As Calgary school boards shift to in-class learning for two weeks for upper grades, the Sturgeon County region has five alerts and one outbreak in six schools.
Redwater School, Camilla School, Landing Trail School, Sturgeon Composite High School, and Morinville Community High School all are in alert status with 2-4 cases, according to the Government of Alberta’s school outbreak map. Ecole Citadelle in Legal is listed as having 5-9 cases.
Presently 19 per cent of the province’s schools have alerts or outbreaks.
Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic Schools District (including schools in Airdrie and Cochrane) have been granted a temporary transition to at-home learning for Grades 7 to 12, effective Monday, April 19th for a two-week period.
The decision is based on what the government called a chronic substitute teacher shortage, as well as a significant number of students and staff in quarantine or isolation.
“While everyone’s preference is to learn in school, some school boards are dealing with operational pressures due to rising COVID-19 cases in the community,” said Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange. “The safety of students and staff is my top priority, which is why I am responding to the boards’ requests and respecting their autonomy. By having a clear process in place, we are giving them flexibility to move to at-home learning when necessary.”
Alberta NDP Critic for Education Sarah Hoffman said she understands several other boards are on the brink of a similar decision.
“Jason Kenney clearly doesn’t have any idea what’s happening inside Alberta classrooms or communities,” Hoffman said. “He has failed to give Alberta schools the resources they need to keep classrooms safe. The reasons the UCP gave for moving these students are exactly the factors we warned them about. Staff shortages, school closures, too many students in isolation, and community spread. All of these problems were foreseeable months ago, and Jason Kenney did nothing.”
As of Wednesday’s government update, Morinville had three new cases, two more recoveries, for a total of 43 active cases. Sturgeon County had one new case, five more recoveries, for a total of 78 active cases.