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

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Blackfalds RCMP investigate fatal collision

Preliminary investigation revealed a south bound pickup truck collided with an eastbound car

SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, which causes COVID-19, emerge from the surface of cells isolated from a patient in the U.S. and cultured in a lab in a 2020 electron microscope image. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories
Alberta adds 463 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

The central zone has 818 active cases

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta identifies 573 new COVID-19 cases, 13 deaths on Saturday

There are currently 9,727 active cases of the virus in the province

As of Friday, Alberta has under 10,000 active COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy CDC)
Three new COVID-19 deaths in Central zone, Alberta under 10,000 active cases

The Central zone sits at 849 active cases, with 52 people in hospital and 10 in the ICU.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Black Press File Photo
Maskwacis RCMP lay charges for attempted murder, kidnapping, and flight from police

Female victim remains in hospital in serious condition.

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
‘Gut punch’: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney blasts Biden on revoked Keystone XL permit

Kenney said he was upset the U.S. wouldn’t consult with Canada first before acting

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Most Read