Students go back to school as Piikani Nation follows scenario two guidelines.

Principles Carol Little Mustache and Melanie Pard stand in front of class room demonstration during their annual back to school corn fest. Photo by Tawnya Plain Eagle.
By Tawnya Plain Eagle

Peigan Board of Education released it’s Back to School plan for students attending the Piikani Nation Secondary School and the Napi’s Playground Elementary School. 

The re-entry plan resulted in both schools following scenario two, laid out by the Alberta governments school re-entry plan.

That means in school classes will partially resume on an alternating schedule. 

“I strongly believe that we as Piikani people have been resilient in all our challenges, so I am confident that we can remain diligent in our practices and carry on with a safe caring and welcoming environment,” said Melanie Pard, Piikani Nation Secondary School Principle. 

Additional health and safety measures were put in place prior to reopening day. 

As it states on their website, students will follow physical distance markers, have their temperature taken, and hand sanitize at entryway. If routine screening is passed, students will be directed to the classroom.

 “It is our priority to ensure enhanced sanitization, disinfecting, and physical distancing measures for children riding busses or entering the classroom.” said Lisa Crowshoe, Superintendent for the Peigan Board of Education in a letter posted to their website. 

As for Carol Little Mustache, Principle Napi’s Playground Elementary School, safety for every student is her top priority. 

“We’ve provided desk protectors, personal bins, they’ll be no locker usage, and every classroom will be equipped with cloth mask which will be washed every day,” Little Mustache said. 

Little Mustache wants to minimize the supplies students will be travelling with between home and school.

Each child will be given an email they can access school work from home to stop students from taking home physical work.

"We are still looking to provide every student with a tablet, so that everyone could be connected," she said.

Although there is no date given to when that will take place.

“We put a lot of effort into their safety from this virus,” she added.

On the Peigan Board of Education website it does state in the letter that all administrative staff and teachers will follow Alberta Health Services recommendations to get tested prior to school start up.

Staff hand out information and lunch to community members during the drive through corn fest on Sept 4. Photo by Tawnya Plain Eagle

Intra-curricular classes such as Phys ed, music, construction, will be postponed.

Library, art and Blackfoot language and culture will see changes to the classroom structure. 

Piikani Nation Secondary School still continued with their annual corn fest to kick off the new school year, participants just had to follow the new drive thru protocols in place. 

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