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Coronavirus: Calgary public school teachers given green light to work from home

The Calgary Board of Education announces staff have the option of working from home. Tomasia DaSilva/Global News

The Calgary Board of Education, which represents 7,000 teachers, has announced that staff members can now work from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The CBE is committed to protecting the health and safety of our staff and communities,” CBE communications advisor Melissa Malcolm said in a statement to Global News.

“We have created temporary work-from-home guidelines that take effect March 18.”

On Sunday, the province announced that all schools and day cares in Alberta would be shut down due to growing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Previously, teachers had been asked to keep working in schools.

“These are very challenging times,” Malcolm said. “We have determined that at this time all school-based staff, both teachers and support staff may work from home.”

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Malcolm said there is exceptions and that at the least one principal, secretary and custodian must remain at the school.

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On Tuesday, the Catholic School District had announced its staff would have the option of working from home.

Click to play video: 'CCSD chief superintendent Bryan Szumlas talks about school cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic'
CCSD chief superintendent Bryan Szumlas talks about school cancellations due to COVID-19 pandemic

Chief Supt. Bryan Szumlas said officials have been monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and were taking employee safety into consideration.

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“They’re going to be working closely with principals and site supervisors on what that looks like,” Szumlas said. “Our schools remain open.”

The CBE’s regular spring break starts on Friday.

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Malcolm said after spring break, additional learning resources will be shared to help students.

“Following spring break, teachers will be working to support student learning remotely using both technology and print resources.”

Malcolm added teachers are also working to provide student assessments to parents.

“Teachers continue to ensure documentation for students completed prior to the cancellation of classes are as up to date as possible.”

“We know that for the majority of teachers and students, this is a significant adjustment.”

– With files from Kaylen Small and Jill Croteau

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