Dear Westmount Community,
Please see the message from the Minister of Education, below.
The health and safety of students and staff continues to be our top priority. Thank you for your continued diligence in implementing the health measures outlined in the Guidance For School Re-Entry – Scenario 1 and for your resilience as we adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.
Alberta’s government recently announced that all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the province would temporarily shift to at-home learning beginning May 7, with a targeted return to in-school learning on May 25. This decision was part of a province-wide approach to limit the spread of COVID-19, as well as to relieve some operational strains our system has experienced. As you know, schools in Alberta were experiencing a shortage of substitute teachers, rising numbers of students and staff in quarantine or isolation, and increased community spread that was reflected in the increasing number of cases in schools.
Given the positive impacts of this recent decision, we announced today that in-person learning will resume for all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students across the province as planned, with the exception of the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo. The reset was successful in nearly all regions across the province and helped alleviate some of the operational pressures tied to the rise of COVID-19 cases.
Students in the regional municipality of Wood Buffalo (public, Catholic, charter and independent schools) will continue at-home learning until May 31, 2021. Case numbers in this region have not been trending downwards at the same levels as in other regions, which means a higher likelihood of continued in-school operational challenges.
Schools remain safe and we know the robust health protocols in place have been effective in limiting the risk of widespread in-school transmission. We are also moving ahead with expanding the rollout of rapid screening tests in Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge schools, and in other communities where needed starting next week. This is in addition to offering testing in Calgary schools and continuing to support students with disabilities who are exempt from the shift to at-home learning.
I am confident that all students can look forward to finishing this unusual school year while learning at their school.
Thank you for your continued efforts to keep our students safe and to ensure learning continues throughout this school year.
Minister of Education