School Operations FAQs

Will the school be able to maintain physical distance of 2 metres between students?

As much as possible, physical distancing between students will be maintained to minimize risk. However, we will be unable to maintain two metres of physical separation between students at all times. This is why it is key that anyone showing symptoms stays home, then gets tested and cleared before returning to school.

Will students be able to use lockers?

Yes, but only to store outdoor clothing. Everything to be used during the school day will be kept in their classroom - backpacks, books, binders, school supplies, lunch, water bottle. Students in grades 1-5 will wear their gym strips under their uniform. Junior High students will store their gym strips and shoes in gym lockers. Access to locker rooms will be limited to 5 students in each locker room at a time.

Do students need to bring all the items on the school supply list, if there is limited space in the classroom?

Your student will need to have their own supplies at school because they will not be allowed to share supplies. Teachers can give students direction about which supplies may not be needed yet, and could be stored at home.

If students are in the same classroom together all the time, why can’t they share school supplies?

Unfortunately, to limit contact with one another and with surfaces, students will not be able to share supplies.

Should my child bring disinfecting wipes to school?

It is not necessary for students to bring disinfecting wipes to school. Cleaning supplies will be provided when required to clean equipment/surfaces between uses. Hand sanitizer is available in each classroom and throughout the school, and frequent hand-washing will be encouraged.

What is a cohort?

A cohort is a group of students and staff who remain together. GCA students will be cohorted by classroom whenever feasible, and by grade during shared activities (i.e. recess, lunch, Physical Education, etc.) As much as possible, the cohorts will stay in the same space, and teachers will move between spaces.

Will there be a change to bell times? How will bell times be staggered?

Bell times will be staggered when possible to reduce density in hallways.

Will there be any all-school gatherings or assemblies?

Typical large gatherings of students, such as assemblies or other multi-grade gatherings (i.e. chapels) will not occur if physical distancing of two metres between each student cannot be maintained.

Many schools are changing water fountains to water-bottle enabled fountains. Is GCA doing the same?

We will not be replacing our existing water fountains, though we will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection of them. Students are welcome to bring water bottles from home and refill them as necessary at school.

Will students be expected to access the washroom one at a time?

Regular washroom access will be maintained. Washroom capacity will be posted, and students will be expected to wait, while practicing physical distancing from each other, if the washroom capacity is exceeded.

Will the cafeteria be open and available to students?

GCA’s cafeteria will operate, following all food service establishment guidelines identified by Alberta Health Services. Based on guidance from Alberta Health, GCA will allow some classes to eat in the cafeteria, while others eat in their classrooms, on a rotating basis. Cafeteria usage will be modified to increase distancing between students. One space between each student will be implemented to ensure distancing, and only one grade will use the cafeteria at a time, with assigned seating. Use of microwaves in the cafeteria will be prohibited at this time. The cafeteria will not operate any ‘buffet-style’ services. Cutlery, napkins and other items will be dispensed to students. For those students eating in their classrooms that use the cafeteria’s services, lunches can be ordered and delivered to the classroom(s). A link will be provided closer to September.

What will Phys Ed classes look like?

All physical education classes are encouraged to be outside, weather permitting. However, the gymnasium will be used when that is not possible. Physical education curriculum will be modified to accommodate for distancing and to avoid sharing of equipment. Activities in the gymnasium will focus on units that do not require close contact or sharing of equipment as much as possible.

Will students use locker rooms for Phys Ed?

To promote physical distancing, Grades 4-5 will no longer use the locker rooms, instead wearing their gym strips under their uniforms (same as Grades 1-3). For Junior High, the students will still use the locker rooms, however, capacity limitations will be set (5 students in each locker room at a time).

How will there be enough time for only 5 students to use the locker room at a time?

Students will be encouraged to change quickly, and waiting students will participate in activities in the gymnasium until all students are changed for Phys Ed.

Has there been a change in start time for school?

No. Elementary students can be dropped off to the school and go directly to their classrooms any time after 8:10 am. Classes begin at 8:25 am. Junior High students can be dropped off at the school any time after 8:00 am, with classes beginning at the regular time.

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