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First day: Parents hopeful that health measures will keep students safe in school

Modified calendar students returned to school Tuesday, with Calgary Board of Education guidelines set in place to ensure safety for students and staff.

Many people have had concerns with a growing number of COVID-19 cases, including the predominant Delta variant, that more robust measures weren’t taken in schools. Some wanted an online start at city schools.

School health measures for the start day included masking, physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand washing and sanitizing routines.

Students will also be required to wear a mask while riding yellow buses.

Lisa Pigeon, a parent of a new student attending Dr. Oakley School, said she feels comfortable sending her child to school because of the masking and sanitizing procedures.

The majority of the students are not vaccinated due to the age group, Pigeon said.

Only school staff and students are allowed inside the school at this time.

A daily checklist has been provided to determine if students and staff can attend school or should stay home.

“We’ll have to see as the school year goes on, whether those measures are enough,” said Pigeon.

Another parent, who wanted to remain unnamed, said the measures are good for the first two weeks.

“The CBE will review any additional guidance from Alberta Education and communicate any adjustments to all staff and families prior to Sept. 1,” Christopher Usih, Chief Superintendent of Schools, said in a statement.

“As the school year begins, we will be monitoring the situation closely and following the direction of health authorities to ensure that we are doing everything possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

It’s expected the additional information will come later this week, or early next.