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Alberta government targeting “near normal” back to school in September

Given the information the provincial government has now, Alberta’s Education Minister expects students will be back in school this September.

Adriana LaGrange making that announcement Wednesday afternoon (June 10).

She says the province is targeting “near normal” operations with some health measures in place, however a final decision will be made by August 1st.

– Staff and students will not be mandated to wear masks.

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– Masks may be considered in circumstances where there is prolonged close contact (greater than 15 minutes) and a distance of two metres cannot be maintained.

– Masking is generally not recommended for younger students.

– 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.

LaGrange also says the decision on which scenario school boards will follow will be decided by the government and not by individual school authorities.

Each school board will be in charge, however of how they follow health measures and their own academic calendar.

Minister LaGrange says health precautions this fall will include the following: hand washing and sanitizing, frequent cleaning of schools & buses, no sick students allowed at school, and physical distancing when possible.

A few weeks ago the UCP government announced it was looking at three different scenarios for school this fall:

– normal school operations could resume

– schools partially reopened with some restrictions

– teacher-directed at home learning continues

The target now is to have near-normal operations with some health measures in place.

In-school classes have been cancelled since the middle of March to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students across the province have been conducting on-line learning since then.

Written by Tina Karst,

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