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‘Simply unacceptable:’ Alberta teachers unhappy with back-to-school plan

Last Updated Aug 19, 2020 at 4:21 pm MDT

An empty teacher's desk is seen at the front of a empty classroom at McGee Secondary school in Vancouver on September 5, 2014. Alberta is planning to reopen schools in the province this fall even as cases of COVID-19 in the province continue to grow. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) is still concerned about the government’s return-to-school plan.

ATA President Jason Schilling is demanding an immediate meeting with Education Minister Adriana LaGrange to discuss teachers’ issues with the government’s proposal to send children back to school amid COVID-19.

In a statement, Schilling says the top priority for the province’s teachers right now is to ensure that the re-entry to schools is done as safely as possible.

Schilling says the ATA does not have confidence in Minister LaGrange or her plans to reopen schools.

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“The current plans for re-entry are simply unacceptable,” he said in a release. “I do not know what will happen if the Minister insists that teachers and students return to unsafe schools and I do not know how teachers and parents will respond.

“We have provided a reasonable and practical plan for moving onward that starts with meaningful consultation and a meeting in person with the Minister.”

The ATA has laid out its seven priorities for a safe re-entry, including:

  • Improving ventilation and filtering in schools
  • Smaller class sizes
  • Creating provincial and local COVID-19 response teams
  • Increased masks, cleaning supplies and equipment