For the 2020–2021 school year, every child and student, regardless of their geographic location or socio-economic status, must continue to learn. This includes children and students in public, separate, Francophone, charter and private (independent) schools, including independent ECS programs, and Indigenous students attending provincial schools.
The 2020-2021 School Re-Entry Plan for the Early Childhood Services to Grade 12 (ECS–12) education system is part of the Alberta government’s relaunch strategy that was announced on April 30, 2020. This plan is founded on the following four principles that were established by Alberta Education in collaboration with education partners:
- The safety of children, students and staff comes first.
- Children’s and students’ learning will continue.
- Provincial funding is still flowing to schools.
- School authorities have flexibility to do what is best for their community.
The school re-entry plan balances the need for provincial direction and standardized approaches in some areas while also providing flexibility and respecting school authority autonomy at the local level.
The Standards for Special Education define an inclusive education as one where a student with disabilities or who requires specialized supports and services is included in regular classrooms and neighbourhood schools as the first placement option. As multiple scenarios are considered for the upcoming school year during the global pandemic, there must be consideration and planning at each level for the inclusion of students with disabilities and for the potentially unique supports that will be required to ensure the success and full participation of these students in all aspects of school life.
The global COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving and unprecedented situation that presents society and the education system with many challenges. Continuing learning in fall 2020 requires everyone in the ECS–12 education system to be nimble in contributing to the success of our children and students.
Implementation of the school re-entry plan is subject to change based on direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health. The plan is based on the best available information and conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and will evolve as the status of the COVID-19 pandemic changes. Stay updated by regularly visiting the K to 12 school re-entry web page.