(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Red Deer public opts out of provincial achievement tests

Red Deer catholic schools opted out before school year

Trustees for Red Deer Public Schools are opting out of provincial achievement tests for the current school year.

They announced the decision Friday, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The tests are taken by students in grades 6 and 9 for core courses, and the province had made them optional.

The school board had originally intended to take part in the assessments if the province was still in Scenario 1, which was a full return to school with increased health measures.

While Alberta is still in Scenario 1, with COVID-19 cases rising across the province, Red Deer public decided to reverse course.

“Teaching and learning for thousands of students around the province have already been interrupted when they have needed to isolate as a result of the pandemic,” said board chair Nicole Buchanan.

“While our teachers support continued learning while students are away from school, generally for 14 days, we are hearing there are many students who have gaps when they return to school.

“They fall further behind, creating significant anxiety for students facing these assessments.”

The Red Deer Catholic Regional School board decided to opt out of provincial achievement tests at its Sept. 29 meeting, also citing the anxiety the exams will cause for students during the pandemic.

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