In-person learners must go back to class Monday, despite lockdown extension

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“We are facing a completely different situation than we were in September, with caseloads, hospitalizations and now this new variant that is ravaging all of Europe right now.

“Why are we not seeing more of an effort to allow families choice?”

Western Canada High School students head out on their lunch break on the second last day of in-class instruction on Thursday, November 26, 2020. As part of increased pandemic precautions Grades 7-12 students in Alberta move to online learning on Monday.
Western Canada High School students head out on their lunch break on the second last day of in-class instruction on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Photo by Gavin Young/Postmedia

Gerritsen, a data scientist who monitors COVID data from Western Europe, noted the Netherlands will keep schools shuttered until at least the end of January because of fears around the new variant.

“They are not rushing back, they see how dangerous this new variant is. So why do we have to rush back?

“Can’t we just wait until a few more of our most vulnerable are vaccinated?”

Davidson also noted that according to Health Canada data this week, Ontario is reporting 1,300 cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 people, while Alberta is reporting 2,400 cases for every 100,000 people.

CBE officials have confirmed there will be no movement from in-person instruction to hub online learning during the 2020-21 school year to minimize disruption from moving staff and resources around.

But at the same time, movement from online learning to in-person learning will be allowed at the CBE, with Friday as the deadline for a decision.

“We expect there will be some adjustments required to accommodate students returning to in-class learning from Hub,” said CBE spokeswoman Megan Geyer.

“But the impact of these adjustments will be much smaller than those that would be related to moving students into the Hub.”

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