By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
The Westwind School Division has received permission from the Alberta Government to implement the Restrictions Exemption Program for extracurricular activities.
The REP will be for extracurricular’s only in WSD schools for activities such as concerts, drama performances and sporting events that take place outside of regular school time.
In a letter to parents and guardians, WSD Superintendent Darren Mazutinec said that various facilities across the province have successfully implemented the program, and by participating in this program schools in the division will be able to; “safely welcome additional spectators to extracurricular events”.
“Westwind School Division facilities were intentionally designed to accommodate large crowds that create an atmosphere and ambiance that I believe every high school student should experience during their high school career,” said Mazutinec. “After discussions with school principals, it was decided that individual school leaders will determine when and if their schools will implement the REP.”
Participating schools will require all attendees and spectators 12 years of age or older at indoor extracurricular activities to provide valid photo identification before entry, along with a valid Government of Alberta vaccination record with QR code to demonstrate that the attendee is fully vaccinated with two doses of a two-dose series, with the second dose taking place at least 14 days prior to the event, or provide proof of a negative privately-paid test result from a sample that was taken within the last 72 hours. This will apply to all attendees, spectators, coaches, trainers, team managers, and volunteers aged 12 and older. Students either playing or participating in the extracurricular event will not be required to provide proof of vaccination to participate, although if at any point during the even they become an audience member or spectator, they will then need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Schools that choose not to implement the REP will continue to operate at third capacity and physical distancing guidelines. Those wishing to attend an extracurricular event are asked to check with the school you plan on visiting for requirements for entry. Events will be live-streamed when possible.
Compliance with public health orders is expected for those attending WSD events.
“We continue to request those wishing to attend extracurricular events at any Westwind school self-screen using the Alberta Daily Health Checklist and stay home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19. As a reminder, all attendees/spectators must wear masks at all times in schools; however, spectators may temporarily remove masks to eat or drink while seated.”
More information will be provided once the division receives further guidance from the province.
The program, first announced in September, allows for in-scope businesses, entities and organizers to operate without most public health restrictions. This includes restaurants, indoor adult sport and performance activities; entertainment and recreation centres such as bowling, museums, art galleries, movie theatres and concert halls; fitness and recreation facilities for physical activity, performance activity or recreational activity; private social events held in public facilities where the facility maintains responsibility for adherence to these requirements; and, as of Nov. 29, paid-entry markets and trade shows, such as artisan and craft fairs, automotive shows, gun shows and holiday markets; ski hills and facilities; and private passenger vehicles.