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Schools to reopen in September - Posted: Tues, July 21, 2020, 06:28 pm - By Kathleen Windsor
As announced this afternoon by the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange, and Alberta's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Deena Hinshaw, schools will welcome students back to class for the 2020-21 school year.

Kids will be encouraged to wash and sanitize their hands once they go back to school in September.This means they will reopen under scenario 1, which is considered "near-normal operations" with added health measures in place, including:
* cleaning surfaces frequently
* placing hand sanitizers at school entrances and classrooms
* grouping students in cohorts
* planning the school day to allow for physical distancing, which could include staggering start times for classes, recesses and lunches

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, all students, staff, parents and school visitors will be expected to check for possible symptoms and health risks daily using a self-screening questionnaire before entering the school.

A re-entry toolkit has been developed to help parents and students prepare for the new school year. The tool kit 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 Alberta School Boards Association is pleased that this plan was released earlier than expected," stated Lorrie Jess, President of the Alberta School Boards Association.

"It provides more time for finalizing school board plans. We appreciate the various experts, parents and community members that helped inform a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff. ASBA and all school boards will work diligently to implement this plan and look forward to continuing to work with the Minister of Education throughout the upcoming school year.”

School authorities have returned to full funding levels as of July 1, and every school authority in Alberta is receiving a funding increase for the 2020-21 school year - roughly $120 million across the province.

Chinook's Edge 2019 Operational Funding Budget was estimated at $109,384,000. The expected Operational Funding for 2020/21, under a new funding model, is expected to be $110,807,906.

If a COVID-19 case happens, outbreak protocols will be in place to quickly identify and isolate confirmed cases and close contacts.
* Parents will be notified and public health officials will contact those who were in close contact.
* School authorities will support students and staff who are required to learn or work from home due to self-isolation.

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