Edmonton Catholic Schools cancels year-round school calendar for 2020-21

File: St. Teresa of Calcutta, which offers year-round schooling, pictured on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017. Kendra Slugoski, Global News

The year-round school calendar has been cancelled by Edmonton Catholic Schools for the 2020-21 school year.

In a letter sent home to families with students at St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Alphonsus and St. Catherine schools, the superintendent said the decision comes amid uncertainty created by public health restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Please know that we have not made this decision lightly; we understand that it changed the way that you will plan your lives in the upcoming school year,” Robert Martin said.

READ MORE: Edmonton Catholic School Division announces more temporary staff layoffs amid COVID-19 pandemic

Martin said the “educational world has drastically changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” As a result, those who are enrolled in the year-round schooling program will follow the same school calendar next year as all other Edmonton Catholic schools.

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This means students are currently scheduled to return for the first instructional day on Sept. 2, 2020. There will be no fall break, and students in the year-round program will have the same Christmas and spring break as the rest of the district.

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Students will have the same number of instructional days as usual.

READ MORE: Edmonton Catholic School Board to temporarily lay off more than 700 staff

The decision comes just days after Premier Jason Kenney announced that Alberta schools will remain closed — at least in the traditional sense — for the rest of the school year.

“We will not be re-opening the schools as a general rule for the balance of this academic year,” Kenney said Thursday.

Click to play video: 'Kenney says school boards have said they would prefer not to come back' Kenney says school boards have said they would prefer not to come back
Kenney says school boards have said they would prefer not to come back – Apr 30, 2020

The premier did note, however, that some schools might open in a limited capacity “on a trial basis.”

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“That would take into account the possibility of summer classes, specialized programs, providing schools with some more guidance on, for example, the number of students permitted and physical distancing,” Kenney said.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Alberta schools to stay closed for rest of academic year; province eyeing early summer start

The premier said the government will also look at options for students to make up the time they have lost, which includes the possibility of going back ahead of the scheduled September start date. However, no firm decisions have been made.

Edmonton Catholic Schools’ year-round calendar is offered in three schools, which balance their instructional days into four terms with vacation breaks between each term.

In-person classes in Alberta were cancelled in mid-March.


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