April 20, 2020
Please note, that a number of our additional programs, listed below, have been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year. This includes summer programming.
- Literacy Links
- Kindergarten Here We Come
Classroom learning suspended indefinitely in Manitoba
The Minister of Education has directed all schools to suspend classroom learning indefinitely for the remainder of the academic year. The Chief Provincial Public Health Officer has recommended this move, in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Department of Education has made it clear that the expectation, moving forward, is for students to be actively engaged in remote learning. At this time, we are waiting for more details and additional direction from provincial officials. It is our hope that, although we do not currently have all the answers, our message provides some reassurance and insight into the next steps.
Before we go into more details, please remember that whether near or far, in a classroom, or remotely, Pembina Trails remains committed to supporting our learners.
Learning at home beyond April 13, 2020
Our senior administration team has been preparing in anticipation of this decision. Teacher-directed learning will begin as planned after spring break on April 6, 2020.
Part of our strategy is for teachers to communicate and engage with students and their families through digital platforms. These online tools include OneDrive, Edsby and Seesaw. We aim to be inclusive and to support all of our students and families. Where digital is not an option, teachers are providing hard copies of learning materials.
Please know we are not expecting parents and guardians to recreate a classroom at home. If you have any questions related to your child’s education or are having issues using online platforms, we ask that you connect directly with the classroom teacher. As always, our administrators and school-based support teams are also available.
Assessment and provincial exams
The Minister of Education has stated that students will be given what is called a baseline mark in each subject, meaning the grade they had on the last day before classroom learning was suspended. This is the lowest mark they can achieve in the final term. There is an opportunity to increase that mark while learning from home. Teachers will continue to assign work, assess students and prepare final report cards.
The province has cancelled Grade 12 provincial exams. Students who were on track to graduate this year will graduate. No student will be held back a grade because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will share more, as we learn more
We completely understand that these uncertain times can be challenging. We know each family has different circumstances, and that many of our community members are currently dealing with additional stress. Please take care of yourselves. Health and wellness should always come first.
Our school buildings will continue to be open for any daycares still operating and staff who need access, but closed to the public beginning April 6, 2020.
It is hard to describe in words, the gratitude we have for our community. Your patience, understanding and support is appreciated. We truly are, all in this together.
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.