Alberta students are set to return to in-person learning on Jan. 10, with increased measures to ensure learning safely.
Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 students will return to classrooms with access to rapid COVID tests and medical-grade masks.
“I have heard overwhelmingly from families that learning in person is best for their kids who feel more connected, learn better and thrive while attending school in person. Experts agree and continue to stress the importance of in-person learning to the overall health of children and youth. That is why Alberta’s government has placed such a high priority on safe in-class instruction and making sure schools have the tools they need to continue providing a world-class education to Alberta students. I’d like to thank everyone in Alberta’s school system who is continuing to prepare for the safe return of students to classrooms and will be well-positioned to help them catch up,” minister of education Adriana LaGrange said.
The distribution of rapid tests and masks will occur as individual schools receive their supplies. Both rapid tests and masks will be shipped in phases.
Health measures including masking, physical distancing, cohorting, enhanced sanitization, and hygiene practices will continue.
The availability of vaccinations for everyone five years of age and older and encouraging school authorities to have proof of vaccination policies for adults will also continue.
In the coming weeks, the education ministry will continue to work with school authorities on shifting to at-home learning if needed.
The final decision to shift to at-home learning will be made by the government of Alberta, with input from school authorities. However, schools will have the flexibility to shift a class or grade to short-term-at-home learning if needed.
Student absentee rates, the ability of a school or school authority to have staff available to operate in-school classes, and local health data will be taken into consideration when making the final decision.