Aug. 18, 2021
With classes at modified calendar schools already underway, and our traditional calendar schools starting on Wednesday, Sept. 1, I know many families have questions about the health protocols that will be in place for the start of the school year.
The health and safety of students and staff is our top priority.
After careful consideration, taking into account increases in COVID-19 cases and the vaccination rates for youth aged 12-19 in the City of Calgary, the Calgary Board of Education will mandate masking indoors for all staff and kindergarten to Grade 12 students for the start of the 2021-22 school year.
This decision will be reviewed before the end of September and will consider any further direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Education and existing active case counts in the Calgary Zone.
Existing mask guidance, including exemptions, will be applied in the same manner as occurred during the previous school year. We are currently updating this guidance document and will provide details later in August.
In addition, students, staff and families can expect the following health measures to be in place when classes resume in all schools on Sept. 1:
- Students and staff will still be expected to use the daily checklist to identify if they should attend or stay home
- Staying home when sick – students and staff who present with COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home until symptoms resolve
- Proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of high traffic/touch areas
- Enhanced ventilation in schools
- Classroom cohorts in kindergarten to Grade 6
- No unscheduled visitors, volunteers or external partners will be permitted in schools at the start of the school year
- Public use or rentals of school facilities outside of school hours will be limited until January 2022
Some health restrictions will be lifted, including:
- At the direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, schools will no longer inform close contacts of positive cases, but additional health measures may be implemented as the COVID-19 situation evolves, or if outbreaks occur
- Lockers and change rooms can be used
- Band and sports activities can proceed
- Limited off-site activities will be allowed
- Schools can be occupied for evening and weekend school activities
We all play a role to ensure our return to school is as safe as possible and that we minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and workplaces. The CBE has and will continue to encourage all eligible employees to get vaccinated.
If you have any questions, please follow up with your child’s school. Modified calendar school offices are already open and traditional calendar school offices will open on Friday, Aug. 27. Please check your individual school calendars for details.
I wish you a wonderful start to the 2021-22 school year! Working together we can ensure a safe and successful school year.
Chief Superintendent of Schools