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Earlier this spring, CCSD confirmed that as many as 4,000 high school students had enrolled in summer courses, with about 85 percent studying online and the remaining 15 percent opting for in-person classes.
Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas said the district wanted to give students the opportunity to return to a classroom while still making safety a priority.
Classes should be no more than 14 students and a teacher to allow for social distancing. And the use of personal protective equipment such as masks or shields among students and staff is encouraged but not required.
Szumlas was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.
Premier Jason Kenney, who ordered school boards across the province last week to reopen classes and create their own plans to mitigate risks, did not seem surprised on Tuesday that a student had already tested positive for the summer school, adding that more should be expected this fall.
“There will be positive cases. With three quarters of a million students in the province and tens of thousands of employees, there will be cases, ”he said.
Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Deena Hinshaw echoed the comments in a live Facebook video alongside Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on Tuesday evening, saying all necessary protocols had been followed to stop the spread.
“We knew that with the students going back to school in person, it’s inevitable, we will have cases of COVID and there will be in school and it won’t be something that is possible to do. ‘avoid it,’ she said.
She added that protecting children from COVID-19 is not the only health factor for returning to school, saying being able to be in school with peers is important for health and development.
Kenney stressed that children are at low risk of becoming seriously ill, and referred to countries like Taiwan and South Korea that have been successful in keeping schools open throughout the pandemic.
“As long as COVID is a reality, there will be infections. But the challenge for us is to make sure they don’t hit a peak that overwhelms our hospital systems.