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Henry Wise Wood high school teacher Steve Yanover expects to teach classes that will have up to 38 students in them, similar to his class sizes the previous year. He said he thinks the province should move to ‘Scenario 2’ for school re-entry, which would see in-person classes only partially resume.
The province chose Scenario 1, which they call “near-normal.”
“With that scenario, you can transition as the evidence points you in that direction. If things go to hell, maybe you can go to Scenario 3. If it’s not so bad, nobody’s lost out on their education,” he said. “With Scenario 1, the only place to go is down.”
During her Thursday press conference, Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw stood behind the government’s school re-entry plan, reiterating that while some COVID-19 cases will likely emerge, the tradeoff is worthwhile.
“We must take the pandemic seriously and we also must look at the whole picture,” she said. “As a parent of school-age children, I have decided that the value of in-school learning outweighs the risk to my family. That’s why I’m sending my children back to school in September.”
In an email to parents Thursday, the CBE updated its re-entry plans.
The school board plans to post a series of videos next week detailing new health measures in classrooms and on school buses. They will also release guidelines on mask use, including where and when masks must be worn, when students will be given breaks from mask use and who may be exempted.
The CBE also said all schools had received their initial shipment of materials to help with physical distancing, as well as cleaning supplies and masks for staff. School plans are expected to be posted on school websites by the end of August.
Parents with children in the CBE must make their decision about whether to enrol in remote learning by Monday at 4 p.m. The deadline for the Catholic district is 11:59 p.m. Friday.