Jan. 06, 2022
On Jan. 5, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange confirmed that all students will return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. We look forward to welcoming students back to classes and are working hard to keep schools and workplaces as safe as possible. As families prepare to go back to school, we want to provide some important information about health measures that will be in place in CBE schools, and what you can do to help.
Masks and Rapid Test Kits
The government will be providing medical-grade masks and rapid test kits for students and school-based staff. In the initial phase, students will receive kits to test at home twice per week for 2.5 weeks. More information about the tests and what to do with the results are posted on the Alberta Government website, including a video about how to use the test and a fact sheet translated into multiple languages.
We expect that these supplies will arrive by the end of next week. Information about distribution will come from your child’s school once these items are available.
Stay Home if Feeling Unwell
Now, more than ever, it is important that anyone feeling unwell must stay at home. Students and staff must use the daily checklist to identify if they should attend or stay home.
Reporting Positive Cases
The COVID-19 positive case notification process has changed. Alberta Health Services will no longer support schools to inform close contacts or the school community of positive cases. You are not required to report rapid test results to your child’s school.
Please continue to inform your school if your child will be staying home from school for any reason. Schools will continue to monitor school absenteeism due to illness.
Prepare for Possible Shift to At-Home Learning
While maintaining in-person learning is a priority, schools are planning for potential transitions to at-home learning if required.
The decision to transition individual classes or grades to at-home learning will be based on staff availability and/or student absentee rates. All moves to at-home learning for entire schools or school authorities require approval or direction from the Minister of Education. Decisions to move individual classes or multiple classes within a school will be decided by CBE Administration.
We know the spread of COVID-19 has and will continue to impact staffing levels across the organization. Despite increasing our substitute teacher roster and continuously hiring new substitutes, we anticipate staffing challenges will occur.
If your child’s class or school is going to be transitioned to online learning, you will receive information from the school directly. While we will attempt to give as much notice to families as possible, these transitions can happen suddenly and with short notice. Families should frequently check their email and/or their school website for updates.
Yellow school bus service may also be impacted by last-minute staffing challenges due to illness. Buses may be delayed or unable to run for the day due to driver availability. If your child’s bus is delayed, please check the CBE transportation website for more information. Families should also have back-up plans in place if school bus transportation is unavailable.
Additional Health Measures
Throughout the pandemic, the CBE has met or exceeded health measures recommended by government. These health measures include:
- Staying home when sick;
- A vaccination policy for employees, volunteers and CBE;
- Mandatory masking for all students and staff;
- Proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette; and
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high traffic/touch areas.
Ventilation in Schools
Ensuring proper ventilation and airflow in our schools is one of the health measures we have in place to support student and staff wellness.
Over the past two years, Alberta Labour, Occupational Health & Safety and Alberta Health Services have inspected CBE schools and determined that health measures in place are fully compliant with existing government recommendations. The CBE is exploring other ventilation options that consider the impact on school building systems and available resources. We will continue to keep you informed as information becomes available.
From the Board of Trustees
Finally, I want to share this message on behalf of the Board of Trustees:
The safety, physical and mental health of our students and staff continues to be our priority. We acknowledge the stress and uncertainty that students, families and staff are facing.
We are so grateful for the tireless commitment of our staff to continuing to deliver a quality education experience to all students throughout this pandemic. It will be important that we work together to keep schools and workplaces as safe and healthy as possible. Thank you for your ongoing patience, support and understanding.
We are continuing to work with Alberta Education and other school boards in Calgary and Edmonton regarding existing health measures and to consider any necessary changes as the situation evolves. Alberta Education and Alberta Health are updating guidelines and we will share information when it is available.
Chief Superintendent of Schools