Alberta Teachers’ Association calls for delay to start of school year amid concerns over re-entry plan

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“We need to make sure that everybody understands the protocols and we’re still waiting for some of the protocols to come out,” he said.

Schilling said LaGrange did not commit to any changes to the back-to-school plan, but that they had a “frank” conversation.

“I believe she has a better understanding of them now than she did before … the government now has to act,” said Schilling.

In a statement following the meeting, LaGrange said the government looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with the ATA, and reiterated that the school re-entry plan was approved by chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and supported by school boards and superintendents.

“As we continue to work with Dr. Hinshaw and our education system, we will make adjustments as necessary,” said LaGrange.

Both B.C. and Saskatchewan have pushed their school restart dates by two days to Sept. 10 and one week to Sept. 8, respectively.

Schilling said he continued to push for a multi-stakeholder working group including public health officials, upgrades to ventilation systems in some schools as well as safety and income security for substitute teachers.

“They’re worried about their risk of exposure. We need public health input on that as well, not just government and school boards,” said Schilling.

Schilling also raised the need for a clear plan for transitioning schools between scenarios, and better plans for screening and testing of students and staff.

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