Yorkton Regional High School is returning to distance learning after at least 70 COVID-19 cases were reported since classes resumed last Tuesday, says the Good Spirit School Division (GSSD).
The Saskatchewan Health Authority officially declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the school on Monday, prompting the decision to move online soon after, according to the division’s CEO and director of education, Quentin Robertson.
“My question to the three administrators [at Regional High School] What, what would be least impactful on the students: the way we’re moving or going to the remote?” He said. “The response was pretty quick, ‘We need to move to the remote.'”
Robertson said that when the decision was initially made, 11 sections had been affected by about 60 COVID-19 cases. Till Tuesday morning, another 10 cases were diagnosed taking the total number of affected sections to 21.
From September to December, the high school – which has a population of about 790 – reported 32 COVID-19 cases, Robertson said.
Now, seeing cases more than doubled in about a week in high school, Robertson said it shows how highly transmissible the Omicron variant is.
“We’re seeing this in real time,” Robertson said. “If there’s ever a debate about the spread and how contagious [Omicron] Just need to see what is happening in our own school division.”
He said administrators are currently assessing whether another school in the division (located outside of Yorkton) is moving to online learning as well. The decision is expected to be made later this week.
Yorkton Regional High School is offering online learning/no extracurriculars as of January 24th. Good Spirit School Division is all set to re-evaluate the situation on 21st January. School after reports of a “large number” of cases. #COVID19SK pic.twitter.com/00Es89ha7E
All classes for regional classes 9 to 12 have been canceled on Tuesday, remote instruction will start from Wednesday. All extra-curricular activities are also stopped until students return to class.
In a letter to students and their families, the GSSD said class teachers will continue to take attendance remotely, so absences should be reported as they normally do.
In-person instruction is set to resume on January 24. The families should definitely know by the end of the day on January 21, the letter said.