The health and safety of our students always comes first.
Students and staff returning from international travel, including the US
We recognize many families travel during spring break. The province is currently recommending Manitobans to consider avoiding non-essential trips. The provincial health website has more information and advice for those who do make the decision to travel.
As of March 15, 2020, any students or staff who have returned to Winnipeg from out of country travel, including by land, are asked to follow the province's recommendation of 14-day self-quarantine. This also applies to daycares.
For our staff in this position, we are not requiring medical notes. We are asking for open and honest communication, so that people entering our workplaces are doing so in a safe manner. Please inform your school or supervisor ASAP.
This includes all casual employees such as lunch monitors, substitute staff of every employee group and regular employees. We understand that is can be hard to stay home if unwell and may be losing the opportunity to work for the day, but our provincial leaders and medical experts are giving the same direction to all Manitoba school divisions.
We are committed to keeping our community updated. There are a number of ways to connect with us:
- Please visit this page regularly for updated information. We aim to keep this as the hub of all information related to COVID-19
- Follow Pembina Trails on social media including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
- Parents and guardians, please keep an eye on your emails
Specific health concerns should be directed to your family physician or by calling the WRHA Health Links line at 204.788.8200. Shared Health Manitoba has also created a COVID-19 online screening tool.
We also encourage families to take a moment and visit Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living's website for current information and additional recommended precautions.
We appreciate your ongoing patience during this evolving and fluid situation. We understand there are many questions and will do our best to share more as we learn more. We can all play a role in keeping our community healthy.