Temporary Remote Learning Announced

DECEMBER 7, 2020 -- Regina Public Schools is announcing that all schools will move to temporary remote learning. Effective December 14, 2020, all Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 students in all elementary and high school classes will move from in-class learning to remote learning, and will return to in-class learning on January 11, 2021.

All Regina Public Schools staff will continue to work safely in schools and offices. Teachers and school-based staff will provide ongoing online learning coursework and resources for all students to continue their learning for the weeks of December 14th and January 4th, with the scheduled holiday break taking place from December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

The decision, locally made by Regina Public Schools, to move to remote learning for all students is a proactive intervention to ensure safe continued learning for students, for the health of all student and employee families, and for the ongoing business continuity of the School Division and its schools.

Regina Public Schools hopes to avoid a prolonged move to Level 4 remote learning across the division and in all schools by taking this proactive intervention, by adding one week of remote learning to either side of the scheduled holiday break. Provisions have been made to allow high school students to complete Quint 2 classes before December 18th and for all elementary students to continue their learning during that period.

As of December 7, 2020, Regina Public Schools has seen:

  • 63 student and 26 staff COVID-19 positive cases
  • 39 (out of 57) schools affected
  • 56 classrooms closed
  • 8 elementary schools closed, 1 collegiate closed
  • More than 8,422 employee absence days so far this year (24% more than at this point in a typical year)
  • More than 1,100 employee absence days due to quarantine leave
  • Chronic shortfall of replacement staff due to more employee absences and a reduced pool of available substitute staff
  • Growing anxiety and other mental health challenges to all employees and students

Safe operation of schools requires an appropriate number of adults in the buildings. Teachers, support staff, administrators and facilities staff are all essential to student safety. Increased employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 and our inability to fill those absences is challenging the ability of school staff to keep students safe.

Business continuity is an important element of this proactive intervention. By reducing the number of people in all schools and buildings and allowing for more physical distancing, the fear and anxiety of becoming exposed to COVID-19 at work may be minimized. Taking these temporary measures will ensure that students will continue with uninterrupted learning. Also weighed in the decision were the following key benefits:

  • Teachers and all employees can continue to teach and work without disruption. Currently, the impact of one school-based student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 can affect multiple people in a school. This proactive intervention can help ensure that a single case will not disrupt and affect the learning and working of many others.
  • Students can learn from home without the fear of exposure to COVID-19 at school or of exposing others.
  • High school students can complete Quint 2 and be ready for Quint 3 in January.
  • As a measured action to reduce in-school risk, this proactive intervention may allow all schools and buildings to reopen and in-class learning to resume on January 11th.
  • Attempt to reduce possibility of a long-term School Division-wide move to Level 4 described in COVID-19 Response Plan.
  • The School Division will continue to provide supports for vulnerable students, such as community food programs and the provision of devices for students that need them to learn remotely.

The Regina Board of Education supports this move to a proactive intervention. Currently, more than 1,000 families have had to plan, almost overnight, for their children to learn from home when a classroom or school is closed. It is hoped that this plan provides families the peace of mind that students will continue their learning and will not get sick at school or be identified as a close contact and have to be quarantined from their loved ones over the holiday period.

This is a summary of the schedule for all students of Regina Public Schools for Monday, December 14, 2020 to Monday, January 11, 2021:

December 7 to 11, 2020

In-class learning

December 14 to 18, 2020

Remote learning – students will learn from home and staff will work in schools

December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021

Scheduled December break – no school for students

January 5 to 8, 2021

 

Remote learning – HighSchool students will learn from home and staff will work in schools

January 11, 2021

In-class learning resumes