Pink Shirt Day 2022

FEBRUARY 9, 2022 -- The nationally recognized Pink Shirt Day occurs on the last Wednesday of February every year. This year, that date falls during the Family Week break. As such, the Ministry of Education has declared Wednesday, February 16, 2022 as Pink Shirt Day in Saskatchewan.

Pink Shirt Day became established after two Nova Scotia students, David Shepherd and Travis Price, took action to turn the tide against bullies who were targeting a male student who wore a pink polo shirt on his first day of school, calling him homophobic slurs, and threatening him. Mr. Shepherd and Mr. Price decided that “enough was enough,” went to a nearby store and bought 50 pink shirts to distribute and wear at school the next day. They then emailed classmates to get them on-board with their cause that they dubbed a “sea of pink.” Not only were the purchased pink shirts worn, but hundreds of students showed up the next day wearing their own pink clothing. This visual shift in the power differential sent a powerful message to the bullies, who discontinued their bullying. The link to an original news article can be found here.

Since that time, this day has become an important one for empowering students to speak out against homophobia, transphobia and bullying in general, and to show solidarity for their fellow students. All students and staff have a right to learn, work and interact in a safe, caring and affirming environment, and to be accepted for the human beings they are. Underscoring this is our division’s Shared Values: I respect; I belong; I am responsible and I want to know.

Update to COVID Reporting

January 28, 2022 -- The attached letter from the Director of Education will be sent to all school families today. It is in response to changes announced by the Government of Saskatchewan related to self-isolation and close-contact protocols.

Read the letter here and/or below.

January 28, 2022

Dear school families:

Since 2020, we have worked to create a school learning environment that minimizes risk for students, staff and visitors to all our schools and facilities. We have followed public health and government direction and added Regina Public Schools-specific requirements to our safety practices and protocols. At the same time, we have had to adapt as public health requirements and the course of COVID-19 in Regina and the province have changed.

Yesterday, the government of Saskatchewan announced a change to COVID-19 self-isolation and close contact protocols. You can read that document here: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2022/january/27/update-to-covid19-selfisolation-close-contact-protocols

The result of this announcement is that Regina Public Schools will no longer be collecting information regarding positive student COVID test results, nor will be identifying or informing possible close contacts. The school division will no longer report on cases of COVID and school families will not be asked to notify schools of a positive test. We would appreciate, however, that families honour the new self-isolation requirements and that students stay home if they are ill. As with any illness or absence, it is essential that it is reported to the school. Please continue to do so!

In accordance with the announcement, effective today, students who receive a positive test result on a PCR or rapid antigen test will be required to self-isolate for five days, regardless of vaccination status. This is a change for not fully vaccinated students from the previously required 10 days.

Further, students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for five days from the date of test or 24 hours after fever has resolved without the aid of fever-reducing medications and all other symptoms have been improving for at least 48 hours, whichever is later.

Students currently on remote learning and self-isolating, and have no symptoms, may amend their self-isolation from 10 days to five days, as of noon, January 28. Information relating to changes about current remote learning classes will be sent out from schools.

Close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases will no longer be required to self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status.

Regina Public Schools will continue to require mask use in all its schools and buildings, will continue practice enhanced cleaning and encourage good hand washing hygiene. The school division reserves the right to move a class or a school to temporary remote learning if it is prudent to do so for health or operational reasons.

I know many of you have mixed feelings about this change in direction. In the past we have done everything within the reach of the school division to minimize health risk and disruption for learning and work for all school families. We will continue to do so while following the direction of Regina Public Health. I will also share important developments and information with you as it becomes available. Thank you for your understanding.
In learning and in health,

Greg Enion
Director of Education

 

Text Sent to School Families

January 17, 2022 -- Did you receive this message? It is legitimate. Parents/guardians and emergency contacts of Regina Public Schools students may receive this text message to voluntarily opt in for the family communication (text) system. Text messages are only used for urgent communication to families.

We apologize for not providing any prior notice. We just learned that a recent coding change to our information system triggered these texts. Although mostly new families will receive them, others who had previously opted in for the urgent text communication notices may also receive them.

Opting in is completely voluntary. Thank you for your understanding.

Family Literacy Day/Week 2022

JANUARY 14, 2022 -- The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed January 27, 2022, as Family Literacy Day and January 23 to 29, 2022, as Family Literacy Week in Saskatchewan. The week provides opportunities for communities, libraries, schools and other organizations to plan events that raise awareness about the importance of family literacy. Parents with literacy skills support children to acquire literacy skills, contributing to strong families and strong communities.

You are invited to celebrate with the Saskatchewan Literacy Network and the nine Family Literacy hubs by joining a free livestream event on Thursday, January 27th at 10:30 a.m. CST. Local authors and illustrator Bernice Johnson-Laxdal and Miriam Körner will share from their book, “When the Trees Crackle with Cold: A Cree Calendar."

Everyone is welcome to join! Families, classrooms and groups can sign up to receive a free package of digital resources and a chance to win a signed copy of the book! Sign up at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TreesCrackle-SignUp

To view the poster, please CLICK HERE.

Class closed and moved to remote learning

January 12, 2022 -- Due to multiple cases of COVID-19 reported in the Grade 2A classroom at Gladys McDonald School, that class will transition to remote learning on Thursday, January 13th. Students will return to school on Thursday, January 27th, if they are feeling well and are symptom-free.

Individuals who may be considered as close contacts have been informed and this information will be posted on individual school websites and on Twitter.

If there are any future close contacts identified at the school, they will be contacted.

If any staff, student or school family members show any symptoms, they should please stay home and contact Healthline 811.  Symptoms are described here. 

Students are asked to seek medical advice and not to attend school if feeling unwell or showing any symptoms. As a potential close contact, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) would strongly recommend children take a Rapid Antigen Test, which are available to families at schools or at locations in the community

If additional support related to questions about self-isolation requirements is needed, please contact Healthline at 811.

How We Report Cases of COVID-19

January 11, 2022 -- Regina Public Schools communicates incidents of cases of COVID-19 in schools. The school division also reports if a classroom has moved to remote learning. The school division does not currently report on individual case numbers in schools.

Why the changes?

We used to report case numbers. In 2021, individual cases, whether they were in students or adults, were officially announced and provided by Saskatchewan Health Authority. That is no longer the case. As of the return to classes on January 4, 2022, Regina Public Schools relies on notification of cases from parents, guardians, students and staff members. They have been asked to self-report to their schools/workplaces.

Self-reporting and the subsequent tracking at the school and school division level is inherently less reliable in terms of accuracy. We have seen case report numbers increase during the day after we have already reported them. We have also seen these numbers decrease after a report -- due in part to the discovery that a student was not in school while infectious.

In reporting cases to school families, Regina Public Schools' goal is to quickly inform families and staff, and to make them aware of cases of COVID-19 affecting their schools. We do not wish to send out potentially incorrect or incomplete information. School administration sends out an information letter to parents/guardians/students about affected classrooms.

What’s the current process for reporting?

For your information, the current process is:

  • A parent/guardian, student or staff member contacts school administration and self-reports if a RAT (rapid test) shows they have COVID-19, or if they have a positive result on a PCR test.
  • School administration sends out letters to school families about affected classrooms.
  • The school division informs the greater Regina community and the news media through the school division website, Twitter and news release.

Regina Public Schools continues to strive towards transparency in all its reporting and is grateful for the extra effort and patience demonstrated by students, school families and staff during a very challenging time in our history.