Luther College High School will work closely with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to respond effectively to a pandemic. The priority during a pandemic is to keep the school open as long as it is safe to do so.
Once the SHA declares a state of pandemic in Saskatchewan, LCHS will activate its pandemic plan. During a pandemic, LCHS will follow the direction of the provincial and local public health officials. The health and safety of staff and students will be closely monitored. If health and safety becomes a concern, LCHS Administration and the President will consider a closure.
What is a Pandemic?
A pandemic is any infectious disease that spreads quickly. Humans will have little or no immunity to this new virus. The Chief Medical Officer of Saskatchewan will be the authority to declare a pandemic for our province.
Pandemic Influenza Plan
In the event of an infectious disease spreading quickly within a school environment and the disease is perceived to pose an IMMEDIATE and real threat to the well-being of our students and staff, the Principal or designate will immediately notify the President.
The President – acting as Emergency Command, in consultation with the Principal, will determine appropriate actions to be taken. The President/Emergency Command, working with the Principal and others as designated, will be in contact with outside agencies as deemed appropriate.
LCHS is committed to developing and implementing effective communication procedures within and outside LCHS in preparation for, during and after a pandemic.
LCHS Organizational Structure, Roles and Responsibilities
In the event a pandemic is declared, the following organizational structure will come into effect:
- President of Luther College
The President or designate will be the direct contact for the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Saskatchewan Health Authority. Once critical pandemic information is communicated from the CMO to the President or Designate, a meeting will be convened with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to share information. The President will also sit on the Emergency Command Committee.
Role of the President or Designate
- LCHS contact with Chief Medical Officer, Saskatchewan Health Authority.
- Liaison of critical pandemic information to LCHS Senior Leadership Team.
- Member of Pandemic Emergency Command Committee.
- Pandemic Emergency Command Committee
The President, Principal, Vice-Principal Student Life, School Nurse and Communications Manager will comprise the committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing the critical pandemic information available at that time and make system response recommendations. The President is the designated individual to oversee system emergency responses. The Pandemic Emergency Command Committee is free to call on other expertise from within and outside the College as they consider the situation and respond appropriately.
Role of the Pandemic Emergency Command Committee
- Convenes at the call of the Principal or designate.
- Reviews critical pandemic information and implications for LCHS.
- Provides system operational response recommendations to the Senior Leadership Team.
- Senior Leadership Team (SLT)
The Senior Leadership Team will be responsible for directing the system on a day-to-day basis. The SLT normally consists of the President, Principal, Vice-Principals, Director of Finance and Administration, and Chaplain. In the state of a declared pandemic, the SLT will consult closely with the School Nurse, Communications Manager, and any others deemed helpful or necessary for the well-being of the students, staff and faculty as well as the optimal operation of the school. The SLT shall designate a secretary.
Role of the Senior Leadership Team
- To direct the overall operation of the school.
- To receive recommendations from the Pandemic Emergency Command Committee.
- To make decisions as to school operations.
- To report to the Board as to the operation of the school.
- To determine the closing of the school due to excessive absenteeism or threat to the well-being of our staff and students.
- Luther College Board
The President will keep the board up to date on a day-to-day basis.
Role of the Board
- To receive reports from the President or designate.
- To support the President regarding school operations as requested by the President.
- Principal or Designate
- To work with the Pandemic Emergency Command Committee to develop recommendations for the SLT.
- To communicate SLT directives to the school community (parents, students, public user groups of the school facility) through newsletters, email and phone calls, with the assistance of the Communications Manager.
- To report to the President and Pandemic Emergency Command Committee the status and projections of school operations.
- To act as an emergency resource for staff, faculty and students.
- To direct all media inquiries and requests to the President.
LCHS is closed to the media during any time declared by the President, including that of a state of pandemic as declared by the SHA.
It is the intention of LCHS to conduct the school in accordance with our existing school policies and operating procedures as much as possible.
The following is information as to what the intention of the administration will be once a pandemic is declared. The following indicates what the SLT will most likely do in the declaration of a state of pandemic; however, circumstances may dictate otherwise at the discretion of the SLT.
- After Hours School Rentals – existing/new permits for school facility use will be cancelled/ not issued.
- Board/Committee Meetings – Board meetings be held as scheduled and more frequently if necessary and may be held electronically.
- After Hours Activity Access – will be cancelled.
- Tutoring – will be cancelled.
- Mailbag Delivery – will operate as usual or may be reviewed daily for cancellation.
- Essential Maintenance Services – sufficient contractors in the areas of heating, air conditioning and controls, electric, plumbing, public address systems, fire alarms, program bells, structural (glazing repairs), roofing, security alarms, snow plowing, and sanding /salting, grass cutting, locksmith services and computer repair will be contracted as necessary with adequate resources available in the event of any emergency reported to the Facilities Manager.
- Extracurricular Activities – extracurricular activities will be cancelled.
- Field Trips / Excursions – there will be a moratorium on field trip / excursions.
- Garbage Collection – the normal process for garbage collection will be maintained as long as possible.
- Instruction / Evaluation / Reporting – where possible, the regular instructional program and those activities related to instruction, evaluation and reporting will continue.
- Maintenance – the normal procedures shall continue, i.e. emergency calls will be directed to the Facilities Manager with a follow-up to the Principal as soon as possible. Maintenance items, which are not of an emergency nature, should be communicated to the Principal in the normal manner. Board, staff and outside contractors will be used for all types of emergency maintenance; routine maintenance may be suspended as required by the situation.
- Meetings – meetings that take Administrators or staff out of the school will either be cancelled or held by teleconference.
- Substitute Teachers – initially LCHS will assign substitute teachers based on current practices. As the pandemic influenza effect increases within LCHS, the school will designate and assign substitute teachers to the school.
- Professional Development Activities – will be cancelled.
- Security of Facilities – while schools are open, security of facilities will continue in accordance with current procedures. In the event that schools are closed, additional security patrols may be scheduled for all affected buildings.
- Student Transportation – subject to daily review, buses maintain regular schedules while schools remain open. LCHS bus and cab companies as well as special needs student transport will have been asked to identify at what point of driver absenteeism they will be unable to provide an adequate level of service.
- Supply Orders – the normal process for order and delivery of supplies will be maintained.
- Volunteers – the present practice regarding volunteers at LCHS will be reviewed at the time of the pandemic announcement.