Connect with us

Alberta

Province has three scenarios for return to school in September. Final decision by August 1. Details

Published

13 minute read

School, classroom, students, teacher

From the Province of Alberta

Getting ready for 2020-21 school year

A comprehensive re-entry plan for the upcoming school year allows schools and parents to prepare for learning while putting student and staff safety first.

The plan offers guidance on a wide range of operational issues including hygiene and health requirements, student learning, transportation and diploma exams. It also addresses mental health and psychological supports for students and staff.

School authorities will plan for all three scenarios for September:

  1. In-school classes resume (near normal operations with health measures)
  2. In-school classes partially resume with additional health measures
  3. At home learning continues (in-school classes are cancelled)

The preferred and likely scenario is that students will return to daily in-school classes at the beginning of the year. The government will share its final decision by Aug. 1 on which scenario will be in place at the beginning of the school year. However, school authorities are asked to prepare for implementing any of the three possibilities during the upcoming school year, including on short notice.

“We are providing clear direction and the certainty parents and the school system need to plan ahead and get ready for what the new school year may look like. We are hoping, and it is likely, students can return to daily classes at school while taking health precautions, but we have to prepare for all possibilities. I want to thank our education leaders, teachers and parents for their thoughtful contributions to this comprehensive plan.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“This plan puts the interests of students and staff first. Educators, administrators, families, health professionals and government all need to work together to support a safe return to in-person classes. We continue to monitor the situation closely. The reality is, we must weigh the risk of prolonged school closures against the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in closed settings, such as schools. A safe and successful school year will only be possible if we all work together.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

The re-entry plan balances the need for provincial standardized approaches in some areas while also providing flexibility and recognition of school authorities’ autonomy to address health guidelines in the most effective ways in their own communities.

Alberta Education worked closely with many education partners on the plan, including the Alberta School Boards Association, the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents, the Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta, The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools, individual school authorities and the Alberta School Councils’ Association which compiled input from more than 66,000 parents.

“The Alberta School Councils’ Association is pleased that considerations for the safety of students and staff remain priorities throughout this detailed plan, along with the recognition that school authorities are best suited to making operational decisions directly impacting their local school communities. We look forward to ongoing work and communications with the ministry, as this is key for successful implementation and return to school.”

Brandi Rai, president, Alberta School Councils’ Association

“Alberta’s teachers are looking forward to supporting our students as we transition into the 2020-21 school year. As our recent survey indicates, teachers are concerned about the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues and their students. We expect to work with government to strengthen and improve the plans for re-entry to ensure that schools can provide healthy and safe environments for teachers and students.”

Jason Schilling, president, Alberta Teachers’ Association

“Supporting the health and safety of students and staff continues to be a top priority for the ASBA and all school boards. We appreciate government providing clarity, while ensuring flexibility and autonomy, as each of Alberta’s public, Catholic and Francophone boards face challenges within the context of their local communities. As the situation evolves, we will continue to collaborate with government and our members to adjust the plan in preparation for the upcoming school year.”

Lorrie Jess, president, Alberta School Boards Association

“The College of Alberta School Superintendents joins the province in its commitment to protecting the health and well-being of all students and staff as we transition to the 2020-21 school year. We appreciate the collaborative manner in which the re-entry plan has developed and are pleased that school divisions have been provided with the flexibility and authority to implement procedures beyond the plan that they deem necessary to ensure the safety of their learning environments.”

Bevan Daverne, president, College of Alberta School Superintendents

“We are deeply appreciative of the ongoing consultation with all educational partners by the Minister of Education and the ministry as a whole in these trying circumstances. Teachers and systems have responded to the pandemic with remarkable energy and ingenuity. The proactive, engaging leadership of our government continues to be essential for education to fulfil its vital role in Alberta through this critical time.”

Ron Koper, chair, The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools

“Our association appreciates the government’s collaborative approach in developing this re-entry plan. We remain committed to supporting our schools so that their staff and students can experience a safe and positive learning environment in the coming academic year.”

Simon Williams, president, Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta

Public health guidance for schools

Return to in-school class learning may vary across the province and is dependent on the number of COVID-19 cases in the local area. School boards should develop their own COVID-19 plans under the applicable scenario and health guidelines prior to reopening.

Measures to reduce the risk – scenario 1 (in-school classes resume – near normal operations with health measures)

Cleaning

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, including daily cleaning for all areas of the school, washrooms and high-touch surfaces cleaned several times a day or more as needed.
  • Regularly scheduled deep cleaning when students are not present.

Student/staff hygiene and illness

  • Routine screening for all staff and students.
  • Strict stay-at-home policy for any students or staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Hand hygiene expectations when entering and exiting the school and classrooms, before and after eating.
  • Continual reminders of the importance of respiratory etiquette (e.g., cover coughs and sneezes, avoid touching the face and disposal of used tissues promptly, followed by hand hygiene).
  • Students who develop symptoms at school may be asked to wear a mask and isolate in a separate room until a parent arrives for pickup. If a separate room is not available, the student must be kept at least two metres away from other individuals.

Physical distancing and grouping

  • When possible, practise some physical distancing as a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease.
  • In classrooms, buses and during activities when physical distancing may not be possible, extra emphasis is put on other hygiene practices.
  • Reorganization of rooms to allow for more physical space.
  • Cohorting of students by class where possible.
  • Guiding foot traffic flow through entrances and hallways by using markers on the floor or pylons/barriers.
  • Avoiding large gatherings such as assemblies.

Masks

  • Staff and students will not be mandated to wear masks.
  • Masks may be considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and distance of two metres cannot be maintained.
  • Masking is generally not recommended for younger students.

Shared items

  • A no-sharing policy – all students should have their own supplies.
  • Where sharing of equipment is required, the equipment should be cleaned between uses.

Cases of COVID-19 in a school

  • The zone medical officer of health will work with school authorities on the rapid identification of cases through easily accessible testing, rapid close contact identification, and isolation measures when needed.
  • The zone medical officer of health will also work with school authorities to provide follow-up recommendations and messaging for staff, parents and students.
  • Alberta Health Services may request the school to close in-person classes to allow the public health investigation to take place.
  • Each school authority will support students and staff to learn or work at home if they are required to self-isolate.

Measures to reduce the risk – scenario 2 (in-school classes partially resume with additional health measures)

The same considerations as scenario 1, with the following differences:

  • A recommended maximum of 15 people in a classroom to allow for more consistent physical distancing.
  • Students will attend school less regularly as school authorities will need to adjust their class schedule and configuration to meet the physical distancing requirement.

Non-COVID-19 operational highlights

  • Any summer programming will follow scenario 2 of the re-entry plan and the associated public health measures.
  • August diploma exams will proceed for students taking diploma courses this summer.
  • For the 2020-21 school year, diploma exams will be held if the first or second scenarios are in place. In scenario 3, exams may be cancelled.
  • Provincial achievement tests (PATs) for Grades 6 and 9 can be held in the first and second scenarios, but will be optional for school authorities to participate.
  • If scenario 3 is in place at the beginning of the school year, the January PATs will be cancelled. May/June PATs may be cancelled based on the duration of at-home learning.
  • School authorities can, as deemed appropriate at the local level, reduce time spent teaching non-core subjects to allow for additional instruction time on core subjects.
  • School authorities must enable the full participation and inclusion of students with disabilities under each scenario and address any learning gaps from the 2019-20 school year.
  • Mental health supports should be in place for students and staff.

This plan is part Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy to safely begin removing public health restrictions and reopen our economy. For more information, visit alberta.ca/RelaunchStrategy.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

Follow Author

Alberta

Alberta politician hosts sold-out conference on COVID jab harms with Drs. Trozzi, Bridle

Published on

Calgary-Lougheed MLA Eric Bouchard                                                                                                  Alberta Politics / YouTube

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The ‘Injection of Truth’ event organized by MLA Eric Bouchard included well-known speakers critical of COVID mandates, including Dr. Byram Bridle, Dr. William Makis, canceled doctor Mark Trozzi and pediatric neurologist Eric Payne.

An event hosted by a newly elected member of Alberta’s legislative assembly, which featured prominent doctors and experts speaking out against COVID vaccines and mandates, sold out in Calgary this week

Dubbed “An Injection of Truth,” the event took place on June 18 in Calgary and was hosted by the Calgary-Lougheed Constituency Association of the United Conservative Party president Darrell Komick and MLA Eric Bouchard. 

The event was geared around the question, “What’s scientifically different today than 2020? And why are an excess number of Alberta’s children dying?”  

“Many doctors and medical experts are saying that the COVID mRNA shots that began use in 2021 in Alberta are unsafe and ineffective for children. An Injection of Truth Town Hall is hosting world-class experts to present the medical and scientific case for stopping COVID mRNA injections in children,” the event’s website noted.  

The “Injection of Truth” event included well-known speakers critical of COVID mandates and the shots, including Dr. Byram BridleDr. William Makis, canceled doctor Mark Trozzi and pediatric neurologist Eric Payne. 

Bridle, who has been reported on by LifeSiteNews extensively, is an Ontario virologist, vaccinologist, immunologist, and associate professor of viral immunology in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph. He is critical of the COVID shots and said at the event that all his concerns regarding the COVID shots have been “repeatedly proven correct by scientific data.”  

“COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children,” he said.  

He noted how research shows “multi-dosing with lipid nanoparticles” that the mRNA jabs use “is dangerous,” explaining how years ago this was the reason the use of lipid nanoparticles was “abandoned” by Big Pharma except for a “few” who “clung onto it.” 

“It was supposed to be a one-and-done technology, not 10 doses,” he said.  

Payne noted that when it comes to public health officials, it seems “they’re trying to pretend they never said these things” because the “lies are coming down from the very top.”  

Payne observed that he knows of not one healthy child who died from COVID, even though the government messaging was that kids as young as six months old should get the shot.  

He noted that when it comes to the COVID shots, they are not even “vaccines.” 

“To call these things vaccines, it’s just not the truth,” he said, referring to them as an experimental drug based on mRNA technology. 

Payne and four other Alberta doctors launched a lawsuit against Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) mandatory workplace COVID jab policy in October 2021. 

Trozzi, who was stripped of his medical license by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for speaking out against the COVID shots and was a guest speaker at the LifeSiteNews 2023 general meeting, observed that the COVID crisis would have been over sooner if everyone just lived their normal lives. 

He said all that was needed was for the vulnerable to be isolated and that it was important kids were exposed to the virus to build immunity. He observed how mortality rates for kids were already on the rise before the COVID shots came out due to isolation causing damage to their immune systems. 

The COVID shots were heavily promoted by the federal government as well as all provincial governments in Canada, with the Alberta government under former Premier Jason Kenney being no exception. 

The mRNA shots themselves have been linked to a multitude of negative and often severe side effects in children. 

As for AHS, it still is promoting the COVID shots for babies as young as six months old, as recently reported by LifeSiteNews.   

The full event has now been posted to YouTube and is available for all to watch freely.  

Conversation about COVID jabs ‘should have happened four years ago,’ says politician   

MLA Eric Bouchard spoke with LifeSiteNews about the “Injection of Truth” event, saying that open discussion about the COVID injections is a conversation that “should have happened” four years ago.

He noted that the speakers invited to the event all “presented their own data, factual peer-reviewed data,” and that “they were all canceled” in some way for simply asking questions. 

Bouchard said that his event had the full support of his local constituency board. 

“They voted 22-1 to championing the Town Hall,” he said, which was attended by UPC president Rod Smith.  

Bouchard noted that he did have pushback from the “mainstream media” over the event, but the decision to host the conference never wavered.

Bouchard said that despite being invited to the event as well as a press conference, members of the mainstream media failed to show up, which he says shows how one-sided they were and still are in relation to asking hard questions about COVID jabs and mandates. 

Bouchard became a first-time UCP MLA in 2023 after an election that saw UCP leader Danielle Smith elected as premier of the province on a pro-freedom and pro-business platform. Smith’s election followed the resignation of Premier Jason Kenney, who suffered low approval ratings after implementing a number of COVID-related mandates, including lockdowns.

Ironically, Bouchard is now the MLA representing the same riding Kenney represented until stepping down as party leader. Bouchard is a former restaurant owner who was forced to close in part because of the Kenney-mandated COVID lockdowns.

Bouchard, as reported by LifeSiteNews earlier this year, has praised the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy protesters for standing up for what “was right.”

Under Kenney, thousands of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare and government workers lost their jobs for choosing to not get the jabs, leading Smith to say – only minutes after being sworn in – that over the past year the “unvaccinated” were the “most discriminated against” group of people in her lifetime.  

Continue Reading

Alberta

Alberta parents want balance—not bias—in the classroom

Published on

From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Paige MacPherson

74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

With the Alberta government set to test its new draft social studies curriculum in September, a new poll reveals a clear consensus: Alberta parents of K-12 children want schools to provide balance—not bias—in the classroom. And when it comes to controversial material in schools, they want to make their own choices for their children.

Specifically, the poll (conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Fraser Institute) found that 88 per cent of Alberta parents (with kids in public and independent schools) believe teachers and the provincial curriculum should focus on facts—not teacher interpretations of those facts, which may include opinions. Only 10 per cent of Alberta parents disagreed.

Moreover, despite ongoing debates in the media and among activists about K-12 school policies, curriculum development, controversial issues in the classroom and parental involvement, according to the poll, the vast majority of parents agree on how schools should handle these issues.

For example, 74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

An overwhelming majority of Alberta parents (86 per cent) believe schools should provide advance notice when controversial topics will be discussed in class or during formal school activities. This isn’t surprising—many parents may want to discuss these issues with their children in advance.

In fact, when controversial topics arise, about three quarters (73 per cent) of Alberta parents believe parents should have the right to remove their children from those lessons without consequence to their children’s grades. Of the minority who do not believe parents should have this right, most said “children need to learn about all topics/viewpoints, regardless of their parents’ bias.”

And almost nine in 10 Alberta parents (89 per cent) believe classroom materials and conversations about potentially controversial topics should always be age appropriate.

These polling results should help inform provincial and school-level policies around parental information, consent, school curricula and teacher curriculum guides. For instance, given that parents overwhelmingly favour facts in classrooms, curriculum guides should require the teaching of specific details (e.g. the key players, dates and context of specific historical events). Currently, teachers are allowed to interpret events based on their opinions, which means students may hear completely different interpretations depending on the particular teacher.

While the preferences of parents with kids in K-12 schools are often presented as contentious in media and politics, polling data shows a clear consensus. Parents overwhelmingly value balance, not bias. They want their kids taught age-appropriate facts rather than opinions. And they expect prior notice before anything controversial happens in their kids’ schools. According to most parents in Alberta, none of these opinions are controversial.

Continue Reading

Trending

X