Remote learning for students at three Saskatchewan school divisions will continue for at least two weeks after the Easter break.
Regina Public Schools, Regina Catholic Schools and the Prairie Valley School Division said the decision to extend remote learning until April 23 was made after local medical officers asked for the extension.
“We have sought out the advice of local and provincial health authorities, we have listened to our school families, our employees and our board. We have also consulted with our partners in other Regina-area school divisions,” Greg Enion, RPS director of education, said in a statement Thursday.
“This continuation of temporary remote learning is the most prudent and proactive step we can make to minimize the very real COVID-19 health risk to our students, staff, their families and to our Regina communities.”
RPS said the current plan is for its students to return to class learning on April 26.
Health Minister Paul Merriman said there are no plans at this time to move all schools in the province to remote learning.
“I feel that the school boards are in a very good position to make their decisions based on what they’re seeing in their specific community,” he said during a briefing Thursday.
“We feel that they’ve been doing this in a very effective way. They’re making sure they have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in their specific community.”
Regina remains the hotspot in the province for COVID-19.
Of the 1,955 active cases in the province on Wednesday, 1,030 were in Regina. The majority of variants of concern identified in Saskatchewan are also in Regina — 1,348 out of 1,673.
Regina Catholic Schools said students at Riffel, O’Neill, Miller and LeBoldus high schools move to hybrid learning on April 26.
All other students will resume in-class learning on April 26.
Prairie Valley School Division said it has been following directions from medical experts with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in making its decisions.
“(The SHA) have shared that the public health order measures need time to impact as effects are not immediately seen,” the school division said in a letter to parents and guardians.
“The SHA continues to see a concerning rise in COVID cases in Regina and surrounding rural communities reaching as far as the Manitoba border.”
Prairie Valley School Division said it is preparing to return to in-person learning for all students on April 26.