COVID-19 protocols are still top of mind for many schools across Saskatchewan, including those a part of the Prairie Valley School Division, which will be requiring elementary students to wear masks again.
School officials sent out a letter to parents and guardians on Sunday, outlining that given the current climate around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, mask wearing will continue to be mandatory.
“The three schools divisions around the Regina area have very similar plans and we’re certainly not unique in the province,” said Luc Lerminiaux, director of education at the school division.
“There are many school divisions across the province that are mandating masks, particular for students that are not yet eligible for vaccination.”
Lerminiaux says they’ve received feedback from parents both for and against mask wearing.
“We’ve had communication from all walks, those that believe that our restrictions haven’t gone far enough and those that think that masks should be a personal choice,” he said.
“So, once again we’re not the health experts, we look to our local medical health officers to provide directions,” Lerminiaux added.
In the letter the division sent out, school officials wrote:
“In normal circumstances, few of us would choose to wear a mask. Sadly, these aren’t normal times.
“Throughout the pandemic, school divisions, including ours, have followed the recommendations of the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority,” the letter states.
The letter goes on to say that it has come to the attention of the school division that some parents may be planning to sidestep this health and safety requirement.
“It has come to our attention that there are a few, some without children in our schools, who are encouraging our children to defy the rules and come to school without a mask and instead come armed with an internet version of a waiver, giving permission for them to do so.”
School officials say the waivers are not legitimate.
Lerminiaux says there will be consequences for those who try to disregard school rules.
School officials add they hope the first day of back will be a positive one. Students with the division return to school on Wednesday.