All Fort McMurray K-12 students move to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

EDMONTON — All Fort McMurray kindergarten to grade 12 will be moving to online learning starting Monday.

In a news release sent Sunday, both Fort McMurray Public School Division and Fort McMurray Catholic Schools said they were reverting back to online learning due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the city and increasing numbers of staff and students in isolation.

The Ministry of Education approved both districts requests to move to online learning Sunday.

Both districts will have online learning for all grades from Monday until May 7. Students will return to in-person learning on May 10.

As of Sunday, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo had the highest number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in Alberta, at a rate of 1361.1.

According to Fort McMurray Public Schools, almost one-third of all cases in the city since the COVID-19 pandemic began have been confirmed in the past month alone.

“We know this is the best decision for our students, staff, and community as the numbers, and rate of COVID spread continues to climb,” public schools superintendent Jennifer Turner said in a statement.

Fort McMurray Catholic Schools Superintendent George McGuigan said in a statement that the district wants to ensure that the last two month remaining in the school year are safe.

“We want all students to be in school, but with this recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Fort McMurray we know this is a difficult, yet correct decision,” McGuigan said.

“We need to once again come together as a community and work together to stay safe. The numbers in Fort McMurray are currently staggering and schools are simply a reflection of our community.”

On April 17, public and senior high schools from both the Fort McMurray public and Catholic school divisions moved online.

READ MORE: Grades 7-12 in Fort McMurray move online due to rising COVID-19 cases 

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