ALL CLASSES CANCELLED, Effective Immediately
Dear Westmount Community,
Tonight I share the following message relayed to us from the Minister of Education.
“I want to thank the many boards and education partners that have provided their views over the weekend. It has become clear that it would be challenging to implement health recommendations like social distancing and proper cleaning protocols.
The safety of our students, teachers and staff is the number one priority for all of us – for me and my Cabinet colleagues, for Dr. Hinshaw and for school staff.
With that in mind, we will be indefinitely cancelling classes across the province. Students are expected to stay home.
We are all in this together. And I hope you all agree this is the right decision.
School authorities are expected to continue their regular day-to-day operations and ensure the safety of our school facilities. We expect maintenance, capital projects, cleaning of facilities, and administrative work to continue.
Now I know that student progression will be on the minds of both parents and students. We expect every student to receive a final mark and that students will progress to their next grade level next year. However, provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests will be cancelled as of this time. Diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue.
We are confident that every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.
The Government will also be working with post-secondary institutions to ensure that these extraordinary circumstances do not prevent our students from being eligible for admission to post-secondary studies for the upcoming school year.
Teachers and other school staff will still be expected to work, either from home or at their workplace, to ensure these expectations are met and to support student learning.
Decisions on how to do this are still to be made, and it may vary depending on the school jurisdiction. Given the unique situation, my department and I will work with school divisions throughout this process, and school authorities will still receive their full allotment of funding for the 2019-20 school year.
I know these are challenging times for everyone. I will be sending an open letter to parents in the coming days, and Alberta Education will be working directly with you to help navigate through these changes.
We all have a role to play to keep our students and the staff that work in our schools safe and healthy. This is – and will always be – our top priority. The most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation in Alberta can be found on alberta.ca.
I know this leaves you with many questions. Please stay tuned in the days to come for more details.”
Minister of Education
As this declaration came unexpectedly today, we will endeavor to provide more details as we have time to discuss a strategic process with our administrators and staff to determine how best to move forward in the upcoming days.
Please do not send your students to school on Monday, Mar. 16, 2020 and until further notice. Before and after school programs are also cancelled.
Staff will be available at each school to ensure that, if students show up, parents will be contacted and expected to pick up their child immediately.
More information will be sent to you in the coming days with details on when to pick up personal belongings, return library books, etc. Schools will create a pick up schedule, which will be communicated to parents.
Please note that yellow school buses and other specialized transportation will not be running tomorrow.
Spring break will continue as scheduled. During spring break, school buildings will be closed and school-based staff will not be working during this time.
We know you have many questions. We will continue to update you as more details are confirmed.
Thank you for your patience and support
On behalf of the school and central office staff, we thank you for your support during this challenging time.
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