The province will delay the return to school for kindergarten to Grade 12 students until January 10 due to concerns surrounding the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
The extended break will give school authorities time to gather additional data to assess staffing implications and the potential operational impacts of the current COVID-19 situation.
To assist with the safe return to classes, Alberta Health and Municipal Affairs’ PPE Task Force will also deliver 8.6 million rapid tests and 16.5 million masks to schools, starting the week of January 10.
To further support high school students whose learning is disrupted by this extension, January diploma exams have been cancelled. A decision will be made later in 2022 regarding April and June diploma exams.
School authorities will use the extended student winter break to prepare for potential in-person and at-home learning scenarios, as they have done previously during the pandemic. Information and guidance to support school authorities and parents is available on alberta.ca/returntoschool.
With this change, the provincial government is responding to concerns from Education stakeholders and aligning Alberta with other provinces in Canada. A pause will also help school authorities plan for changes in testing and contact notification.
- A decision will be made later in 2022 regarding April and June diploma exams.
- Diploma exam weighting will temporarily change to 10% from 30% for the 2021-22 school year in response to feedback from students, parents and education partners about stress and anxiety around academic achievement.
- Diploma exams will be offered for every diploma exam course in April, June and August administrations.
For more information about this release, please visit here.