Families whose children attend Edmonton’s public and Catholic schools need to choose this month whether to send their kids back to the classroom or continue online learning in the fall.
Both public school boards are offering an online learning option for families who don’t yet feel comfortable having kids return in-person.
In its re-entry strategy released this week, Edmonton Public Schools said families have until the middle of the month to decide which option is best for them.
“Edmonton Public Schools recognizes that returning to classes in person may not be the best fit for all students, which is why we’re offering choices for families,” the school board said in a news release.
Families with Edmonton Catholic Schools will be sent a link this week to indicate their preference.
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Individual schools are working on their specific reopening plans, and more information should be available for families in the coming weeks, according to Edmonton Public Schools.
“Our staff have worked diligently to build a division strategy that focuses on mitigating risk and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our schools as much as possible,” Board Chair Trisha Estabrooks said.
“But I want to be very open with our families; this is only the best we can do in a very difficult situation as a large, growing school division.”
Edmonton Public Schools’ plan for September includes mandatory masks for staff and students in grade 4 and up. Students will be grouped into cohorts to reduce their number of contacts and will be screened daily for signs of illness.
Students who feel sick at school will be brought into a private area immediately school staff will call their parents or guardian to pick them up.
Catholic school students in Grade 4 to Grade 12 will also have to wear face masks, and it’s recommended younger students do, as well.