Questions and Answers Continue at Ecole Meridian Heights School

With the start of a new week, I have had the chance to begin calling many of our parents to discuss questions and concerns that were shared in our recent online survey, as well as reaching out to many of you who have taken the time to email me. I appreciate your patience as I work through these various conversations, and please know that if you’ve emailed or asked a question in the survey, I will follow up with you as soon as I am able.

During my conversations, a few common questions have come up that I thought I would try to shed some light on, acknowledging that it seems like our understanding of COVID 19, and the corresponding implications for school changes almost daily!

When will I know who my child’s teacher is for in – person teaching?

While in a typical year we would be much closer to finalizing class lists, this year will require a bit more time. As I speak to parents and as they are able to make decisions on whether their children will learn online or in person I am able to continue to refine our class lists. Your child’s teacher will reach out to you upon their return later next week between Wednesday and Friday.

When will we know more about the online learning, such as start date, teachers, format etc.?

Similar to the answer above, as we finalize who will be participating in online learning those teachers will reach out to our parents to welcome children into their class. This will take place next week between Wednesday and Friday.

Can I change from online learning to in person learning or vice-versa?

We realize that in these highly unusual times, we all are going to have to be extremely “flexible”. We are asking that parents confirm a decision for in person or online learning for their children (if they have not done so already in the PSD survey) by this Friday, August 21st. You can either call the school to let us know (780-963-2289) or you can email our office staff at  . There will be designated dates throughout the school year when students will be welcome to transition from virtual learning back to in person learning or vice-versa. Additionally, we are happy to work with families who have unique circumstances that require more conversation.

What happens if my child has a pre-existing condition such as seasonal allergies? Will he or she be sent home?

Please ensure that your child’s powerschool account indicates any medical issues which we should be aware of such as asthma, seasonal allergies etc. If your child presents with symptoms similar to COVID 19, even if it may be tied to his/her pre-existing medical condition, you will be asked to pick up your child and to take him/her for testing. Once he/she receives a negative test he/she will be welcomed back to school. This will help us establish a “baseline” of symptoms for your child. Unless he/she presents with new or increased symptoms from the established baseline, he/she will be able to remain at school.

Will an entire class be sent home if one student gets sick or shows symptoms of COVID?

No. If a student shows symptoms of COVID 19, the student will be placed in a separate room and monitored by staff (if necessary) until they can be picked up by a parent. The student will be asked to wear a mask if they are able to. If two or more staff/students in a cohort have symptoms of COVID 19, the school will follow outbreak notification procedures and will contact Alberta Health Services, who will direct the response.

If one of my children gets sent home as a result of displaying symptoms of COVID, do all of my kids have to remain at home?

Parents will be directed to contact Alberta Health Services, who will direct them as to the appropriate response, which will be dependent upon several factors.

What are the learning options for my children if they start in school but have to learn at home due to illness or other circumstances?

If a student has to temporarily learn at home, we will work with you to determine if he/she is best served by transitioning to a virtual class or if his/her learning can be maintained with the classroom teacher for a few days.

What happens if a student in my child’s class gets sick?

While we await further direction from Alberta Health Services in this area, at this time what we know is that if a child is sent home for showing signs of COVID 19, other students within the class will NOT be immediately sent home. Alberta Health Services and the Zone Chief Medical Officer of Health will assist in these matters. I am hopeful that further clarification will be provided within this area in the upcoming days/weeks.

While there are many more questions coming our way, I am hopeful that this information provides you with a little more clarity on what you can expect at Ecole Meridian Heights School.

Keep an eye out in an upcoming post for information on some of our social distancing strategies such as our new drop off and pick up routines, new recess structures and much more.

Stay well and see you soon!

Mr. S. Patras


About Shaye Patras

I am a husband and father of two fantastic girls. I currently work as the Principal of Ecole Meridian Heights School in Parkland School Division in Alberta, Canada. I am excited to be continuing my administrative career in this learning community!
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10 Responses to Questions and Answers Continue at Ecole Meridian Heights School

  1. Stacey Udholm says:

    Can you please Clarify pre-existing conditions need to have the test before they go to
    School did I read that correctly.

    So what kind of pre – Existing conditions are we
    Talking about here that’s a loaded question and can mean various different things to
    Different parents

    • Shaye Patras says:


      Thank you for asking the question. I would suggest that if your child has any pre-existing condition that would lead to COVID symptoms (coughing, sneezing etc.) that a test would be appropriate. Examples of these conditions might be allergies, asthma etc. If you would like to discuss your children further, please do not hesitate to give me a call. I would be happy to figure this out with you.

      Take care


  2. Melanie Rubin says:

    My son would prefer to wear a face shield over a mask, is this okay?

    • Shaye Patras says:


      At this time, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has indicated that face shields are NOT a substitute for masks. They can be used in addition to a mask but not in place of one. Please feel free to call me if you’d like to discuss further. Thank you for reaching out.


      • Melanie Rubin says:

        Thank you! I can’t imagine how much additional work & pressure all the changes are putting in you and all the people who work at our schools – we appreciate everything you all are doing to make the best of an impossible situation 🙂

      • Shaye Patras says:

        Thank you very much for the support Melanie. Working together we will make this happen for our kids!

        Take care


  3. sarah says:

    Are masks mandatory at all times in class?

    • Shaye Patras says:


      Thank you for the question. While students may choose to wear their masks at all times, masks are NOT mandatory at all times within the class. When working at their desk, with spacing maximized as much as possible, in addition to other protocols such as frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing as well as all students facing towards the front of the class students are not required to wear their masks. Please feel free to call me at the school if you have further questions Sarah.


  4. Judith Cardinal says:

    I realize you won’t have a specific schedule set yet, but I am just wondering approximately how often will there be opportunity to transition from online to in person? If we choose online for now, are we committing to a month? 2? 3?

    • Shaye Patras says:


      Thank you for this important question. Students will be permitted to transition at several dates throughout the school year, as outlined below.
      Monday, October 5
      Monday, November 16
      Monday, January 4
      Monday, February 16
      Monday, April 6


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