Red Deer Polytechnic is holding all classes during the first three weeks of the 2022 winter term online to reduce viral transmission. (Contributed photo).

Red Deer Polytechnic is holding all classes during the first three weeks of the 2022 winter term online to reduce viral transmission. (Contributed photo).

All Red Deer Polytechnic classes to go online for first three weeks of 2022

The goal is to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant and hospitalizations

Students at Red Deer Polytechnic will start their winter term online to reduce spread of the more transmissible Omicron viral variant.

After discussion with Alberta Health Services, RDP officials decided to begin the winter 2022 term temporarily online for three weeks — from Jan. 4 to 23.

“Starting the winter term online is not a preferred course of action for anyone,” stated RDP officials in a press release.

“We recognize the strain these quick changes create for you and our students. However, this temporary shift to online delivery will help to keep everyone in our campus community as safe as possible and assist to reduce the spread of this virus in our communities.

The intent is to return to more in-person course delivery starting on Jan. 24.

RDP officials stated that this decision was made “with everyone’s safety and the future of in-person engagement in mind.

“We are monitoring the current COVID-19 situation presented by the Omicron variant, including its high transmissibility. Many Alberta post-secondary institutions are starting their winter terms primarily online to allow our campus communities the time we need to assess the potential impact, especially after the holiday season.”

By reducing the number of people on campuses, RDP aims to support the health care system while still allowing students who must do some in-person learning, including labs and practicums, to continue to complete these requirements.

Exceptions where learning outcomes require in-person engagement will be permitted, including shops, labs, practicums and clinical placements. This includes Apprenticeship (Shops), Animation and Visual Effects, Bachelor of Science, Nursing (Clinical Placements), Health Care Aide (Labs at RDP’s downtown campus in Millennium Centre), Medical Lab Assistant (Labs), Practical Nurse (Clinical Placements), Welding (Testing), CPR Training, and Visual Art.

Meanwhile, instructors will communicate with students via Blackboard or other platforms as soon as possible to share information regarding course work.

Starting Jan. 24, RDP expects to resume the previous winter 2022 term timetable, with a mix of in-person, online and HyFlex course delivery.

A greater number of services will be provided in-person to accommodate more traffic at RDP campuses and learning centres. Services will also continue to be accessible online.

Please visit Red Deer Polytechnic’s website for more information.

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