Dear Westmount Families,
Please see the message below from the Minister of Education.
As announced yesterday by Premier Kenney during the release of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, the province has made the decision to not have students return to in-school classes for the remainder of the academic year. While I know many of you anticipated this decision, I do understand it is still difficult to hear. It is another example of the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has changed the lives of all Albertans in so many ways.
I have spoken with many education partners since we cancelled in-school classes indefinitely on March 15. This week alone, I have held phone calls and video meetings with board chairs, administrators, teachers, parents and students, with the support of our partner organizations such as the ASBA, ATA, CASS, ASCA, TAAPCS and AISCA. The predominate theme during these discussions was schools should only open again when it is safe to do so, and that would unlikely be in this school year. Another important element was to provide a level of certainty soon for the remaining two months.
Looking ahead, we will continue to work with you on our re-entry plan. I appreciated the calls and video meetings, and look forward to reviewing additional feedback in the coming days. As Deputy Minister Corbould and I committed to, we will share a draft plan with our partners next week for your further input.
While the Premier touched upon concepts such as re-opening some schools on a trial basis, the possibility of summer school and coming back earlier than normal to regain some of the lost time, I want to be clear that no decisions have been made on any aspect of the re-entry plan. These items are only three of many considerations before us. Also, proposals that ultimately appear in the re-entry plan will be subject to approval from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and subject to the terms of collective agreements.
Thank you for all your efforts to manage this unprecedented situation as our students learn from home. I look forward to our continued collaboration as we shape the 2020-21 school year together. Please stay healthy and safe.
Minister of Education
Take care, everyone.