Central Edmonton elementary school moves to online learning
Westglen School is the first school in Edmonton to shift to online learning during the 2021-22 school year.
Starting Friday, all in-person learners will move back online. According to the Edmonton Public School Board, 29 individuals at the school have self-reported testing positive for COVID-19.
Currently, Alberta Health Services does not share information about positive COVID cases with schools. Schools are advised to contact AHS if they notice a cluster or respiratory illness in students or staff, or hit a 10 per cent threshold of students staying home sick. Additional measures may be implemented at individual schools, although the details of those measures vary depending on the school and situation, according to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw.
“And in some ways that is adding an additional layer of protection because if individuals choose not to get tested for COVID but are home with an illness, they’re now counted in the list as being part of that outbreak,” Dr. Hinshaw said. “So it’s less dependent on needing a test to be a part of identifying where there is an issue.”
She says a framework for dealing with and publicly reporting school outbreaks is still being worked on, as the framework currently in place was designed before the height of the fourth wave. As of now, there are no plans to re-implement contact tracing through AHS in Alberta schools.
“That disclosure of individually identifying health information – as would happen if individual case notifications would happen in schools – would be a violation of an individual’s privacy and rights under the Health Information Act,” Dr. Hinshaw said.
“We are working with education to determine if there are any adjustments that need to be made to this framework.”
Students at Westglen are set to return to in-person learning on Oct. 8.