Edmonton public, Catholic schools to see 95 and 97 per cent of students back in-person

EDMONTON — The vast majority of students attending the largest school districts in Edmonton will be returning to in-person learning this fall.

Approximately 95 per cent of students attending Edmonton Public Schools will learn in person while five per cent will learn online.

In the 2020-21 school year, Edmonton public said an average of 70 per cent of families chose in-person learning and 30 per cent chose online learning throughout the school year.

For Edmonton Catholic, 96.8 per cent of students will return to in-person learning and 3.2 per cent opted for online learning.

The district had 26.6 per cent of students learn online last year.

Parents had until Friday evening last week to decide whether their children would attend in-person or register for online learning.

Edmonton Catholic has approximately 42,632 students while Edmonton Public Schools, the second largest school district in the province, has more than 103,000 students.

Edmonton public has chosen to keep some of its practices it brought in during the COVID-19 pandemic when classes resume, including symptomatic and positive-case isolation periods, and cohorting.

The district chose to mandate masks, citing low vaccination rates for those students who are eligible to be receive them and that those under the age of 12 are ineligible to receive a COVID-19 immunization.

Unlike the public district, Edmonton Catholic will not make masks mandatory, but will also require staff and students to complete Alberta’s COVID-19 symptom screening prior to coming to school and have isolation periods for positive cases and symptomatic people.

The division will “strongly recommend” masks at all grade levels, except on buses where they are provincially mandated and in common areas where the school will require them. Staff will also be required to wear masks in common areas, and “strongly recommended” to wear them in the classroom.

Schools will also host Alberta Health Services-administered COVID-19 vaccine clinics for students who are old enough to receive the shot. Both divisions have said they would support the clinics.

Catholic students return to classrooms on Sept. 1 and public students on Sept. 2.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Alex Antoneshyn

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