Catholic board tells parents students won’t return this spring
No official word on cancelling remainder of year from Calgary Board of Education
The Calgary Catholic School District sent a note to parents Tuesday officially confirming students won’t return to class this spring.
And while Alberta’s relaunch strategy announced by Premier Jason Kenney confirms students across the province will continue with virtual learning for the remainder of this school year, public school parents in Calgary have yet to be given the official word from the Calgary Board of Education.
“The provincial government has informed us that in-school classes for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students will remain suspended for the remainder of this school year and will be re-evaluated in the fall,” said Bryan Szumlas, superintendent of the Calgary Catholic School District.
But with COVID-19 expected to still be an ongoing concern in September, Szumlas is also asking parents to provide thoughts and ideas about how a return to school might look and ways that risk of catching or spreading the virus can be mitigated.
“As we look forward to the fall and the possible reopening of schools, we are starting to plan what this will look like and we invite your feedback by participating in an open-ended survey,” Szumlas said, pointing to an online platform used by the CCSD for parent and staff communication.
Last Thursday, Kenney announced plans to start reopening Alberta over the next few weeks pending controlled numbers of new COVID-19 cases.
With restaurants, small businesses and hair salons getting the OK to reopen by May 14, Kenney said school boards essentially decided when schools closed March 16 that they would remain closed for the duration of this academic year.
But Kenney is also considering allowing some schools or specialty programs to open during the summer months, particularly for at-risk students who need to catch up on time missed this spring.
But the province has not provided any details, with talks expected over the next several weeks with school districts across the province.
According to the province’s relaunch strategy, schools would be opened during Stage 2 of the relaunch, the timing of which is yet to be determined.
Meanwhile, the CBE has not yet announced to parents in an official letter that classes will not return before the end of June.
Fees are being refunded for both transportation and lunch room supervision at both school districts, and students are reminded that all standardized final exams are cancelled, including diploma exams for Grade 12 students and provincial achievement exams for students in Grades 6 and 9.
The Hillhurst Community School in Calgary sent out its positive message of hope on March 15 as all schools across Alberta were closed to students due to the COVID-19 pandemic.