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Catholic schools plan COVID-19 safe, staggered re-entry this fall

Last Updated Aug 11, 2021 at 12:04 pm MDT

Rear view of large group of students raising their arms to answer the question on a class at elementary school. (CREDIT: iStock @rdmbc)

CALGARY – The Calgary Catholic School District says it’s expecting more guidance from the province within the coming weeks about what kind of COVID-19 safety measures will be in place in schools this year.

Two year-round schools have already reopened in Calgary with the exact same health measures in place as last year, but it’s not yet clear if those will extend to all others in the districts.

“I suspect there will be changes as we go forward here in that we won’t be notifying the entire class or sending the entire class home at this point in time, as we were doing last year,” said CCSD Chief Superintendent Dr. Bryan Zumlas.

“It’s going to be interesting, to say the least, as we move forward as to, you know, what does this middle ground look like as we approach September.”


RELATED: Alberta Catholic schools reinstate COVID-19 rules while awaiting provincial guidance


Zumlas says it’s critical that students and teachers never come to school sick, and parents inform staff if a child is ill.

“A big controversial issue for everyone is masks and where are we going to be with mask use,” he added.

“At this point in time, we do see a place and for mask use. I think we can’t go from, you know, zero 60, where we’ve been wearing masks for a year in Alberta, for a long time, all of a sudden to doing absolutely nothing in our schools.”

He says they’re still determining what the procedure will be if there’s a confirmed case of COVID-19 at a school, but he promises the plan will be “safe and reasonable”.

Kids in Catholic schools will go back in a staggered restart that would take place between Sept. 1 and Sept. 3.


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Other Alberta school districts have also said they are still working on their return-to-school plans.

In a statement from the Calgary Board of Education, spokeswoman Megan Geyer said the district is working closely with Alberta’s health and education ministries “to ensure appropriate health and safety protocols are adhered to in our schools and workplaces.”

Geyer said the board is sharing additional information with staff and families later this month.

For the latest on back to school and COVID-19, visit our special coverage page.

-with files from the Canadian Press