3 northern Saskatchewan schools move to virtual learning

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WATCH: Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said on Tuesday that the increase of daily COVID-19 cases reported in the past week is concerning as students return to schools across the country. She added that what happens at schools is a reflection of what’s happening in the community and calling on everyone to keep up the effective public health practices – Sep 8, 2020

The Muskoday First Nation Community School (MFNCS) at Muskoday, Bernard Constant Community School at James Smith and Charlebois Community School in Cumberland House in northern Saskatchewan are all taking various measures and closing facilities due to COVID-19.

Muskoday announced in a letter that effective Monday, Oct. 19 the school would be closed for precautionary reasons. The staff would let parents and caregivers know when students could return to class. The school will be contacting through phone calls and messages.

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The letter has been posted on the school and band’s Facebook page as well as at the Band Office, store and health center.

Staff will continue to work as essential services and send homework, make phone calls and set up iPads with programs to do work at homes.

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“Please continue to be safe and follow safety precautions at home. If you have any questions regarding homework and the iPads please call/email the teachers. For questions about these school closure plans, please call/email the administration. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding,” the letter signed by principal Liza Brown stated.

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Bernard Constant Community School

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In a letter dated Wednesday, Oct. 21 signed by principal Cecilia Twist of the Bernard Constant Community School announced it would be closed until further notice.

The letter explained that this was a precautionary measure because of a COVID-19 exposure in the community with many people in contact with the virus.

“No one has tested positive at this point. However, the infectious stage and symptoms could appear 14 days after contact. Our priority is the health and well-being of our students, our staff and our community.”

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Read more: List of COVID-19 school exposures and outbreaks in Saskatchewan

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The students’ last day was Wednesday and the minimum the school will be closed is three weeks. Staff will be working the rest of the week to make homework packages or foods hampers and organize remote support for students.

Staff will be delivering homework packages and food hampers over the next few days.

The letter explained that further updates would be provided via the Bernard Constant Facebook page.

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Charlebois Community School

On the Charlebois Community School Facebook page, a notice from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) was posted on Tuesday, Oct. 20. It explained that Public Health is investigating cases of COVID-19 at the school. The risk of the general school population becoming infected is very low.

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Public Health with contact staff or students if they have come in contact with the case they will be contacted directly for a follow-up. If staff or students have not been identified as a close contact but develop symptoms they are asked to self-isolate and call HealthLine 811 to arrange testing, said the letter signed by medical health officer Dr. Mohammad Khan.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

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Earlier on Oct. 20, a letter from Northern Lights School Division director of education Jason Young was posted stating that two cases of COVID-19 had been identified in the school. The school is operating at Level 4 of the Safe Schools Plan until further notice.

Level 4 is defined as a transition to alternative learning opportunities offered by divisions.

Another announcement on Oct. 21 explained that beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 27, high school students in Grades 10-12 will be assigned a Chromebook for hybrid learning.

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