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Big changes for CBE’s academic school calendar for 2020-21 due to coronavirus

The Calgary Board of Education has made some changes to the upcoming school year in light of the current pandemic.

On May 22, The CBE made the decision to cancel the modified calendar for the 2020-21 school year and put all students on the traditional calendar.

Classes will start for all students on Sept. 1 and run through to the end of June, but bell times for modified schools will not change.

Schedule changes on the horizon

CBE parents will see a reduction in the various school breaks throughout the year. The CBE said there will be no fall break for students. There will be reduced spring and winter breaks to accommodate the new calendar.

Jodi Lindal, a mother of two children in the CBE system said it was inevitable to see changes.

“I understand the CBE is in a really tight spot for sure, they had to do something somewhere to make it up,” she said

“I think shortening the break is a really good idea.”

Transportation has also seen a change, modified to reflect the number of students registering for class. The CBE has made the decision to select bus routes based on registrations received by June 14, 2020. 

In Lindal’s experience, bus routes are subject to change. She said the CBE has been very accommodating to route changes to fit the needs of parents.

“I feel like this change would just make sense,” she said.

The CBE is unsure of the re-entry plan for students

The permanence of these changes is still undecided. The CBE said that they are only focused on the upcoming 2020-21 school year. No long-term decisions have been made.

The CBE’s board of trustees chair Marilyn Dennis said all students were moved to the traditional calendar in response to an unknown provincial school re-entry plan.

“Changes to the calendar have been made to align all our schools to be on the traditional calendar and that is in response to the work we need to do around the re-entry plan around COIVD-19,” she said.

Dennis said the CBE is unsure how student will return to class, but they expect a blended return of online and in class delivery.

“We don’t know what the relaunch strategy will look like exactly in terms of having students back in our building,” she said.

“We suspect that it will be a combination of in-class learning and online learning but until we receive a little more direction from the province we won’t be able to make that determination.”