Education minister expects students to be back in regular classes this fall

47 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 said Wednesday, the same day Alberta reported just 47 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

“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,” said LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer-North.

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 reduction in 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.

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

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 6,582 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours.

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

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

Alberta politicians reject throne speech

Premier Kenney disapointed with lack of support for Alberta energy

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Sylvan Lake Municipal Library going waste free with new program

The Zero Waste DIY program begins on Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. on Zoom

COVID-19: Active cases in central zone up Tuesday

Central zone active cases remains lowest of all zones

Liberals vow wage-subsidy extension to 2021, revamp of EI system in throne speech

Canadian labour market was hammered by pandemic, when lockdowns in the spring led to a loss of 3 million jobs

Hundreds die from opioid overdoses in Alberta as COVID-19 pandemic hit

Jason Luan said the province is not alone in seeing a rise in deaths,

Wetaskiwin/ Camrose RCMP conduct a joint forces initiative with Camrose Police Service

The multifaceted joint forces initiative with on Sept. 23, 2020 proved very successful.

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Searchers find bodies in Jasper National Park, remains believed to be missing couple

RCMP along with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner continue to investigate

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Most Read