Kiefer Sully strolls by the new playground as he heads towards his assigned door at Eckville Elementary School on the morning of Sept. 2. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Eckville Echo

Kiefer Sully strolls by the new playground as he heads towards his assigned door at Eckville Elementary School on the morning of Sept. 2. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Eckville Echo

Return to class has gone better than expectation, WCPS says

Staff with Wolf Creek Public Schools say the return to in-class teaching has gone very well

The back to school season can be a stressful time. Add to it learning new routines and procedures can make getting back into the classroom can increase stress and anxiety for students, parents and staff.

Wolf Creek Public Schools says the first month or so of school has gone very well. Sonja Dykslag, principal of École Lacombe Upper Elementary School, says the return to in class learning as gone extremely well.

“Coming back to the school could not have gone better,” Dykslag said. “It has gone well beyond expectation, and we are just so happy to be back.”

Dykslag added, she expected there to be hiccups and problems along the way, however that never really came.

“We were really afraid that the kids would be fearful coming back into the school or if we have to send them home because they have symptoms, but they aren’t,” Dykslag said. “They all seem to understand that it is just symptoms.”

Wolf Creek Public School’s Superintendent Jayson Lovell says the return to in-class learning has gone extremely well.

Lovell accredits the successful return to the classroom to the school board’s reentry plan. He said the plan had three layers to it.

“There are really three layers. There was the government plan, our plan and then each school had their own individual plan,” said Lovell.

“Creating a plan where safety was at the forefront was the most important thing to us.”

Both Dykslag and Lovell say they were really happy with the staggered start to classes this year.

Dykslag said she was such a fan that she would like to see it return every year.

The staggered start gave the staff and students a chance to ease in to the new school year, Lovell said.

“The staggered start was a blessing in disguise… It gave the kids a chance to figure out the playground zones and things like that,” said Dykslag.

She added, the staggered start helped the students learn the layout of the school while also giving staff more one-on-one time with fewer students.

Cohorts look different in each school and at different levels. In elementary schools, classes have always been set up in a cohort way, where students stay in one classroom for the majority of the day.

In the larger high schools in the district, École Secondaire Lacombe Composite High School and Ponoka Secondary Campus, classes have been moved to a six week semester. This means the students at these schools take two classes over six weeks, thus limiting their contact with others and creating a cohort.

At smaller rural schools, such as those in Eckville and Rimbey, Lovell says there is plenty of space available to social distance students.

“Eckville, for example, is probably our smallest school, but it was built for a large capacity. As such there is a lot of room for the students to move about and practice social distancing,” Lovell said.

Each school in the district has created its own plan for cohorts and social distancing based on the school’s layout.

Dykslag and Lovell say they are grateful for the hard work staff, students and family have put in to this new school year, and the new protocols in place.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the adaptability of our students and families. They are doing the health and wellness checks each morning and working with us,” said Lovell.

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

Just Posted

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported an additional 456 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Five new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, two in Red Deer

Province reports 456 new cases of COVID-19

Businesses are getting creative to keep cash flowing. (File photo)
Central Albertan lobbying government to help those affected by CERB repayments

Catherine Hay says she received a letter in November saying she had to completely repay the benefit

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19.  (File photo)
750 new COVID-19 cases identified in Alberta Sunday

Central zone currently has 1,182 active cases of the virus

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine deliveres to Canada are being delayed because of complications at their European distribution facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Delays of Pfizer vaccine delivery to impact Alberta’s vaccination plans

Alberta has administered 74,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine so far

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. Public opposition to the Alberta government’s plans to expand coal mining in the Rocky Mountains appears to be growing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File
Alberta cancels coal leases, pauses future sales, as opposition increases

New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt welcomed the suspension

File photo
Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit recovers valuable stolen property

Property valued at over $50,000 recovered by Wetaskiwin Crime Reduction Unit.

In this March 28, 2017, file photo, a dump truck hauls coal at Contura Energy’s Eagle Butte Mine near Gillette, Wyo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Mead Gruver, File)
First Nations seek to intervene in court challenge of coal policy removal

Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish First Nations are among those looking to intervene

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Lacombe is looking at its options for reclaiming sewage lagoons that are no longer needed. Vesta Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to use three lagoons to store water for fracking.
Map from City of Lacombe
Energy company to use former Lacombe sewage lagoons to store water for fracking

Vesta Energy Ltd. will pay Lacombe more than $100,000 a year in 20-year deal

Most Read