Dear Editor: I am writing in response to your article – Mixed COVID Messages Leave Alberta Parents And Teachers Concerned About Schools Opening Without Adequate Supports.
I am a teacher with over 30 years teaching experience in Alberta and I am very concerned. I don’t know how interested your readers are in all of this but here are 3 links with posts that I think are worth reading. They call into question some of the “robust” opening strategies that the Alberta govt is proposing to keep students safe in the fall. Is “social distancing where possible” really a robust strategy?
I’m not saying schools should not reopen. I am saying that they should open responsibly. According to Premier Kenney, his priority is for teachers and students to FEEL safe. There is a difference between feeling safe and being safe. It’s not enough to push the issue aside by claiming that kids generally are not spreaders. Recent studies show that this many not in fact really be the case. It is also not a reason to make sure that effective safety practices are put in place. Is encouraging more hand washing all we can offer our children?
Kenney is passing the responsibility for details of his “robust” plan to individual school districts. This could be a good thing as I am sure School boards have more of an idea of what classrooms are really like compared to our elected officials. The problem is however that there have been no extra funds allocated for necessary initiatives to help make schools a safe place. The UCP claims that monies have been infused into Education but in reality all they’ve done is give back “some” of the money that they took away from schools in the spring.
These kids are our future. They should be our top priority.