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Board Statement regarding the Extension of Winter Break 2022


Board Statement regarding the Extension of Winter Break 2022

January 5, 2022 

As a board, we would be remiss if we did not address the new challenges as a result of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The decision to extend the winter break for students through to January 10 demonstrates, once again, the jurisdictional oversight of the Ministries of Health and Education to make decisions that we, as a school division under their direction and legislation, must execute and abide by.  

Since the government announcement was made, our division has heard from the community, many of whom have expressed frustration over how the decision was made, but also, irritation over the uncertainty of what will happen next.

We recognize that incomplete information, or information that comes with little notice, challenges the resilience of our community – the very resilience we rely upon to support every stakeholder in education—especially that of our students.

We have advised our community that their MLA is a direct conduit to the provincial leadership making these decisions. Today, January 5, 2022, we met with Highwood MLA RJ Sigurdson to discuss community concerns regarding the decision to extend the winter break. We hope this represents a renewed commitment to hear the concerns of our community and thank him for bringing our perspective to the Ministers of Education and Health, as is his responsibility. We have also heard from Livingston-Macleod MLA Roger Reid who has expressed he will also be taking the feedback he has received to the Minister.

For our part, we will continue to advocate for what we believe is the best interest of our FSD community, starting with data-driven decision making and the province’s support of a regional versus province-wide solution for Alberta’s school districts. We have communicated to MLA Sigurdson, and to the Minister directly today, that we are ready for in-person learning and believe our students are best served by in-person learning. We reaffirmed that we will—as we always have—act in the interest of student and staff safety and will continue to do so as our most paramount priority. Additionally, we expressed our frustration that public guidance for re-opening has not been communicated to us while also reaffirming our commitment to abide by the public health measures set out by the province when announced.

I want to thank you for your patience as we navigate this most recent setback and whatever additional variants may follow. I speak for this entire board when I express our commitment to hear—and to serve—the voices of our community.  




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