Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said Wednesday that the aim is to have schools open in September, with a concrete decision to be made by August 1. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)

Education Minister LaGrange expects students to be back in class in September

42 new cases of COVID-19 reported Wednesday

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says she expects students to be back in classrooms in September.

“Our goal is to get us back to normal learning as soon as possible,” LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer-North said on Wednesday, the same day Alberta reported just 42 new cases of COVID-19.

“We all know that students learn best in the classroom with their teachers and their peers. Provided that it’s safe to do so… based on the information we have now, we expect students will be at school in September.”

Under a second scenario, classes will only resume partially because of additional health requirements. The third scenario is that at-home learning will continue.

Returning to school will be based on the number of COVID-19 cases in the province, hospitalizations and ICU numbers, but also on evidence collected by schools around the world that have already reopened, she said.

A decision on which model will be implemented is expected by Aug. 1.

LaGrange said a return to classrooms could also happen regionally, based on the number of COVID-19 cases in each area.

“The reality is, the COVID-19 environment requires all of us to be flexible and nimble throughout the next school year. Everyone has a role to play in the safe return of in-school classes and reduce the transmission of COVID-19,” she said.

LaGrange stressed the decision on which scenario is selected for the return to school will be made by the government, not by local school boards or authorities.

The province also released health guidelines for parents about what to expect for the upcoming school year.

Some guidelines include frequent handwashing for students before and after they enter the school and increased cleaning of surfaces in classrooms, hallways and busses.

In the event schools need to revert to the second scenario, stricter measures will be in place, including physical distancing and a maximum of 15 people in a classroom.

In that case, students will go to class on a modified basis, and it will be up to local school authorities to create class calendars.

Tuesday, Saskatchewan announced it would let schools return to in-person classes in the fall. They have had just 656 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and only 13 deaths.

British Columbia is also aiming to open schools for full-time classes in September. On May 15, the province announced it would open schools on an optional, part-time basis as of June 1.

When they opened schools earlier this month, about one-third of students returned.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, also provided an update on the latest COVID-19 statistics.

Hinshaw said there are still 371 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. There have been 7,276 confirmed cases in Alberta. She reported that of the 6,582 tests in the last 24 hours, there were only 42 new cases.

There are still no active cases in the central zone, with 86 recovered cases.

In the last 24 hours, there have been no new deaths, with the total number of deaths remaining at 151.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

The future site of the Rimbey Travel Centre. Web photo
New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

soup
Rimbey FCSS to introduce the Cultural Community Kitchen

The Cultural Community Kitchen sessions will be held at the Rimbey Co-op

robbery
UPDATE: Shooting suspect arrested by Wetaskiwin/Camrose RCMP

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Ryen Williams, 11, with a lost miniature horse at JJ Collett Oct. 23. Photo by Don Williams
UPDATE: Owners found

Father and son found him while out for a walk at JJ Collett

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Conservative member of Parliament Michelle Rempel Garner, left to right, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and Conservative Deputy Leader Candice Bergen arrive to hold a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No-confidence showdown over sweeping Tory motion on government handling of pandemic

The Conservative motion is to be put to a vote Monday and has the support of both the Bloc Québécois and NDP

From l-r., first lady Melania Trump, President Donald Trump, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden on stage at the conclusion of the second and final presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump, Biden fight over the raging virus, climate and race

Republican president declared the virus, which killed more than 1,000 Americans on Thursday alone, will “go away.”

JJ Collett Natural Area Foundation held its AGM on Oct. 19 at the Ponoka Legion. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
De-listing Alberta parks creates ‘risk’ for coal mining: CPAWS

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society speaks at JJ Collett AGM

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kobly spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

Most Read