As the school year kicks off into regular operations, and students are settling into their new normal, the Principal of Aspen Grove School, Mike Humbke says students and faculty are adjusting well. He emphasizes despite the operational differences, everyone seems excited to be back.

“The kids and families have been very supportive of the safety protocols that we’ve had to put in place.”

“They believe in us and we believe in each other, and together we are doing an excellent job starting up.”

Humbke adds, throughout the summer, administration, and faculty were hard at work preparing the facility and themselves to step into unknown territory, so to speak.

“Leading up to our school reopening for students, our staff and our admin team— we put a lot of planning into making sure we were ready to open… [and] lots of safety protocol was adhered to from the recommendations from Alberta health,” says Humbke.

In compliance with direction from the provincial government, students have been organized into “learning cohorts,” and are being isolated into such groupings to maintain as much social distancing efforts as possible. Further, with the advent of many students signing up for the online learning option, Humbke reports class sizes were able to be marginally reduced.

Despite the confirmation of active COVID-19 cases at Riverstone and Whispering Ridge schools, Humbke says if anything, the infections have lead to increased cautions at Aspen Grove rather than putting people on edge.

“What is has done [is] it’s probably heightened the awareness that the coronavirus is a risk and the safety measures that we’re taking into place every day.”

He adds school faculty and administration are continuing to receive information from Alberta Health and adapting to new requirements as they surface.