Alberta Education has approved Hunting Hills High School’s request to switch to online learning temporarily.
As of Tuesday, all Grade 9 to 12 students went back to learning online. It is expected students will resume in-person classes beginning May 10.
The high school joins a growing list of schools that have switched to online learning recently.
The move was made because of an increase in COVID-19 cases. Since April 16, there have been 12 COVID cases and 570 students and 21 staff have been self-isolating.
“Our request to move to temporary online learning was made for the best interests of our students and staff at Hunting Hills,” says Red Deer Public Schools. “By moving to temporary online learning, all students and staff will have equal access to learning, thus avoiding gaps with students coming and going.
“Given the increase in cases across our community, we urge all our students and families to be even more vigilant in following health restrictions for COVID-19. It is through our combined efforts that we will be able to get back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible.”
Alberta Education has specific criteria for moving to temporary online learning and provincial officials agreed that Hunting Hills had met those standards.
Teachers will be providing information on their Google Classrooms to ensure continuity in their teaching.
“Our staff and students have been phenomenal in being resilient this year as we’ve adjusted ever-changing circumstances,” said principal Darwin Roscoe. “This year has been challenging and difficult for students, parents and staff given the number of positive cases and required isolations needed.”
Grade 7 to 9 students at seven Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools also began online learning on Tuesday due to a shortage of substitute teachers as a result of COVID. In-person learning will resume on May 10.
Red Deer Catholic schools impacted include St. Francis of Assisi Middle School, St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, St. Patrick’s Community School, and École Camille J Lerouge School.
Central Alberta schools affected are St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic School in Innisfail, École Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake (English and French classes), and St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Blackfalds where students will return to in-person learning on May 7.
Central Middle School with Red Deer Public Schools also moved its Grades 7 and 8 students to temporary online learning at home on Monday due to the number of students and staff that needed to isolate.
Grade 7 and 8 students may return to classes on May 4, but that could change as the school district monitors exposure and case counts.
Last week Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School announced all students were temporarily shifting to online learning starting this week.