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COVID-19

Red Deer Public Schools keeping Educational Assistants on for an extra month

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From Red Deer Public Schools

Red Deer Public lays off support staff on June 1

Saturday’s announcement that the provincial government was reducing funds to school divisions across the province will result in the layoff of educational assistants effective June 1. There will be no more assignments for substitute teachers. Contracted services by our bussing contractor are suspended for the remainder of the school year.

Funding from the province to Red Deer Public Schools has been reduced by $1.45 million. In total, the government is expected to reduce funding to Alberta school jurisdictions by a total of $128 million, which will be directed to support the province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

“When classes were cancelled two weeks ago, the focus of all our staff shifted to continuity of learning and supporting our 11,000 students having to learn from home,” said Board Chair Nicole Buchanan.

“Red Deer Public understands that our province and nation are significantly impacted by the many challenges we are facing in 2020. We are keenly aware of the significant challenges that students, the families we serve and our community are facing,” said Buchanan.

With online learning for 11,000 students off to a successful start last week the division wanted to ensure all students were actively engaged in learning. “We received really great feedback after a week of learning from home. When we established our plans for continuity of learning, our educational assistants and support staff played an important role in the delivery,” said Superintendent Stu Henry. “Our top priority is to continue to provide great teaching and learning to our students while they are home.”

Given the funding reduction, the District looked at all aspects of its budget to maximize student learning. “We wanted to support continuity of learning as much as possible. Through overall cost savings through reduced operations within our schools and the division, we are now able to defer the layoffs to educational assistants until June 1 rather than May 1 as originally planned,” said Henry. “This will allow us to use educational assistants to maintain our plans to support learning from home, particularly in these early stages. We can also provide targeted support to students with special needs, including those PUF students in pre kindergarten.”

While the initial announcement identified where reductions should take place, decisions have been left to school boards to determine where the reductions are best made. “We are still meeting our funding reductions announced by the government. Yes, these funding reductions are tough, but by respecting the local autonomy of school boards to make the best decisions, the government knows that we are in a far better place to make decisions that maximize student learning and have the least impact on students as well as staff,” said Chair Buchanan.

Today the District informed staff of the following layoffs:

  • 258 Educational Assistants – effective June 1

  • Substitute Teachers – no more assignments effective March 31

  • Contracted services by our bussing contractor are suspended for the remainder of the school year

  • At this point, we are not anticipating nor planning further reductions to staffing.

“We are incredibly proud of how staff in all of our schools have responded to these challenging times, said Chair Buchanan. “‘We’re in this together’ is the rallying cry for this pandemic crisis. Our support staff have played an important role throughout the school year and had really stepped up as we’ve responded to this unprecedented pandemic. While they still face layoffs June 1, fortunately we have been able to minimize the impact of this funding reduction to students and staff. Yes, we will get through this together!”

6 more cases of COVID in Central Alberta, 57 in total – (April 1 update)

Central Alberta

COVID outbreak in Wainwright area boosts Central Alberta numbers

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Images from the Province of Alberta  

Covid-19 cases in Alberta are on a downward trend over the last week, but a big bump in cases in the MD of Wainwright has lead to an increase in active cases as of August 6.  There are 224 active cases in Central Alberta.  Just 66 new cases have been diagnosed in the last week (July 31-August 6).  Almost 40 of those were from the Wainwright area.

Beaver County at 65, Starland County at 60, and Wainwright area at 45 account for 170 out of the 224 cases in Central Alberta.  Here’s the Central Alberta breakdown in cases including the 8 municipalities with no cases at all.

Central Alberta Communities – Active Cases
  1. Beaver County – 65
  2. Starland County – 60
  3. MD of Wainwright – 45
  4. Red Deer – 12
  5. Flagstaff County – 6
  6. Settler County – 5
  7. Lacombe County – 5
  8. Drumheller – 4
  9. Red Deer County – 4
  10. Kneehill County – 4
  11. Paintearth County – 3
  12. Vermillion River County – 3
  13. Camrose – 2
  14. Sylvan Lake – 2
  15. Special Areas 2 – 1
  16. Provost County – 1
  17. Lacombe – 1
  18. Camrose County – 1
  19. Mountain View County – 0
  20. Clearwater County – 0
  21. Wetaskiwin – 0
  22. Olds – 0
  23. Ponoka County – 0
  24. Two Hills County – 0
  25. Wetaskiwin County- 0
  26. Minburn County – 0
  27. Special Areas 4 – 0

In the City of Red Deer there are 10 active cases.  3 in “North” Red Deer, 2 in “South-West” Red Deer, and 7 in Red Deer – East.

 

Here are the total number of cases for the entire province including all the recoveries.

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City of Red Deer

Red Deer City Council to take a fresh look at mandatory mask usage

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From the City of Red Deer

Update to statement from Mayor Tara Veer, on behalf of City Council, on mask usage in Red Deer

“The mandatory use of masks continues to be a topic of conversation as we all respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic.In accordance with my statement, on behalf of The City, on July 24, the ongoing discussions of mask usage may be continually revisited at any time given fluctuating case numbers in the city and region along with new direction from the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. This week the Government of Alberta announced the guidelines around mandatory mask usage in schools and on school buses as schools reopen this fall.

As such, City administration is preparing a report for the August 17 Council meeting which will include updates on Provincial direction and local considerations. The administrative report will be available on The City’s website on or after August 13.”


July 24, 2020

Statement from Mayor Tara Veer, on behalf of City Council, on mask usage in Red Deer

“The mandatory use of masks continues to be a topic of conversation in communities across Alberta and around Canada as we all respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Government of Alberta has indicated that they do not have province wide plans for mandatory masking and have left the decision to municipalities to make decisions based on their local situation.

The City continues to follow the number of cases in Red Deer and the Central Zone health region very closely. The recent uptick in cases in the region is concerning and serves as a reminder of the importance of following all public health orders to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. At this time, given current case numbers within the city, The City of Red Deer is not considering implementing mandatory masking in Red Deer, however this may be revisited at any time given fluctuating case numbers in the city and region along with direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

We are asking our citizens and businesses to follow health and safety protocols on a voluntary basis and for the safety of others. Mask use continues to be strongly recommended, particularly indoors, when physical distancing of two metres from people outside your cohort group is not possible. The Province has made masks available in a number of places across Alberta, free of charge, and The City of Red Deer received masks to hand out for free to transit users. There are also masks available at City recreation facilities for scheduled users to help elevate voluntary public participation in City amenities.

Implementing a mandatory masking policy in public spaces needs to be considered with other health orders and in context with the overall local severity of the pandemic. The caseload in the region is absolutely critical to The City’s consideration of implementing a mandatory mask policy. As such, we continue to have discussions with other local leaders within the Central Zone health region to ensure our decisions are cohesive as we all access the same healthcare services.”

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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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