The second week of school at Saskatoon’s high schools will be a bit different than the first week of classes.
On Friday, both the Catholic and public school divisions announced that the use of masks will be required indoors for all students, staff and visitors inside their schools and buildings.
The requirement includes school board offices and maintenance shops.
“Since the release of our back-to-school plans on August 23, Saskatoon has seen an exponential increase in COVID-19 cases,” reads a statement from Saskatoon Public Schools (SPS) Director of Education Shane Skjerven.
“With the Delta variant prevalent in our community, we are concerned about the continued health and well-being of our students and staff members.
“We also recognize that our school division has a role to play in supporting our community partners in healthcare, in hopes of reducing further pressure on the overwhelmed system.”
SPS said the division is accepting online learning registrations through Sept. 7 for secondary students and families who may not agree with the mask requirement.
Mask use was strongly recommended in Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ (GSCS) high schools prior to update.
“This decision has been made at the recommendation of our local medical health officers,” said GSCS in a release on Friday.
“Our goal is to maintain in-person learning and keep students with us in classes. We want students and staff to be safe in our school communities.”
Both school divisions are encouraging all eligible students, staff members and community members to get a COVID-19 vaccine.