Over the last couple of days I have been reflecting on the massive change that has happened in our school division, our city and our country.

The one thought I keep returning to is how school is such an important part of our children’s lives, and our own lives as parents and families. School is often what connects us in our communities. It is where we gather, celebrate and often talk about what’s happening with our children and in our families.

I recognize that not having the routine of school is going to feel like a loss. I also recognize that the community we all rely upon, our school community, is likely feeling a little fractured right now. I do believe, and I see signs of this happening already, that we will find our way back together as school communities as we figure out our “new normal.”

This brings me hope as I, like many of you, try to wrap my head around what this all means and the nagging question of when will this end?

The other piece that gives me hope is the dedicated staff at Edmonton Public Schools who have helped make a very abrupt transition a little easier. The personal phone calls, notes home and messages of support have meant a lot to me both as a parent and as a Trustee. Thank you.

I’m also reflecting on the important role that we are all playing by keeping our kids home and not in school. By closing schools we are proactively helping slow the spread of coronavirus. As I have said to my own children, by not attending school they are doing their part in helping thousands of Edmontonians remain healthy. They and thousands of others kids across this city have made a sacrifice and I think it’s important to recognize their part in combatting COVID-19.

As for next steps, further details on what learning will look like for the more than 105,000 students across Edmonton Public will be shared in the coming days. Online learning is set to begin the week of March 30. Please be patient as the division sorts out what this looks like. Also, please know that supports are being provided to families who may not have access to technology. If you have questions about this, I encourage you to contact your child’s principal.

Other Key Details

  • provincial achievement tests or PATs have been cancelled
  • Diploma exams have also been cancelled, except for special circumstances (please contact principal for details on this or to apply for an exemption.)
  • EPSB is working on a solution to refund school fees, more information will be shared with families shortly.
  • Read more details on how students will continue to learn during this pandemic here

To read the government’s press release on how student learning will be continued, visit this website.

And please, if you have any questions please reach out. If you have suggestions on ways to help rebuild our school communities please let me know. Each day I am inspired by what I’m reading and hearing about ways families are pulling together and also helping others in our city.

These are tough times, and I know not having students in our schools has created a difficult situation for many, many families in our city. Please also take care of yourself. If you or your child are having trouble coping with this situation, you can call Alberta’s Mental Health Help Line 24 hours a day at 1-877-303-2642.

1 thought on “Reflections

  1. Dianne Kilpatrick July 24, 2020 — 5:08 pm

    In these extraordinary times we need to be willing to do extraordinary things. There are 3 basic actions, among others, that each of us can do: 1. WATCH YOUR DISTANCE. 2. WEAR A MASK. 3. WASH YOUR HANDS. These 3 actions combined give each of us the best chance to not contract nor transmit Covid 19. I’ve heard kindergarten teachers worrying about their ability to stay safe as well as keep their students & their own families safe. I have a suggestion for the younger kids. When they 1st come to school they should be given multiple masks & indelible markers. The discussion should be about feelings, so if the child is happy, sad, angry etc. that is what is drawn on the mask. So for example if s child is happy, he wears the smiley mask he made. At the end of every lesson the teacher can walk through the class with hand sanitizer & also give each child a wipe to clean their desk & immediate space. It could be a great social responsibility teaching moment tempered for age of course. The decision to send kids back to school needs to keep the children’s health paramount. Hire the people required to do the opening safely or we may find children growing up & having serious neurological, heart disease or needing lung transplants as adults. Someone needs to be willing to take a stand based on the science. I hope it’s you.


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