Calgary public schools will be pausing extracurricular activities involving other school or community members due to the evolving situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Calgary Board of Education, like other school divisions around the province, are assessing any non-essential gatherings. As a result, some extra-curricular activities may be rescheduled or restricted.
This decision was made as the province of Ontario suspended classes at all elementary and secondary schools until April 6.
In a note to parents that is being circulated, “all CBE school have been given direction to postpone or cancel events that include populations from other schools and/or parents or other community members…” it read.
It goes on to list learning celebrations, dance and musical performances, dances, and athletics as events that are being revisited. The decision is effective March 12 and will go until the end of March break. It will be looked at during March break to see if it should be continued.
Parent teacher conferences have also been postponed for March 19 and March 20.
The CBE has since confirmed the contents of that message to parents.
“CBE schools have been given direction to cancel events that include populations from other schools and/or parents or other community members,” an email response read.
Regular school events outside of school hours that involve the school’s typical student and staff population are continuing at this time, the memo read.
The Foothills School Division, south of Calgary, is taking similar measures. They posted risk mitigation strategies on their website Thursday.
“This is an evolving situation requiring a rapid response,” their website read.
School closures still being assessed, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health fielded questions Thursday about school closures, with news that Ontario took that measure.
“We haven’t made a decision but we know that the day-to-day routine of families would be significantly disrupted if we were to close schools,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, adding that they felt it was more important to deal with other large gatherings across the province.
“But with schools, we need to take a little more time to consider the impact that those school closures would have, and weigh that out against what potential public health benefits we might achieve.”