Principal Stephane Gauvin sent an email to students and parents at 11:48 a.m. on May 14 saying the school would transition to remote learning starting Monday, May 17, while administrators continued monitoring the situation and making any necessary adjustments.
“We would like students to know that this is a continuation of their classes and attendance will be required via Zoom or other platforms that are being used,” he wrote. “We remain hopeful and plan on returning to in-person learning on Tuesday, May 25.
Besides the school, the Prairie South School Division office — on behalf of education director Tony Baldwin and board chairman Robert Bachmann — also sent a letter to Central families commenting on the matter.
The decision to move the students to online learning was made after consulting with public health officials on May 14, Baldwin and Bachmann wrote. The plan is for students to return on May 25, but the division will contact families by May 21 to either end this period of remote learning or expand it further, based on available information.
“Decisions connected to remote and in-person learning are always challenging. We know that students and teachers have an easier time when we are in-person at school,” they continued. “We know that our school safety processes have been very successful at preventing transmission of COVID-19 while we are at school.”
Several positive cases have appeared simultaneously at Central, so experience from other schools shows a break from in-person learning should keep numbers from growing, the letter noted. Families should follow public health guidelines closely and ensure students remain in household bubbles.
“We know this is a big (request), but we are hoping to get back to school and make it through to the end of the year, and this is the way to achieve that goal,” they added.
As of May 14, the school still had an ongoing declared outbreak from May 2. According to the Saskatchewan Health Authority, an outbreak is declared when two or more persons are confirmed to have the coronavirus.