The Regina Catholic School Division is moving to remote learning for the last school week of 2020 and the first school week of 2021.
This decision comes one day after the Regina Public School Division made a similar announcement in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19 in schools.
The Catholic school division says the move is being taken for several reasons including increased transmission rates in the city, fear and anxiety related to the virus which has resulted in decreased student attendance, challenges to finding available substitute staff and a growing concern about contacting families with direction to isolate.
Spokesperson Twylla West says this was not an easy decision.
“There’s growing concerns about contacting families with direction to isolate,” West said. “Of course, a lot of people are worried about that happening during the Christmas break, that’s not a fun phone call if somebody’s calling you on Christmas Eve to tell you that your child has to be isolated for the next seven or 10 days.
“We’ve got challenges as well in terms of our available substitute staff and that can become a safety concern as well.”
However, West says just because the school division is switching to virtual learning doesn’t mean schools are closed.
“We really hope that all students will be in school as much as possible this week so that our as well students are very prepared for learning remotely next week.”
There are also plans in the works for specialized programs to continue with in-person instruction.
RCSD is also letting school families know that this is not the same as supplemental learning which was provided in the spring as this will be mandatory curricular content being delivered to students and that is not an extended Christmas break. As a result, the division is encouraging all students to be in school for the rest of the week so they are prepared for next week and the first week of January.