By Kevin J Sabo
For the Castor Advance/Stettler Independent
The Province of Alberta and Clearview Public Schools have announced that students will be going back to school under scenario one.
Under scenario one, schools will be reopening in September under “near-normal” conditions with a variety of health measures in place.
“This was not an easy decision for the Minister and premier, especially as we’ve seen a recent spike in case,” said Drumheller-Stettler MLA Nate Horner in a press release.
“Everyone is committed to using best practises, being creative and doing our best to keep Alberta’s kids in the classroom in a safe as possible, risk-mitigating, way.”
A number of health measures will be put in place for the student re-entry into the schools, such as frequent high-touch surface cleaning, placing hand-sanitizing stations at the entrances to schools and classrooms, and placing schools into “cohorts.” According to a Clearview Public Schools release, other options include staggering class start time and lunch and recess breaks.
In order to help schools meet the new standards for cleaning, each school division will be receiving a re-entry toolkit and a funding boost of $120 million to support the re-entry. The re-entry toolkit “includes videos for students explaining some of the health measures, a guide for parents, frequently asked questions, school posters, a self-screening questionnaire, and links to health guideline.”
“There is no risk-free approach to Covid-19 but there is also a risk to children’s overall health from school closures,” said Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health, Deena Hinshaw, in the same press release.
For their part, Clearview Public Schools was happy to receive word that schools would be reopening under scenario one.
“Having our students back in school and in a safe learning environment is our first priority, and teachers are looking forward to seeing their students again,” wrote Clearview Public Schools via their own press release.
Now that school divisions know what the plan is for September, the school divisions across the province will be taking some time to fine-tune their plans, and more information will be released to parents and students sometime in August.