Diego Romero CTVNewsEdmonton.ca Digital Journalist
Published Wednesday, June 10, 2020
EDMONTON -- Alberta's education minister says she expects students to go back to school in September with health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Adriana LaGrange laid out three scenarios for the 2020-21 school year: "near normal operations," a partial return to school, or at-home learning.
"How we return to in-class learning may vary regionally and will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases in that area," LaGrange said.
All students would go back to school under the first scenario. They would be screened for illness, and encouraged to wash their hands frequently, stay home when feeling sick, and practice physical distancing when possible. Staff and students will not have to wear masks, though students who develop symptoms while in school will be asked to wear one while they wait to be picked up from a separate room.
Schools would also enhance cleaning in their facilities and school buses.
"We are targeting a return to near normal operations with health measures in place," LaGrange said Wednesday.
Under the second scenario, students would go to school less regularly and there would be a maximum of 15 children per classroom.
"Students may be grouped in cohorts and rooms could be reorganized to create more space," Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said.
"So when children go back to school, especially children in the younger grades, if they can be kept within the same cohort of children, if there is an exposure it limits the total number of people who could be exposed. Distancing is one element; cohorting is another, so making sure that their regular screenings with children do not come to school when they're feeling ill."
Hinshaw added there is a risk of COVID-19 spread with the first two scenarios, but that there are also consequences for continuing at-home learning.
"So we need to balance the risks of continuing that distance model or the risks of bringing students back to school because
there is no one risk-free option that we have at our disposal unfortunately, so we're seeking that balance."
Summer programs will follow Scenario 2.
Diploma exams would only go ahead in the first and second scenarios, but they would be cancelled if students are learning from home in the third scenario.
The province will make a decision on which scenario to follow on Aug. 1.
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Did you catch all of that? Hinshaw said that "there is no one risk-free option that we have at our disposal" and that "there are consequences for at-home learning".
OF COURSE there is a risk-free option at your disposal, HOME EDUCATION.
Put more funding into Home Education and you will have more parents Home Educating their child(ren).
And Dr. Hinshaw, please enlighten me, what are the consequences for at-home learning?? You did not mention any...
Being at HOME, not school, is what is safe and best right now for children and their parent(s) because COVID-19 is a REAL pandemic which has already killed thousands of people and continues to infect people everyday world-wide.
I do not think parents are going to be playing Russian Roulette with their child's lives by sending them to school in September only to become infected with the virus and then possibly even die from becoming infected with the virus.
Please see the following links for more information about COVID-19 and how it affects children.