“Education Week runs from May 3 to 7 this year, and never before has the importance of daily learning for our students been so much on the minds of Albertans.

“Over the past year, we have seen teachers, school staff, bus drivers and so many others go above and beyond to help students continue learning – no matter what challenges this pandemic brings.

“This school year, like no other, has made it clear to all of us just how important a classroom setting and daily interaction with friends and teachers is to the learning and well-being of students.

“Education Week is an opportunity to reflect on, and share our appreciation for, the incredible work teachers have done in schools, at homes and beyond to keep students learning and growing every day in these unprecedented times.

“I would also like to recognize the start of Mental Health Week. I know this has not been an easy year for many students and staff. Many have had to deal with isolation, stress and even loss. If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out to available resources like Kids Help Phone, by calling 1-800-668-6868, or visit jack.org.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of the students, teachers, families, staff and education partners for your commitment, caring and resilience. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and together we will get there as soon as possible.”