Dear CBE Families,
Since early November, we have seen a spike in student and staff absences due to illness across many of our schools. Rates of illness are impacting each school differently, and principals are making decisions that consider how to best support students and staff in their individual school communities.
We are prioritizing in-person learning. To maintain ongoing operations, schools are doing the best they can to cover staff absences including teachers taking over more than one class and assigning principals, assistant principals and centralized teaching staff into classrooms. We are continuing to hire additional substitute teachers and support staff to cover staff absences.
Principals may also need to modify some school events and activities, such as moving parent-teacher conferences and school council meetings online, or adjusting or postponing some gatherings or extracurricular activities. In exceptional circumstances, schools may also consider transitioning a class or grade to at-home learning.
Reporting Absences Due to Illness
To keep families informed of the current levels of illness, we are now reporting school-by-school absences due to illness rates on our website. Information will be posted every morning with the numbers from the previous day.
Visit the CBE website to view daily absence rate
If the absence rate due to illness in an individual school reaches above 10 per cent of their student population, we advise Alberta Health Services (AHS). AHS will investigate and if they declare an outbreak, families will receive information from the school with AHS direction. It is important to know that not all schools with high absentee rates will have an outbreak declared.
Health Measure Reminders
We continue to use a number of measures to reduce the impact of illnesses in schools such as high touchpoint cleaning and enhanced ventilation.
We would also like to remind everyone of health measures they can take to reduce transmission:
- If your child is feeling unwell, please keep them at home.
- Continue to wash hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes.
- Students and staff can continue to make their own decision regarding masking.
We continue to follow the guidance and direction provided by Alberta Education and AHS. We are monitoring the issue carefully and will keep you updated as the situation evolves.
Chief Superintendent of Schools