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Classes Resume January 10th

classes resume

On January 5, Education Minister LaGrange announced that students will return to in-person learning starting Monday, January 10.

We fully support the position that in-person learning is in the best interest of the mental health and continued learning needs of our students.

Alongside this announcement, Minister LaGrange and Dr. Hinshaw provided that these health measures be in effect. Many of these guidelines are not new and are already established at our school sites. As a division, we are prepared for these measures, and they will be in place as classes resume Monday:

  • Students, staff, and visitors should be screened using the Alberta Daily Health Checklist for symptoms of common cold, influenza, COVID-19, and other infectious respiratory diseases before attending school. Parents are responsible for ensuring their child/children complete this checklist. Anyone with symptoms, regardless of a negative COVID test, should stay home.
  • Masks and rapid tests will be distributed by the Government of Alberta and will arrive prior to January 15. We will devise a distribution strategy that is equitable across our schools. Rapid tests will be distributed for home use. We will not administer any COVID-19 testing on students. The province’s mask policy in schools remains as before:
  1. Students in Junior Kindergarten - Grade 3:
    1. Mask use is recommended and encouraged in common areas and shared spaces for students.
    2. Mask use is mandatory while on the school bus.

  1. Students in Grade 4 - 12:
    • Mask use remains provincially mandatory in schools for students in Grade 4 - 12. Students may remove their mask if:
      • They are seated at a desk and not interacting with others.
      • They are consuming food or drink in designated areas.
      • They are engaged in physical exercise and select arts performance.
      • Mask use is mandatory while on the school bus.
  • Class cohorting and physical distancing measures will continue to be enforced as they were before the extended break.
  • Anyone who enters a school will be required to practice hand hygiene. Alcohol-based sanitizers will be available throughout the school and at designated entry points. Handwashing will be part of daily routines, including washroom use, recess, and lunch. Schools will have visible signage about hand washing and proper respiratory etiquette.
  • All employees have been given the choice to voluntarily disclose their vaccination status or participate in rapid testing. For those who are opting for rapid testing, the process is fully in place for Monday. Individuals have already received their at-home kits and completed training on how to test with accuracy. A process is also in place for visitors, volunteers, contractors, and practicum students.
  • Over the next few days, our COVID-19 handbook will be updated and shared.

As part of today’s announcement, Dr. Hinshaw recommended parents and guardians consider vaccinating their children as another layer of protection. Please know that at no time will we enforce or mandate vaccination for students or staff as we respect this decision as a personal one.

We caution that we are returning to in-person learning at a time of uncertainty. COVID-19 remains a challenge to our ability to return to normal operations. Circumstances may still require that a class or number of classes may move to short-term online learning as absenteeism impacts our classrooms. We ask for your patience and resilience as we navigate the second half of our school year. Everyone will bring a varied level of comfort. I know that we can demonstrate a culture of civility that is representative of this extraordinary community. 

As a last note, the Minister also announced the launch of an e-Tutoring Hub from Alberta Education to help address learning gaps. We will be reviewing this platform with our school leaders as part of our strategy to address unfinished learning and mental health support for students. More information will come, likely directly from your school leadership. 



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