I would like to thank Albertans across Lacombe-Ponoka and the province for their hard work in fighting COVID-19.
COVID-19 caused the suspension of in-person schooling in March. This has been hard for many students and their families. I would like to acknowledge the students, parents, teachers who have done an excellent job adapting to a different way of learning. We all know that students who attend schools learn best in the classroom with their teachers and peers, and the goal of Alberta’s Government is to get schools back to normal learning as soon as possible. The start of a new school year is approaching, and many parents have been eagerly waiting to see what school will look like this upcoming year.
Alberta’s government recently announced that students will be returning to classrooms across the province at the beginning of the new school year. This is great news for families in Lacombe-Ponoka. For in-person learning to proceed, health measures are being put in place for their safety. All schools will implement public health measures, including frequent cleaning of surfaces, introducing hand sanitizers to school and classroom entrances, grouping students in cohorts, and adjusting schedules to allow for greater physical distancing. While school may feel a little different at first, these changes will allow a safe, near-normal return to class.
School boards across the province are receiving an additional $120M.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Albertans informed on new measures has been a key part of Alberta’s response. To help prepare families, Alberta’s government has developed a re-entry toolkit to help prepare parents and students for what to expect in the new school year. This toolkit includes videos for students explaining some of the health measures, a guide for parents, frequently asked questions, school posters, a self-screening questionnaire in multiple languages, and links to health guidelines. The resources in the school re-entry toolkit will help families discuss changes with their children.
As well, no parent will be forced to send a student to school. There are many options to choose and they should talk to their local school board.
As Alberta’s students prepare to go back to school, the Minister of Education will continue to work closely with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hinshaw, school superintendents, school boards and Alberta Teachers to ensure that all schools are prepared to welcome students back.
The re-opening of our schools, and our entire economy, is a result of the hard work of Albertans to slow the spread of COVID-19. As students return to school, each of us has the tools to ensure that we can safely return to daily life.
MLA Ronald Orr
MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka