“Earlier this week I met with executives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to discuss school re-entry. One of their requests was that I engage with education partners to get their views on the ATA’s request to delay school re-entry.
“While our re-entry plan, as written, already provides school boards with the ability to delay or stagger school start dates should they decide that is in their local best interest, I agreed to further engage with education partners and get their views on this ATA request. This was done by having follow-up discussions with the Alberta School Boards Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents.
“These partners remain confident, as do I, that the school re-entry plan already provides local school authorities with the autonomy and flexibility to ensure local needs are met and to prepare schools for a safe re-entry.
“I have also had the chance to review all the planned re-entry dates for schools across the province, and I see that time is clearly available to allow teachers to prepare for re-entry before their students arrive.
“These plans and timelines were created by school boards who continue to follow the expert medical advice of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.
“I would like to reinforce that I continue to support school boards using this flexibility to adjust their plans if necessary in the coming days as they make preparations for a safe return to school.
“I encourage local education partners to continue to collaborate and work together on the decisions related to school calendars.”
For more information on Alberta’s return to school plan, visit www.alberta.ca/returntoschool.