An overwhelming majority of Red Deer Public School parents have indicated their children will be returning to the classroom, according to preliminary results of a district survey. (Pixabay)

Overwhelming majority of Red Deer students could be back in classrooms this fall

Preliminary survey results show 94 per cent parental support

Parents appear overwhelmingly supportive of their children returning to classrooms at Red Deer public schools this fall.

Nearly 94 per cent of students will be back in the class, according to preliminary results of surveys that were sent to students’ homes last week by the public school district, said the district’s community relations director, Bruce Buruma.

While only 34 per cent of surveys have been been returned, so far, Buruma still considers these early results encouraging and in line with what parents had indicated in June.

Results show that most families believe “we will be taking every precaution we can” to ensure that students can learn in a safe environment, he added.

Alberta school districts have been told to operate at “near normal” this fall by the Alberta government, while taking extra measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mask wearing for Grade 4 to 12 Red Deer public and Catholic school students will be mandatory in hallways, buses and all public spaces, as required by the province.

Buruma said reusable masks, to be provided by the province, can be removed in classrooms if students are not face to face, or if two-metre spacing between students can be observed.

Face coverings are optional for younger students. But school districts have been told to observe appropriate distancing in all classrooms while stepping up the sanitation of surfaces.

A minority of parents oppose sending their children back into classrooms, fearing they will contract and spread the virus, but the majority are willing to return to a near-normal situation — whether because of work commitments or educational reasons, said Buruma.

After so much home-based learning during the spring lockdown, some parents realize a better level of education can be provided in a classroom setting, he believes.

“I think a lot of families now know how tough teaching is and have a greater appreciation for teachers,” said Buruma.

He believes most kids will be happier being back at school with their friends, ”and we also want to have them back in the classroom.”

Classes for Red Deer public school students start on Sept. 1, while Catholic school students return on Aug. 31.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Central Alberta woman receives North American award for leading Red Deer Regional Health Foundation

Manon Therriault at the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation has always embraced… Continue reading

Families displaced after Red Deer fire Sunday

A structure fire displaced two families in north Red Deer Sunday morning.… Continue reading

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

In its place is employment insurance, which the government says the majority of people will go on

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Sept. 27

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00… Continue reading

WE Charity controversy prompts examination of group’s overseas footprint

On Sept. 9, WE Charity said it would wind down its Canadian operations

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment

The nearly 1 million people around the world who have lost their… Continue reading

Toronto health officer closes 3 restaurants as result of COVID contact tracing

Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown… Continue reading

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

CALGARY — Canadian ski resort operators planning for a season that begins… Continue reading

Tenille Townes, Dean Brody and Brett Kissel top nominees at tonight’s CCMA Awards

OTTAWA — Tenille Townes could be lined up for some major wins… Continue reading

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

TERRACE, B.C. — Health care in the era of COVID-19 took centre… Continue reading

Watchdog to investigate fatal Winnipeg crash that sent two kids to hospital

Winnipeg police say a woman has died and five others — including… Continue reading

The ‘relentless underdog’: Green Leader Sonia Furstenau ready for uphill battle

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau was driving Monday when she turned on the… Continue reading

Mi’kmaq power, inside and beyond Ottawa, stronger than in past fishery battles

HALIFAX — When Jaime Battiste was in his early 20s, cable news… Continue reading

Most Read