New guidelines in place to keep Sylvan Lake students safe on the bus

New guidelines in place to keep Sylvan Lake students safe on the bus

RDCRS and Chinook’s Edge have new school bus guidelines for the COVID-19 era

The back to school season is upon us, and this year it is more confusing than ever. New concerns for health and safety have crept up and both parents and students are wondering how to stay safe in the classroom, at play and on the bus.

New guidelines will be put into place for students taking the bus, to keep them safe going to and from school each day.

The new guidelines for both Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools and Chinook’s Edge students follow those set by the province to keep both staff and students safe when returning to in-class learning.

According to both school divisions regular bus safety rules will apply in addition to the new guidelines for the COVID-19 era. These regular safety precautions include: walking, not running to the bus; not using mobile devices until in a safe position; knowing your bus route and arriving at least five minutes early for the bus.

Students are also recommended to know pedestrian safety, and when it is safe to cross the street.

With the new rules in place, all students beginning in Grade 4 will be required to wear a mask while on the bus. Younger students, from Kindergarten to Grade 3, are encouraged to wear masks on the bus but it is not required,

Both school divisions will be implementing a seating plan for the school bus. RDCRS will utilize a first on-first off method.

“I know our older students like sitting in the back of the bus, but that may not be possible right now,” said Kathleen Finnigan, acting superintendent of school for RDCRS.

Meanwhile, Chinook’s Edge will be having file in and sitting from back to front on the bus, and unloading front to back.

According to Chinook’s Edge’s School Re-entry Plan, the “seating plan will be in place while riding to and from school in order to assist with contact tracing in the case of a student being a case of COVID-19.”

All students must complete a daily health screening before getting on the bus. If a student answers yes to any of the questions, they are to stay home from school.

“I am really relying on parents to do the health and wellness checks every morning,” said Finnigan, adding everyone in the school community is part of a team.

The bus drivers will be equipped with masks and face shields for their protections for both RDCRS and Chinook’s Edge busses.

If a student becomes sick on the bus going to school, “the driver will contact the school to make the appropriate arrangements for parent or guardian to pick up the child/student as per illness at school protocols,” according to Chinook’s Edge.

Buses will be sanitized after each morning and afternoon run, Chinook’s Edge states in their re-entry plan.

“We are all a team and we need to work together to make sure our staff and students stay safe and healthy,” said Finnigan.

Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) and Wild Rose School Division will see similar safety rules put into place for their busses with seating plans to better maintain cohorting as well as sanitization after each route in the morning and end of day.

Masks will be mandatory on the busses for all students and the driver for WCPS schools and students will follow established entry protocols once arriving at school, such as designated doors and staged entry to assure social distancing.

Wild Rose School Division will be staggering arrival times as well as dismissal times to avoid large crowds entering and exiting the buildings at once.

For both WCPS and Wild Rose School Division students will not be allowed to eat, drink or share personal items on the bus.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The concept design for the spray park and playground in Pogadl Park. (Photo Courtesy of Canadian Recreation Solutions)
Sylvan Lake spray park tentatively scheduled to open next year

Sylvan Lake Town Council approved the tender of the spray park and playground in Pogadl Park

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

One of the oil paintings stolen from a season home near the boat launch on Kuusamo Krest. (Photo Submitted)
Sylvan Lake RCMP search for paintings stolen from vacation home

Three original paintings were reportedly stolen from a seasonal home

A lone skater practises his shot on a melting outdoor rink recently. As of March 2, all outdoor skating rinks, including the ones on the lake, are closed for the season. (Photo Submitted by Town of Sylvan Lake)
All outdoor skating rinks in Sylvan Lake closed for the season

The Town announced Tuesday morning the rinks on the lake were also closed due to the warm weather

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

hands
The call is out in Rimbey to sign on with a group that is all about building connections

‘Already, we are building a network where we can rely on each other and help each other out’

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Many rural seniors are having to travel a long way to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Stettler residents are being told to go to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose. (Black Press file photo).
Rural central Alberta seniors have to travel far to get vaccines

Stettler residents are being directed to Red Deer, Drumheller or Camrose clinics

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. Photo contributed
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Calgary police say they received 80 hate crime complaints between January and November 2020. (Pixabay)
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Muslim women fearful following attacks in Edmonton

So far in 2021, three of seven hate-crime-related investigations have involved Somali-Muslim women

Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro speaks during a news conference in Calgary on May 29, 2020. Shandro says Alberta is considering whether to extend the time between COVID-19 vaccine shots to four months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta may follow B.C.’s lead on faster rollout of first COVID-19 dose

Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming

Most Read