April 29, 2021
We have received messages, either directly or indirectly, from stakeholders expressing their thoughts on the decision to return to in person learning on May 3. Some are supportive, while others share disappointment. We thank you for expressing your concerns. This decision to return to in class learning has not been easy and was made only after consultation with our Local Medical Health Officers (LMHO), as we have always done.
Please allow us an opportunity to provide some background as to how we arrived at this decision. Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with the local and provincial health authority and the Ministry of Education. The recommendations of the local and provincial medical experts guide our decisions. The recommendation to move to remote learning on March 29 came directly to us from the Local Medical Health Officers. Our decision to return to in-class learning was also based on the information the LMHO shared with us on April 26, that the number of COVID-19 cases related to schools was significantly reduced; and that they would be supportive of a decision to return to in person learning on May 3. This was further supported by Dr. Shahab on April 27 at a press conference indicating "the schools can safely reopen." Dr. Shahab continued to say, "schools in general have done extremely well ever since September and we have repeatedly analyzed cases in the community and cases in the schools, and schools are not the hub of transmission." https://leaderpost.com/news/local-news/reginas-falling-covid-19-cases-allow-for-schools-to-reopen-shahab
With school staff now prioritized for vaccinations, rapid testing soon to be available to schools at the direction of the LMHO, mandatory wearing of masks, physical distancing and case counts in Regina trending down for staff and students, the LMHO expressed that they were comfortable supporting our decision to have children return to in person learning, hence our decision to do so. We will continue to work closely with the LMHO and monitor the situation very carefully.
Our Board continues to pray for the health and safety of all our students, staff and families.