COVID-19: Alberta Education confirms 5 schools moving to online classes

As Albertans grapple with the fourth wave of COVID-19, the rise in cases is impacting some students.

On Friday, a spokesperson for the Minister of Education confirmed that five schools in Alberta will be temporarily moving classes online.

In a statement, spokesperson Nicole Sparrow said the change was made after the province was contacted by the individual schools.

Read more: Northwest Edmonton elementary school moves to online learning amid COVID-19 surge

“At the request of school authorities, five schools have currently been approved to move to at-home learning for operational reasons,” said Sparrow. “When Alberta Education receives a request from a school authority, department officials work closely with the school authority and a decision is typically communicated within 24 hours.”

The government takes four factors into consideration before approving the move to at-home learning. They include looking at staff shortages, student absence rates, COVID-19 data from Alberta Health Services, and case rates in nearby communities.

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The Ministry of Education stopped short of naming the schools, or the health zones they’re in, but Global News confirmed that schools in the Calgary Board of Education or the Calgary Catholic School District are not impacted.

On Friday, all students at Westglen School in northwest Edmonton shifted to online learning after at least said 31 cases of COVID-19 were self-reported to the school’s principal.

Outbreak list

This week, three additional Calgary Board of Education schools have been added to the school board’s online list of outbreaks.

North Haven School, W.O. Mitchell School and Braeside School were added on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Schools are added to the list when more than 10 per cent of the school’s population is absent or if there’s a higher than expected rate of illness.

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In these cases, the CBE says it notifies AHS, and families are notified.

The Calgary Catholic School District said it does not track self-reported cases or outbreaks.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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