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The Alberta government has said it will not limit where substitute teachers can work and the number of schools or classrooms in which they can teach. other staff and students, including wearing a mask.
“Whenever possible, it is good for substitute teachers to limit the number of schools they teach in,” government spokesman Ted Bauer said in an emailed statement to Global News.
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“Substitute teachers have a choice of which schools to work in and are not required to work in multiple schools.”
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University of Calgary associate professor of microbiology, immunology and infectious diseases, Dr. Craig Jenne, said ideally substitute teachers would do their best to limit travel between schools. However, he said teachers working in multiple schools “don’t necessarily increase the risk”.
“Most schools, this won’t be a big deal unless we have active cases in the school,” Jenne said. “But the hardest part is that sometimes we don’t know there is an active case until a couple [of] days after the infectious period. “
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Jenne said substitute teachers moving between schools will not necessarily make contact tracing more difficult because schools will keep logs, but it will make the process longer for those responsible for finding and contacting people with which they have been in contact with.
“If there were enough staff, I would like to see more limits for moving between schools not just on a given day, even maybe in a given week,” Jenne said, adding that this would give time to the schools. symptoms to develop if someone had been exposed or for them to receive a call from contract tracers.
Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling said the association had asked if there would be limits to the substitute movement, but none were implemented. He said the association wanted to see a minimum safety standard for substitute teachers.
“When they go to a school, there should be things specially reserved for the submarine to use that day,” Schilling said.
“So a laptop that has not been used by anyone [that is] sanitized and ready to go, masks, other PPE if needed, hand sanitizer – basically having a replacement box to keep submarines safe when they enter the building.
The government has tasked each school board to develop guidelines for substitute teachers, saying they “have the autonomy and responsibility to make decisions about the programming and operation of their schools.”
Here’s a look at the considerations that Alberta’s four largest school districts have in place to help mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19 this school year:
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Calgary Board of Education
Substitute teachers will be allowed to roam between Calgary Board of Education schools this fall, but the board recommends trying to teach only one school per day – and one classroom in that school – to help limit any potential spread of COVID. 19.
“It’s ultimately up to the substitute teacher how many homework / placements they take in a day,” CBE spokeswoman Megan Geyer said in an email.
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The board said it was not worried whether contact tracing would be more difficult with substitute teachers coming to multiple schools, as it would keep records of everyone entering classrooms each day.
The CBE also doesn’t require this cohort of substitute teachers, but has said teachers can self-cohort if they wish and take assignments based on their cohorts.
“Substitute teachers can, therefore, choose to limit the number of schools or areas for which they accept position assignments during the 2020-2021 school year, without penalty or bias,” Geyer said.
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The CBE said it had increased its list of substitute teachers by more than 30 percent for the fall semester and expects to have nearly 1,800 educators available.
Calgary Catholic School Board
The Calgary Catholic School Board has said it will not limit the schools in which substitute teachers can work, adding that they “will be allowed to take homework based on their skills and qualifications and the schools they attended. available.
However, spokeswoman Sandra Borowski said the school board is encouraging teachers to limit the number of schools in which they take shifts.
Whether teachers can work in multiple classrooms in a school on any given day will depend on the principal of each school and the precautions they put in place, the council said.
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The electronic systems will follow where the submarines have worked, so CCSD does not expect to face additional challenges with contact tracing.
The CCSD said that because it could not speculate on the absenteeism rate of permanent teachers, it could not estimate the number of substitute teachers it expects to have in its schools in the fall. .
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Edmonton Catholic School District
The Edmonton Catholic School District said it had assigned substitute teachers to specific sites.
“If there are more absences from a school beyond what the affected subs can handle, we will have replacements available to be called up to different sites,” said spokeswoman Lori Nagy.
“If we notice, through the monitoring of absence data, that a specific school needs additional submarines beyond the assigned number, we have the option of adding a permanent sub-station.”
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Teachers can apply for cohort supply positions, and the number of supply teachers assigned to each school will depend on things like medical appointments and sick leave, the board said.
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Nagy said teachers will likely move between classrooms in schools on any given day, week or month.
ECSD has approximately 650 substitute teachers on its roster as the fall semester approaches.
Edmonton Public School Board
The Edmonton Public School Board said it is following the province’s guidelines for substitute teachers and will not restrict where they can work in the district.
“We encourage schools to create designated replacement lists, to help limit the number of substitute teachers entering a school,” Human Resources Director Angela Anderson said in an emailed statement.
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Any substitute teacher entering schools will have to follow the same protocols in place for tenured teachers, staff and students, Anderson said. Replacements will be tracked in the board’s supply management system.
The EPSB currently has 1,718 substitute teachers on its roster and is working to confirm how many will be available in the fall.
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The government announced in July that students will return to class in the fall under back-to-school scenario 1: near-normal daily operations and additional health measures.
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