Earlier today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that all classes in Saskatchewan from prekindergarten to Grade 12 will be suspended indefinitely, effective Friday, March 20, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The school closures will reduce further spread of the illness.
Read the government's full news release HERE.
From now through Thursday, March 19, classes will wind down. During this time, parents who can keep children home should do so immediately, with no absence or grade impacts. Parents with limited childcare options have until Friday to make arrangements. Students who attend for the next few days have a low risk of exposure to COVID-19. There will be no classes starting Friday.
If you will be keeping your child home the rest of the week, please report your child's absence using the normal process. This will help us plan for staffing in our schools for the next three days.
As per Ministry of Education guidelines, every student will receive a final grade based on their current grade, and students will progress to their next grade level next year. Further information will be provided. Every student who is eligible to graduate from Grade 12 this year will graduate. Plans for graduation ceremonies will be determined later. Planning is underway to provide supplemental curriculum supports for students to assist with skill development and continued learning.
As always, if your child is sick, please keep your child home from school. If a parent or caregiver is experiencing any symptoms, please keep your child home and away from school. Individuals who may have concerns about their health can call the provincial HealthLine at 811 or use the self-assessment tool to determine next steps. Information and updates regarding COVID-19 are available on www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus.
Parents play a significant role in helping children feel safe during times of rapid change and uncertainty. It is important to focus on what can be done to support social and emotional wellness. Below are some suggestions for parents to support children:
- Take care of yourself – Continue to engage in healthy, positive activities that you enjoy. Healthy adults create healthy children.
- Model calm and be reassuring to your children – Let your children talk about their feelings, fears, and questions. Responding calmly will positively influence your child's emotional responses.
- Maintain normal routines to the extent possible – Maintaining routines provides a sense of comfort and reassurance. Seek out and maintain fun activities as a family. A few examples include crafting, baking, board games, reading, movie nights, and enjoying outdoor activities together.
- Monitor and limit media/social media exposure – Excessive exposure is linked to an increase in anxiety and worry. Limit your own exposure to reliable sources.
- Share factual and age-appropriate information with your children – Consider both the age and individual characteristics of your child when determining how much to share. Emphasize actions that you can do to limit risk, such as following recommended hygiene practices.
Many resources exist to support you and your child. Below are some websites you may find helpful
Tips for managing anxiety about COVID-19:
Talking to your children about COVID-19:
We know you have questions. Please allow our teachers and administrators time to work through the details of this closure. Your school will provide you with pertinent information as planning is completed.
This has been a tumultuous time for families, for our schools, and for our community. Thank you for your understanding while we work through this unprecedented situation.
(This information is being sent to all parents and guardians of Saskatoon Public Schools students)