COVID-19: Alberta Education Confirms 5 Schools Are Switching To Online Classes

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

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

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

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

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

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The Education Department has not named the schools or health zones in which they are located, but Global News has confirmed that schools in the Calgary Board of Education or the Calgary Catholic School District are not affected.

All students at Westglen School in northwest Edmonton switched to online learning on Friday after at least 31 cases of COVID-19 were reported to the school principal.

List of epidemics

This week, three more Calgary Board of Education schools were added to the online list of epidemics.

North Haven School, WO Mitchell School and Braeside School were added Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

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

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

Calgary’s Catholic School District said it is not tracking self-reported cases or outbreaks.

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