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Trustees postpone Board meeting due to COVID staffing challenges

Board of Trustees

With expected staffing challenges in the days ahead across Red Deer Public Schools as a result of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the Board of Trustees has postponed their regular public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 12, 2022. The meeting will now take place on Wednesday, January 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM.

“Looking at staff absences due to illness the first two days back after the extended Christmas Break, we are anticipating staffing shortages among teachers and other staff over the next few days as a result of the Omicron variant. Since returning to school, we have seen an increase in substitute teachers providing coverage, as well as a reduced number of substitute teachers prepared to cover classes given the current circumstances. Our desire is to have students learning at school. Our focus right now needs to be providing quality teaching and learning and making transitions where and as needed,” said Chad Erickson, Superintendent of Schools.

“Like many other sectors, the current Omicron variant is spreading fast and has created staffing challenges for many organizations. Our staff continue to do outstanding work and we need to make sure we do what we need to do to keep students and staff well and safe. Our Senior Administration needs to be focused on responding to these challenges and making key decisions, thus the delay in the Board meeting,” said Board Chair Nicole Buchanan.

With the extended Christmas Break, teachers prepared for a variety of potential outcomes and we will do our very best for every student. Frankly this came sooner than we were hoping but admittedly, it was anticipated. 

“We want students and teachers to be in our schools and classrooms--it’s where the best learning takes place. That is our priority, while keeping everyone healthy and well. While we want to continue as normal as possible, potential staffing challenges may cause classes and/or grades to shift to online learning. Parents and students need to be prepared for those possibilities, should they occur,” said Buchanan.

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