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South East Cornerstone releases update to safe schools plan

Several changes have been made to Cornerstone's safe schools plan.
South East Cornerstone head office
South East Cornerstone Public School Division building

WEYBURN - The South East Cornerstone Public School Division has released an update to its safe schools plan.

“As our province, our region and our schools are experiencing increased COVID activity, it is paramount that our Safe Schools Plan be enhanced to support the safety of all students and staff with an intentional focus on those who do not have access to vaccinations,” Cornerstone said in a letter posted to its Facebook page Thursday.

The school division noted that its initial plan, released Aug. 23, stated “there may be significant changes and challenges in epidemiology that would require whole system response including masking or remote learning.”

Effective Sept. 17, the following measures will be put in place:

As per the direction provided by Premier Scott Moe, all students, staff and visitors must wear masks in indoor venues which includes schools. This does not apply to youth athletes while actively engaged in extra-curricular sport.

“There may be other implications of the provincial announcement today. We will provide an update when direction has been finalized.”

Effective Sept. 20, the following additional measures will be put in place:

Cohorts and structures:

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes will revert to mini-cohorts within the class setting to support play-based learning.

Grades 1 to 6 classes will return to forward facing structure and barriers will be utilized for small group and co-operative learning opportunities.

High school classes will continue to be timetabled to minimize cohort mixing over the course of a day.

Close Contacts/Self-Isolation:

•The Public Health Order released on Sept. 13, and updated on Sept. 15, provides direction regarding close contacts, self-isolation and attendance at school.

The order allows fully vaccinated persons to be exempted from the requirement to self-isolate; and provides exceptions from self-isolation for school-aged children in order to reduce the societal burden associated with parental or guardian absence from work, and to ensure children can continue in-person learning.

All students and staff in a classroom or on a bus are considered a close contact if a positive COVID-19 case attended while infectious and may attend school if:

The student does not have or display symptoms of COVID-19, and the pupil wears a face covering at all times while attending school or daycare.

The mask may only be removed when the student is eating or drinking, while seated.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students identified as close contacts are not able to participate in extra-curricular activities during the self-isolation period. The students must also follow the provincial self-isolation directions outside of school hours. Bus students who are identified as close contacts will continue to be allowed to use SECPSD transportation to and from school.

If an unvaccinated student is exposed to COVID-19 and considered a close contact due to exposure outside of a school setting, the same process applies.