Catholic Division ‘mask-friendly’ for new school year

Herald file photo.

The Prince Albert Catholic School Division says it will continue to be a mask-friendly environment as students return to school.

That means students and staff are free to wear masks if they wish, but not required. The policy is one of several the division plans to keep in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The division will also continue with enhanced cleaning protocols.

“We have got to support ourselves and others in this,” Trumier said. “It is not just about a person’s opinion. It is also supporting others and for that reason, our schools are mask friendly.”

The decision was included in a report approved by trustees for the School Community Councils (SCCs) at the board of education’s regular meeting on Tuesday.

Education director Lorel Trumier said they will help maintain staff health and well-being, while also educating students to help them improve their health and well-being too.

“We actually want to maintain some of those pieces because COVID is not gone,” Trumier said. “We also have other opportunities or other elements that may occur such as other communicable diseases as well.”

Trumier said the division has tried to keep in contact with the SCC since COVID started. The SCC helps advise schools and parents on public health matters.

They are still working with public health officials and holding meetings to make sure each school implements the best practices.

“If our families or their children need to (take precautions) or staff for that matter, obviously, we will continue to support them in that need,” she said.

PPE will be available at all schools. The division will also continue to require staff and students who are ill to remain home until symptoms are gone.

“We will provide some masks,” Trumier said. “We have them on our busses, we have them in our classrooms and available in our schools, so that’s really important.”

The division will also continue to teach handwashing and sneeze and cough etiquette.

“That’s not something that is difficult it is something that is very easy, it actually can have a large impact to their health and wellbeing as well,”

“I am always appreciative of some of the other reminders like monitoring for illness and remaining home when there are symptoms that present themselves. I think that is equally important as well,”

Before the start of the school year this was done in consultation with parents.