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First Day of School - FAQ

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to a new school year!! Many parents have questions about what school will look like and how it will operate. The following FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document is designed to help communicate information to you and hopefully give you a picture of what CLES will look like this September. 

The staff of Cold Lake Elementary School will be doing everything possible to ensure the safety of your child.  If, after reading this document, you have some questions or concerns please call Cold Lake Elementary school at 780-639-3107 and Mr. Vining, Mrs. Ogrodiuk-Whaley, or our office Admin Assistants would be more than happy to talk with you! 


How is the school kept clean right now?

  • Custodial staff will be cleaning all high touch surfaces during the school day, frequently.  This includes but is not limited to: door handles, water fountains, toilets and sinks.  
  • Our school ventilation system will be running continuously to enhance air circulation.

When does my child need to wear a mask at school?

What time does school start and end?

  • 8:30 is when CLES school starts; our day ends at 3:15.  Students can enter the building between 8:15-8:30 *Please note we do not have supervision for children before then.


What door does my child enter every morning?


  • Purple -  KS1, KS2, KP 
  • Yellow - KW1, KW2, 1W, 1M 
  • Green - 1B, 1C, 1D, 3BP, 4B, 4R
  • Blue  - 2M, 2W, 2A, 2C
  • Red - 3L, 3S, 3W, 3F, 4M, 4T


Before leaving for school in the morning, what should I do?

  • Before students leave for school, families are reminded to complete the daily self assessment to ensure each family member is healthy.  If your child is not well please do not come to school.  Students that exhibit COVID symptoms at school, will be sent home. 
  • If your child is exhibiting ONE (1) symptom or more on the checklist, DO NOT send them to school. Please make sure your child is healthy before coming to school.  
  • COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist


Where does my child go when arriving at school on the first day, Sept. 1?

  • On the first day of school, staff will be outside the front of the school, assisting and directing students to their designated ‘COLOUR CODED’ entrances located around the building (Purple, Yellow, Green, Blue & Red Doors) 
  • After bus drop off, between 8:15-8:30, bus students will be escorted to their correct entrance door where their teacher will be waiting outside.
  • Please ensure your child has all school supplies.
  • On the first day of school, the teacher will be there to greet the class. Students will enter the building, one class at a time and hand sanitize upon entering.
  • All students must be wearing a mask as they enter the building. 
  • Northern Lights​Public Schools Mask Guidelines
  • Some students may require a specific transition plan for the start of the school year. These families will work with their child’s teacher and our student services coordinator to make individualized arrangements to accommodate student needs. 


Can I enter the building when dropping off my child for school, especially on the first day?

  •  Due to COVID safety precautions, CLES parents are strongly encouraged to stay outside the school unless special arrangements or appointments have been made between parents and the teacher ahead of time. This helps us keep the students and staff safe, which is our number one priority.
  • We realize that this will be very difficult for parents who would like to walk their children to class and for children who are feeling anxious about their first day. We encourage you to talk to your child’s teacher to discuss any extenuating circumstances that we may not be aware of. We are well prepared to assist your child and ensure they have a great start to their year.


What is the protocol for parents coming into CLES?

  • Before entering the school, all visitors are required to complete the AHS COVID assessment document. If they answer YES to any of the questions, they should not proceed into the school. All adults must put on a mask BEFORE entering the school. Once inside, visitors will be required to hand sanitize and sign in. COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist
  • If parents wish to speak with a staff member in person at CLES, we encourage parents to arrange an appointment with us beforehand by calling the office or speaking to the teacher.
  • Whenever possible meetings will be held via phone call or Google Meets
  • We ask that all parents and visitors to the school please use the front entrance. 
  • Parents will only be allowed in the office area of the school to drop items off for your child at the office and we will ensure that they are given to them.  If you need to talk to your child we will call the child to the office so you can talk to them. 
  • At this time, no outside groups will be allowed to use the school after hours.  This is to ensure that our custodial staff can work to clean and sanitize the school and have it ready for the next school day.

Where can I drop off my child in the mornings?

  • On the west side of the school is the Parent Drop off/Pick up area. This area can be quite busy in the morning, so we encourage parents to also park on 16th Ave (in front of the “Emma’s Store”) or on 8th St. (along the east side of the school).  For the safety of our precious students, PLEASE DO NOT park in the bus lane or staff parking lot.  


Where does my child go when late after 8:40?

  • The outside entrance doors will be locked at 8:40. A supervisor will circulate the school to ensure there are no students waiting outside at locked doors.  Students dropped off after 8:40 can go through the front entrance doors. Once inside the school, there is a door to enter the office, and it is locked. Parents/students need to ring the doorbell and we will open it immediately.

Kindergarten Startup:

  • Family/child interviews Sept. 1,2 (please follow guidelines above for visiting the school)
  • Please bring all school supplies if possible at this time
  • Sept 3 staggered start
  • Sept 7 staggered start
  • Sept 8 All Kindergarten attends, regular days begin

What should I label this year for my child? 

  • Please ensure EVERY item belonging to your child (supplies and clothing) are labeled clearly with your child's name. This includes your child’s mask(s), water bottle, school supplies, backpack, lunch kit, outerwear and footwear.
  • *Students often take off their sweaters during gym class then leave them there accidently, so we’d recommend that parents please label sweaters also.

Can my child use the school water fountains?

  • Our water fountains are sanitized repeatedly throughout the day by our day time  custodian.  However, we encourage your child to have a labeled water bottle to use at school, which they can refill at our various water-filling stations. Please send a water bottle to school with your child (labeled).  


Will my child be in a homeroom all day? 

  • Students will remain as a home room group with the teacher for most instruction, except for times like gym and library. There are times when classrooms will mix together for learning activities.

What does snack and lunch time look like?

  • There is NO sharing between students of Food or Drink.
  • Students and staff will wash/sanitize their hands before and after snack breaks and lunch time.
  • Students will eat snacks and lunch in their classrooms. 
  • We do not allow microwaves in classrooms at CLES - students can bring warm food in a thermos instead.   

How will students maintain proper hand hygiene at CLES?

  • Every classroom at CLES has a sink, hand soap and individual paper towel/napkins.
  • Students will be expected to wash their hands continually throughout the day using class and bathroom sinks.
  • There will be hand sanitizer at each exit/entrance and at each classroom entrance.  Students MUST use the hand sanitizer every time they enter or exit the classroom or another place in the school i.e. gym & learning commons.  The teachers will do the same.
  • Hand sanitizer is located at the entrances to the Learning Commons, Gym and Main Office.


How will students physically distance at CLES?

  • CLES students and staff will physically distance as much as possible.
  • There will be NO large, whole school assemblies or large gatherings in common areas at this time.
  • Posters have been posted throughout the school to remind students and staff to physically distance, to not share food or items, and to hand wash and sanitize regularly. 
  • Recesses and lunch times will be staggered to avoid congestion.


How will recess look at CLES? 

  • Students and staff will wash/sanitize their hands before outdoor recess and after recess when reentering the building.
  • Teachers will have a snack break every morning scheduled for their own class, and may take children outside in the morning to play in their designated playground area. 
  • Students will receive 30 mins of lunch time, and 30 mins of lunch recess, not necessarily in that order, between 11:30-12:30. They will also receive a 15 mins recess in the afternoon. CLES Bell Times
  • A grade 4 Peace Patrol leader will be in our Grade 1-2 classes to help our smaller students during lunch times.  We will have teachers and educational assistants supervising the classrooms and hallways while students are eating.  *Kinder teachers supervise students eating their lunches.
  • We will have a supervisor inside the school at recess to help students who, for various reasons, may not be able to play outside ie. injuries, etc. 
  • Staff and students will not be required to wear masks during recess. 


Is there Music class this year?

  • Yes, Mrs. Pedersen will teach Music to all CLES students and visit each homeroom classroom weekly, practicing proper hand hygiene before entering and exiting each class. 


What does home time look like?

  • We will continue our hometime staggered dismissal which means you can pick up you child at the following times, at the Parent Pick up/Drop off spot:

3:00 - Kindergarten

3:05 - Grade 1

3:10- Grade 2/3

3:15 - Grade 4

*If you have multiple children in different grades, and you’d like to pick them up at a certain time, please arrange this with the teachers.

*Happy House students will be escorted to the Science lab, where daycare staff will greet all the students, before taking them to the daycare.

*Out of School care students will be escorted to the Learning commons, where OSC staff will greet the students. 

*Bus students will be dismissed at 3:15, along with students walking home. 

**Please arrive no later than 3:30 to pick up your child.**

  • As always, for safety precautions, students cannot walk independently to your parked vehicle. Please get out of your vehicle and line up at the fence and your child will meet you at the fence opening.
  • We understand that due to inclement weather, this plan may change. For instance, if it is pouring rain, we would have to keep students inside the school, and your child would be called down to the pick up door one at a time to meet you outside.
  • All students and adults must wear a mask on the bus. 
  • If a child misses the bus, they will wait in the office and a parent will be called; please note that when picking up your child who missed the bus, you will need to enter the front entrance, go through the screening process, wear a mask, and hand sanitize.


 What is the protocol for masks at CLES?

  • All CLES students and staff are required to wear a mask when they are riding the bus, and walking in common areas such as hallways and bathrooms.
  • Masks are not required while instruction takes place (i.e. in the classroom, in gym, in the learning commons).
  • Masks are not required outside for recess
  • Northern Lights​Public Schools Mask Guidelines

What if my child cannot wear a mask?

  • We have updated the Mask Guidelines that were in place last year to reflect changes that have been made for 2021-2022. The guidelines outline the criteria for mask exemptions and the process that students and staff need to follow if they wish to apply for an exemption.
  • Mask Exemption Request Forms are available by contacting your child’s school. Families with students enrolled in preschool can access a form by contacting the division’s preschool coordinator.


What do I need to know ahead of time regarding COVID and sending my child to school safely?


What if my child develops symptoms while at school?

  • If a student develops symptoms while at the school, they will be asked to wear a non-medical mask if they are able to, and be isolated in a separate room. School staff may utilize non-touch thermometers when a student is exhibiting symptoms. 
  • The parent/guardian will be notified to come and pick up the student immediately. If the office infirmary is not available, the student will be kept at least 2 metres away from other children/students. 

If my child is participating in online learning or homeschooling this year, can they return to CLES?

  • Please refer to the LTA information here: Learning Together Anywhere
  • Contact the LTA Principal Mr. Brandon Isert

Is there Out of School Care available?

  • Yes, there is OSC in the preschool building west of our main campus, with service available for students from Nelson Heights School. OSC begins on Sept. 1!
  • If you have registered your child for OSC, you will be contacted with more information.
  • After school, OSC students will meet in the learning commons. 
  • For more information, contact our office 780-639-3107 or visit our website. Out of School Care

When does Preschool begin at CLES?

  • Preschool begins on Monday, Sept. 13. You will be contacted before preschool begins, with more information.
  • If you have any questions about Preschool, you can call our school office or visit our website.Care to Learn Preschool


Please stay tuned to our regular media posts on School Messenger, CLES Facebook, and our website. You are always welcome to contact us from 8:00-4:00 on school days if you have any questions (780-639-3107) or email us:  We can’t wait to see everyone!



Mr. Chris Vining  - Principal

Mrs. Natalie Ogrodiuk - Assistant Principal



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