Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that all classes in Saskatchewan pre K-12 Schools will be suspended indefinitely, effective March 20, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
For the period of March 16 to March 19, pre K-12 classes will wind down. This means that parents who are able to keep children home should do so immediately, with no absence or grade impacts. Parents with limited childcare options have a window to plan for class suspensions.
On Sunday, March 15, the Chief Medical Health Officer indicated that school closures would be based on a number of factors including:
• Evidence of sustained transmission within the community;
• Rapid increase of local cases; and
• Transmission without a known link to travel or confirmed cases.
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.
Every student will receive a final grade based on their current grade, and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate. The Ministry of Education and School Divisions will work with Saskatchewan Post-Secondary Institutions to adapt entry requirements for programs commencing in the next academic year.
Teachers and staff can work from home or in schools as scheduled during the class cancellations. For the rest of the scheduled school year, the Ministry of Education will work with School Divisions and Saskatchewan Teachers to implement a supplemental curriculum program through distance and alternative learning methods. While this supplemental curriculum will have no impact on final grades, it will ensure that students seeking to continue learning will have the resources necessary to do so.
These measures apply to daycares that are co-located with schools, but do not apply to licensed daycare facilities outside of schools. Further measures regarding licensed daycare facilities are being considered and will be implemented at a later date.
Officials are currently examining options to provide childcare services for individuals that are providing essential services during the COVID-19 response.
We understand that residents have questions about COVID-19 in Saskatchewan.
If you have recently travelled internationally and are experiencing respiratory or flu-like symptoms, please call HealthLine 811.
For the latest advice to the public and information on prevention measures being taken, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
Public inquiries may be directed to COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca