Provincial Communication

Information below includes COVID-19 updates from the Province of Alberta, Alberta Education and Alberta Health Services. 

Sept. 9 UPDATE:

The Government of Alberta school outbreak map shows the current status of COVID-19 in K-12 schools across Alberta. Schools that have two or more confirmed cases will be identified on the map. The map can be accessed here: MAP

Alberta Health Services has updated its list of resources for parents and families. Click on the following link for more information: RESOURCES

Sept. 3 UPDATE:

The Government of Alberta has released a new document that outlines the procedures to be taken if a student has COVID-19 symptoms.
To view the two-page document, please click on the link below:

STUDENT ILLNESS

Sept. 2 UPDATE:

The Government of Alberta outlined the process by which it will be will be distributing $262 million in federal funding to school authorities for COVID-19 related expenses: FEDERAL FUNDS

August 27 UPDATE:

Dr. Deena Hinshaw's COVID-19 update included responses to a few frequently-asked-questions regarding school re-entry.

What happens if someone is sick in a school group?
Anyone who develops symptoms at home cannot go to school. Anyone who develops symptoms at school must be isolated & sent home. Stay home and arrange for testing through AHS.

How are close contacts determined?
Generally, anyone who has been within two metres of a case for 15-plus minutes in a day without adequate protection would be a close contact. AHS investigators will determine who spent 15-plus minutes within two metres of the infectious case.

What is an outbreak?
We are defining an outbreak as two-plus confirmed staff or student cases within a 14-day period, OR two-plus confirmed cases linked to a school setting. Parents, staff and teachers will be notified of outbreaks, and if a single confirmed case is identified in a school.

August 21 UPDATE:

Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange issued a statement on school re-entry: STATEMENT

August 20 UPDATE:

The Government of Alberta has posted two new documents related to school re-opening for the 2020/2021 school year. 

GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOL RE-ENTRY – SCENARIO 1

COVID-19 IN SCHOOL (K-12) SETTINGS

GET THE FACTS: BACK TO CLASS FOR 2020–21

IMPLEMENTING SCHOOL RE-ENTRY GUIDANCE

August 12 UPDATE:

COVID-19 testing before the 2020-21 school year: 
Asymptomatic testing is recommended for all teachers and staff in the Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 education system prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year.

For more information, please visit the Government of Alberta website here: TESTING

August 4 UPDATE:

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, provided an update on public health measures being taken for a safe return to school. The video link can be found here: UPDATE

A link to the text version of the announcement can be found here: UPDATE

July 28 UPDATE:

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, hosted a question-and-answer event on Facebook: View the event hereQ AND A

July 21 UPDATE:

The government of Alberta provided an update on school re-entry. Watch the video here: RE-ENTRY

Returning to school safely - junior and high schoolSAFELY

Returning to school safely - elementarySAFELY

To view the province’s re-entry toolkit, click hereTOOLKIT

June 25 UPDATE:

Also on June 25, Education Minister Adrian LaGrange and Dr. Hinshaw hosted a Facebook Live event and took questions about the school re-entry for the 2020/2021 school year. Video from the Q and A can be found here: QUESTIONS

June 10 UPDATE:

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health provided an update on COVID-19 and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced the school re-entry plan for the 2020/2021 school year. To view the plan, click on this link: RE-ENTRY.
The Government of Alberta has announced that the start of school year re-entry scenario will be determined by Aug. 1, 2020.

The full Government of Alberta media release can be found here: MEDIA RELEASE.

Dr. Hinshaw is also set to host a telephone town hall on Friday, June 12, from 1:30-3 p.m. on the topic of health measures in school. Learn more by visiting this link: TOWN HALL.

June 9 UPDATE: 

Alberta has moved to stage two of relaunch. For more information, please see the following link: RELAUNCH

June 8 UPDATE:

Non-medical masks are now available for Albertans. Learn more here: MASKS.

May 20 UPDATE:

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange provided an update on how the province’s accelerated capital plan will support school divisions and Alberta’s economic recovery. 
Video from the announcement can be found here: CAPITAL PLAN.
Capital funding for school divisions has been increased by $250 million to help boost the economy, while also accelerating important maintenance to existing schools. This funding will support hundreds of projects in all school divisions across the province. The work will create about 3,750 jobs and see more Albertans working again sooner.
The province will work with school divisions to invest dollars in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Specific projects will be confirmed by the start of June. The majority of projects are anticipated to be completed by October.

May 11 UPDATE:

A new task force has been struck to provide recommendations on the future of student transportation across the province. For more information, click on the following link: TRANSPORTATION.

May 6 UPDATE: 

Alberta Education has instituted a help line and email for parents of students, particularly those with disabilities, during COVID-19 and at-home learning.
The line is 780-422-6548 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000, followed by the 10-digit phone number) or via email at: studentsupport@gov.ab.ca.
Even with the excellent work being done by teachers and school divisions supporting the learning and inclusion of students with disabilities, we know that the changes in how education is being delivered is affecting students differently. For families of students with disabilities, there may be questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.
Alberta Education has established the help line and email to assist families with their questions and connect them to their boards where appropriate. This could include key members of the school district (teacher, principal, school district leadership, school board) to find collaborative solutions to meeting their child’s learning needs at home. 
The Parent Help Line will be answered Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
I encourage you to provide this information to the parents of your students as you see fit.

Sincerely,

Adriana LaGrange
Minister of Education

For a link to today's media conference video with Minister LeGrange, please visit this link: EDUCATION
A link to the text of today's announcement can be found here: EDUCATION.

May 1 UPDATE:

As announced by Premier Jason Kenney during the release of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy, the province has made the decision to not have students return to in-school classes for the remainder of the academic year.
Looking ahead, Alberta Education will continue to work on a re-entry plan.
Premier Kenney also touched upon concepts such as re-opening some schools on a trial basis, the possibility of summer school and coming back earlier than normal. According to Alberta Education, no decisions have been made on any aspect of the re-entry plan. Any proposals that ultimately appear in the re-entry plan will be subject to approval from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and subject to the terms of collective agreements.

For updates, visit the Alberta student learning during COVID-19 page: UPDATES

April 30 UPDATE:

The province has announced a phased relaunch to gradually reopen closed businesses and services. Learn more:

RELAUNCH

April 7 UPDATE:

Premier Jason Kenney's address to Albertans can be found here:

ADDRESS

April 2 UPDATE:

Nutrition program support continues for students:
Nine non-profits will receive $3 million to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This $3 million in new funding is in addition to $15.5 million for the school nutrition program. School boards are encouraged to find innovative ways to provide meals or food to students while in-school classes are cancelled. The Lethbridge Food Bank is set to receive $300,000. The media release can be found here:

NUTRITION

March 28 UPDATE:

K-12 education funding temporarily adjusted to match cost

With in-school classes cancelled indefinitly, funding for K-12 education is being temporarily adjusted to reflect the cost of at-home learning by students during the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding will be restored when in-person classes resume. The Government of Alberta media release can be found here:

MEDIA RELEASE

March 21 UPDATE:

Alberta Education has compiled a question-and-answer sheet, along with an open letter to parents, written by Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. The documents can be found below:

Q AND A

OPEN LETTER

March 18 UPDATE:
Measures are in place to protect businesses, employers and employees from the economic disruption of COVID-19, including:
- Financial relief for businesses and employers
- Job-protected leave for employees
- Federal employment insurance benefits
- Business continuity planning resources
- Utility payment deferral

COVID-19 supports for employers and employees

March 17 UPDATE:

Alberta declared a state of emergency under the Public Health Act. Learn more here: EMERGENCY

March 16 UPDATE:

Excerpt from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw's March 16 statement:

"Today is the first day of cancelled classes. I know this decision is going to impact parents for the days and weeks ahead, as you find child care solutions.

"To be clear, we did not close schools. Teachers and other school staff should continue to come to their schools to plan potential alternatives for students, particularly those in grade 12.

"Yesterday, we also announced that all licenced childcare facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschools were to close immediately.

"I know many parents are looking for child care arrangements, such as private child care providers. While they are able to remain open, these unlicensed day homes can only care for up to six children, not including their own, at any one time.
"These arrangements are not monitored by the province, and I encourage parents to seek out more information to make informed decisions.
"While grandparents and other seniors are a great help with child care, I would encourage limiting their exposure to children who have any signs of illness. Older Albertans are at an increased risk of having complications if they were to get COVID-19.
"Parents should also take precautions and limit the number of playdates to reduce the chances of community transfer. Parents should ensure that whether they are having friends or family care for their children, or they’re attending a day home, handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer must be available to children and visitors who are encouraged to wash their hands frequently."

March 15 UPDATE:

As per Alberta Health Services: Effective immediately:
- Student attendance at K to 12 schools is prohibited and in-person post-secondary classes are cancelled.
- All licensed child care facilities, out-of-school care programs and preschool programs are closed indefinitely.
Learn more here: AHS SCHOOLS

March 15 UPDATE:

Adriana LaGrange, Alberta’s Minister of Education, provided an update on Sunday afternoon in regards to the COVID-19 situation.

The update is below:

I want to thank the many boards and education partners that have provided their views over the weekend. It has become clear that it would be challenging to implement health recommendations like social distancing and proper cleaning protocols.

The safety of our students, teachers and staff is the number one priority for all of us – for me and my Cabinet colleagues, for Dr. Hinshaw and for school staff.

With that in mind, we will be indefinitely cancelling classes across the province. Students are expected to stay home.

We are all in this together. And I hope you all agree this is the right decision.

School authorities are expected to continue their regular day-to-day operations and ensure the safety of our school facilities. We expect maintenance, capital projects, cleaning of facilities, and administrative work to continue.

Now I know that student progression will be on the minds of both parents and students. We expect every student to receive a final mark and that students will progress to their next grade level next year. However, provincial assessments, such as provincial achievement tests will be cancelled as of this time. Diploma exams essential for post-secondary acceptance will continue.

We are confident that every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.

The Government will also be working with post-secondary institutions to ensure that these extraordinary circumstances do not prevent our students from being eligible for admission to post-secondary studies for the upcoming school year.

Teachers and other school staff will still be expected to work, either from home or at their workplace, to ensure these expectations are met and to support student learning.

Decisions on how to do this are still to be made, and it may vary depending on the school jurisdiction. Given the unique situation, my department and I will work with school divisions throughout this process, and school authorities will still receive their full allotment of funding for the 2019-20 school year.

I know these are challenging times for everyone. I will be sending an open letter to parents in the coming days, and Alberta Education will be working directly with you to help navigate through these changes.

We all have a role to play to keep our students and the staff that work in our schools safe and healthy. This is – and will always be – our top priority. The most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation in Alberta can be found on alberta.ca.

I know this leaves you with many questions. Please stay tuned in the days to come for more details.