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

Front-line hospital workers have walked off the job at the Rimbey Hospital, and across the province. Photo Submitted
Front-line health care workers on strike across the province, including Rimbey Hospital

The strike is due to cut of 11,000 health care jobs in the province, according to AUPE

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed more than 1,000 cases over the weekend Monday afternoon. File photo
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up Monday

‘We’ve now crossed the tipping point,’ says Hinshaw

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Ma & Paws Pet Supplies. Facebook/ Ma & Paws Pet Supplies.
Rimbey residents petition for dog park

Request for approval of dog park will be brought up at Tuesday Oct. 27 Town Council meeting.

The future site of the Rimbey Travel Centre. Web photo
New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join AUPE walk outs across the province Monday Oct. 26, 2020. Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer.
City of Wetaskiwin health-care workers strike in protest of province-wide cuts

Wetaskiwin Hospital staff join other front line hospital workers across the province in walk-outs.

The death of 19-year-old Jacob Michael Chitze of Edmonton has now been ruled a homicide following an ongoing RCMP investigation.
UPDATE: RCMP arrest youth for second degree murder of 19-year-old Jacob Chitze

Arrest made for the murder of Jacob Michael Chitze, 19.

Pumpkins for the 46th Annual WDACS Pumpkin Ball on display at Vision Credit Union Wetaskiwin. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
46th Annual Pumpkin Ball held virtually this year

This year the pumpkins were sold over a six-day online auction.

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

Most Read