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Update on COVID – 19 and School Closures

March 16, 2020

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March 16, 2020, 2:40 PM

We thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this rapidly changing environment. You have likely heard the latest news outlining restrictions and guidelines for COVID – 19 for the country and the province. Please visit www.Saskatchewan.ca/Coronavirus for more details, including directions for those who are self-isolating or self-monitoring. School divisions had a conference call with the Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan Health Authority this afternoon.

The press release issued this morning from the provincial government outlined the following:

On Sunday, March 15, the Chief Medical Health Officer indicated that school closures would be based on a number of factors including:

• Evidence of sustained transmission within the community;

• Rapid increase of local cases; and

• Transmission without a known link to travel or confirmed cases.

There continues to be no evidence that any of the above three criteria have been met, but in response to growing cases, the Government of Saskatchewan announced the following this morning:

  • For the period of March 16 to March 19, pre K-12 classes will wind down.  This means that parents who are able to keep children home should do so immediately, with no absence or grade impacts.  Parents with limited childcare options have a window to plan for class suspensions.
  • Children remaining in schools between March 16 and March 19 face a low risk of exposure to COVID-19.  A preventative approach of proactive school closures beginning March 20 means reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Every student will receive a final grade based on their current grade, and students will progress to their next grade level next year.  Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate.  The Ministry of Education and School Divisions will work with Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Institutions to adapt entry requirements for programs commencing in the next academic year.

In this afternoon’s conference call, school divisions were informed the Ministry of Education has set up a committee, which will work through these guidelines and provide interpretations for school divisions.

For now Regina Catholic Schools is operating based on the following guidelines:

  • All parents who are able to keep their students at home from March 16 – March 19 should do so. For those who cannot, our schools will be open to students until Thursday, March 19, 2020. Friday, March 20 is the first day schools students will all stay home.
  • We are unsure when school will resume. In the event that we are not returning prior to the end of the school year, the immediate direction for students and teachers is that students should clean out desks and lockers and take all personal items home today. For students not in attendance, we will provide direction regarding locker/desk cleanout later this week.
  • School issued uniforms and equipment should be returned immediately to the school.
  • At this time we are working on what the supplemental curriculum and final grades will look like. Further direction will be coming in consultation with the Ministry of Education.

We realize you will have many more questions in the upcoming days. The situation is fluid and we are taking direction from the Ministry of Education and the Saskatchewan Health Authority. We will continue to provide updates as we make decisions and more information becomes available.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. ~2 Peter 1:5-7

God bless,

 

Regina Catholic Schools