Edmonton Catholic Schools cancels year-round school calendar for 2020-21

The year-round school calendar has been cancelled by Edmonton Catholic Schools for the 2020-21 school year.

In a letter sent home to families with students at St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Alphonsus and St. Catherine schools, the superintendent said the decision comes amid uncertainty created by public health restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Please know that we have not made this decision lightly; we understand that it changed the way that you will plan your lives in the upcoming school year,” Robert Martin said.

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Martin said the “educational world has drastically changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.” As a result, those who are enrolled in the year-round schooling program will follow the same school calendar next year as all other Edmonton Catholic schools.

This means students are currently scheduled to return for the first instructional day on Sept. 2, 2020. There will be no fall break, and students in the year-round program will have the same Christmas and spring break as the rest of the district.

Students will have the same number of instructional days as usual.

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The decision comes just days after Premier Jason Kenney announced that Alberta schools will remain closed — at least in the traditional sense — for the rest of the school year.

“We will not be re-opening the schools as a general rule for the balance of this academic year,” Kenney said Thursday.

The premier did note, however, that some schools might open in a limited capacity “on a trial basis.”

“That would take into account the possibility of summer classes, specialized programs, providing schools with some more guidance on, for example, the number of students permitted and physical distancing,” Kenney said.

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The premier said the government will also look at options for students to make up the time they have lost, which includes the possibility of going back ahead of the scheduled September start date. However, no firm decisions have been made.

Edmonton Catholic Schools’ year-round calendar is offered in three schools, which balance their instructional days into four terms with vacation breaks between each term.

In-person classes in Alberta were cancelled in mid-March.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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