Ecole Mother Teresa School hosted a "drive through" on Wednesday for the school's families. Parents and students drove through the crescent honking their horns and waving to their teachers. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News

Catholic middle school students in Sylvan Lake learning online

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has moved middle school classes online until May 7

Beginning today, middle school students from Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools are learning from home.

In a letter from April 26, Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) says the increase in COVID-19 cases over the weekend has impacted staff and students and resulted in a shortage of substitute teachers for the region.

“As we continue to receive positive COVID-19 alerts from Alberta Health Services, we realize that we must take action to ensure we are able to keep substitute teachers in front of our Kindergarten to Grade 6 students where possible,” RDCRS says in the letter.

“Ideally, we would like to keep all students in a face-to-face classroom and we are hopeful that with this temporary shift we will be able to mitigate some of the transmission of COVID-19.”

From April 27 to May 7 students in Grades 7-9 in Catholic schools will shift to online learning.

This shift impacts all middle school students in the region, including Ecole Mother Teresa School.

RDCRS says students will be following a weekly class schedule while learning remotely. This allows the students to work directly with their teachers throughout the day.

Staff will communicate with students about the structure of the digital classes directly on Tuesday.

“This will ensure that we will be able to keep moving forward with the curriculum and continue the strong learning that is happening within classes. Your child’s homeroom teacher will contact families via email this evening with further details,” RDCRS said.

The school district said the decision to move online was “not made lightly” and they need to be “ flexible with our decision making and place our students and their learning at the centre of all conversations.”

School will assist in supporting families with their technology needs during this time.

Any questions or concerns are best directed to child’s teacher, school counsellors, and school administrators, said RDCRS.

“While this is a challenging time, we continue to trust in the Lord with all our heart, leaning on each other for support and companionship.”