Coventry Hills School moves to online teaching temporarily after 2nd COVID-19 case
Outbreak at northeast Calgary school creates staffing issues as officials identify who needs to self-isolate
Coventry Hills School in northeast Calgary closed its doors Monday and moved to an online teaching model temporarily because of staffing challenges following the confirmation of a second case of COVID-19.
School officials are following the direction of Alberta Health Services (AHS) as respond to the outbreak and identify close contacts of the infected people and notify students and staff who will need to isolate themselves
"This is solely due to staffing capacity issues," Calgary Board of Education (CBE) chief superintendent Christopher Usih said in a letter to families. "This will ensure that necessary operational planning and substitute teachers can be arranged and all health measures maintained."
Teachers are conducting classes via Google Classroom.
Leanna Grab has a son who attends the school and said the transition online has gone smoothly.
"We were all notified quite early. From my perspective, I'm a stay-at-home parent, so it hasn't really affected me," she said.
"We have been geared onto the online platform for the Google Classroom already, and the kids have already been accessing it at school. So they are already pretty good and sufficient at how to access their schoolwork. It's just now, of course, it'll be at home versus the school environment."
Grab said the school has also been using Google Classroom to accommodate students who miss school due to illness.
"Even if you just feel like you're coming down with a cold or you do display the COVID-type symptoms and you're waiting for your swab to come back, then they do tell you to reach out to your kid's class and email them directly and say, 'we're not able to attend school due to this.'
"They automatically fire you right to the Google Classroom, where the kids can log on and all their work is listed on there. So I feel like they're pretty well rehearsed," she said.
But Grab said she knows other parents will have challenges.
"I do understand parents that do work full-time jobs, as well as for shift workers, it's a huge stress in their lives right now trying to find backup care [because] they can't take time off," she said.
"But I feel also like businesses and owners and managers are being way more flexible now because they know what happened previously. So and with the kids being back into school, they have to have that little bit of flexibility that now they have to call in sick."
The board said it will notify parents by the end of Monday whether in-person classes can resume Tuesday.
Parents with questions can contact the school at 403-777-6025.
Provincewide, 92 schools now have outbreaks (two or more cases), 22 of which are in the watch category because there are five or more cases. Sixty-one schools have had in-school transmission.
With files from Lucie Edwardson