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Saskatchewan rural school division moving to remote learning due to COVID-19 restrictions

Students at Prairie Valley School Division will move to online learning on March 29 due to increasing COVID-19 transmission in the Regina region. Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

Prairie Valley School Division will be transitioning to online learning next week in light of further COVID-19 restrictions imposed on Regina and surrounding communities.

The school division serves 32 communities in southeastern Saskatchewan with a total of 39 schools.

On Tuesday, the Saskatchewan government expanded the public health order due to increased COVID-19 transmission.

A statement from Luc Lerminiaux, director of education for the division and Janet Kotylak, board chairperson said that schools will shift to temporary online learning from March 29 to April 1.

Read more: Private indoor gatherings banned in Regina and area

Deputy director Mike Walter said the decision was made in part due to the provincial government’s expanded public health order.

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“Given what we’re seeing and the reports of the variants in terms of how it’s very contagious, we just felt it was a good move on our part to match what was happening in Regina and to provide that opportunity for a circuit breaker kind of concept,” Walter said.

Spring break will follow online learning, meaning kids aren’t anticipated to return to in-person classes until April 12. Walter said the division will review that decision based on public health guidelines in place at that time.

Read more: Regina schools moving online for operational reasons, COVID-19 concerns

“Our hope is that this proactive intervention will permit all students to continue learning from home, while minimizing the risk of further COVID-19 infection, transmission and disruptions to students, families and staff,” a division statement read.

The division has at least one positive COVID-19 case in 12 schools, four of the schools have already transitioned to online learning.

Families are encouraged to reach out to their school’s principal and teachers if they have additional questions.

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