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Online or in-person learning both carry risks, but she said she hopes stakeholders can come together to address the needs of at-risk and vulnerable children, especially those for whom school is the safest space.
“At what point are we collectively coming to the table to talk through these issues, and brainstorm about how we can make success possible for all children?” she said.
Edmonton Public is planning to share more re-entry information with families later this week.
As parents try to balance the risks of COVID-19 transmission, the need to return to work and the value of classrooms and teachers, some unconventional alternatives are attracting attention.
Tim Gourlay at Fitset Ninja said the 20,000-square-foot Edmonton obstacle course facility has already heard interest from at least 140 parents, some of whom aren’t comfortable sending their kids back to class or who can’t stay home from work. Eight kids have been registered out of 30 spots in what Gourlay calls a “modified school experience,” including school-directed online courses supervised by three tutors — one an educational assistant laid off in April — and fitness activities led by two coaches, he said.
With Edmonton Public and Edmonton Catholic forced to cancel field trips, normally the gym’s bread and butter, Gourlay said the gym needed to adapt.
NDP infrastructure critic Thomas Dang said, “We’re not trying to replace schools or replace teachers. We’re more so trying to help parents who can’t send their kids back to school,” he said. A 10-week term running five days a week is priced at $2,150.