All Sask. pre-K-12 schools to shut down March 20

Saskatchewan schools will be shutting down Friday due to COVID-19. The provincial government announced March 16 that all classes province-wide from pre-K to Grade 12, including at Creighton Community School, will be suspended indefinitely as of March 20.

Classes will be wound down from March 16-19, with the province defining "winding down" as allowing parents capable of keeping children at home to do so with no impact to their child's grades or absences.

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While the province does not issue a firm statement on whether or not students will return to class this school year, the statement includes guidelines for how a closure would impact grade-by-grade advancements and final marks. Students will receive final grades based on their current grades with students progressing as normal to their next grade for the next school year. Any eligible Grade 12 will graduate as previously scheduled.

Provincial chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab had previously said any decision on school closures would be based on a rapid increase in Saskatchewan cases, evidence of the disease being transmitted sustainably within the community and transmission of the disease without links to travel or other confirmed cases.

The provincial statement said none of those three criteria had yet been met and the closure was preventative in nature, not due to a high risk of infection.

"There continues to be no evidence that any of the above three criteria have been met.  Children remaining in schools between March 16 and March 19 face a low risk of exposure to COVID-19.  A preventative approach of proactive school closures beginning March 20 means reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission," said the statement.

Teachers and staff will have an option of either working from home or from school as scheduled during the suspension. Daycares that function alongside existing schools will also shut down.

 

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