Message from the Board - re: COVID-19 Measures

10
Board, COVID-19

February 10, 2022 - 

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I would like to clarify our role, as Trustees in Parkland School Division, regarding the removal of the masking mandates for students in Parkland School Division. 

On February 8, 2022, the Premier announced that the government is taking steps to begin relaxing COVID-19 protocols, including in schools.  School Boards received a letter from the Minister of Education on February 8, 2022 advising that 'Effective Monday, February 14, 2022 the masking requirements in CMOH 22-2021 will be removed and as such there will be no masking requirements for any students in schools or on school buses. At this time, masking will still be required for adults including  teachers, administrators, other school staff, and school bus drivers.  The Minister continued, 'To be clear, as of February 14, 2022 school boards will not be  empowered by provincial health order or recommendations from the CMOH to require ECS - grade  12 students to be masked to attend school in person or to ride a school bus. At this time, prevention measures including cohorting, as well as enhanced cleaning and sanitization, will remain in school environments.  The Minister also stated that she takes, 'very seriously the responsibility of providing access to education for all students in our province. School authorities cannot deny their students access to in person education due to their personal decision to wear or not to wear a mask in schools. Individual family choices need to be respected and students should not be stigmatized for their choice related to  masking going forward, similarly to their personal vaccination status.'  

It is understandable that this announcement may be met with a variety of emotions and perspectives from our stakeholders; however, School Boards were not consulted before the change in protocols was announced, so were not given the opportunity to provide that range of perspectives to the Government. The Board is committed to maintaining open communication with stakeholders to understand the local impact of this provincial decision.

The Board is also committed to maintaining safe and caring schools. It is paramount that our Board supports our students in their journey of learning under any circumstance. 

For more information, contact:

Lorraine Stewart, Board Chair
Parkland School Division
Email: board@psd.ca

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