Red Deer Public Schools will re-open next week with one main goal in mind — getting through the next 25 school days with as few disruptions as possible.
“We just want to finish the year off,” said the district’s community relations director, Bruce Buruma on Thursday.
He added, “Students, parents and teachers just want to get through the rest of the year with the least interruption, so that everyone gets to their well-deserved summer break.”
Buruma noted this COVID-19-challenged school year has been hard on everyone. Several shifts back and forth between classrooms and at-home learning had to be accommodated, at the order of the provincial government, because of rising case numbers.
The nearly 11,000-student Red Deer Public School District has dealt with 200 COVID-19 cases so far, and more than 7,500 student quarantines and 460 cases of staff members isolating before the last return to at-home learning on May 7.
With COVID-19 cases now on the decline in Alberta, schools are being allowed to reopen following the long weekend, with six weeks of the school year left.
While more challenges could lie ahead, Buruma believes Red Deer Public Schools are ready to welcome students back into classrooms. Extra staff were brought in for daytime cleaning and there is adequate sanitation and personal protective equipment to get through to the end of June, he added.
“We are looking to finish the year with classes and staff in place…. and we’re hoping that, as much as possible, next year will be back to normal so that everybody gets what they want and what they need.”
Red Deer Catholic Schools could not be reached immediately for comment.