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Prairie South taking ‘cup half-full’ view for return of normal school routines

A letter to parents dated Feb. 26 provided an update about the existing pandemic restrictions and how this affects schools
prairie south office spring 2019
Prairie South School Division (Larissa Kurz photograph)

Prairie South School Division (PSSD) is taking a “cup half-full” view of when school will return to a more normal routine, including with this year’s graduation ceremonies.

Board chair Robert Bachmann and education director Tony Baldwin issued a joint letter to parents on Feb. 26 that provided an update about the existing pandemic restrictions and how they affected schools. 

They explained that they had not issued a joint letter since Dec. 10 since there was very little news to report. They noted that most schools in the division were doing well in the COVID-19 environment, while little headway was being made in returning to a more normal school routine.

“We’re choosing to go with the cup half-full view and hope that you are able to do this as well,” they wrote.

There had been 39 positive cases of COVID-19 throughout PSSD, as of Feb. 26. The division office continually supports the contact tracing program in conjunction with public health. Twelve of 39 PSSD schools have been affected so far with one or more positive cases, while provincially, about 300 of 700 schools have also been impacted with one or more positive cases.

Prairie South administration continues to request additional information from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) about upcoming spring and summer activities, including this year’s graduation ceremonies, the letter said. Given the desire for information on this topic, the SHA will continue to provide updates as they are available.

“What we know for now is that virtual ceremonies are safe and will be allowed, and that indoor ceremonies will not be allowed,” Baldwin and Bachmann wrote. “We are working on shrinking the yellow zone (of activities that may be OK) to assist with planning at the local level. 

“We think it is likely that we will be looking at outdoor graduation ceremonies with restrictions as the most likely outcome.” 

2021-Graduation-Planning-Feb26-2021-COVID-Letter

Baldwin and Bachmann noted that they were excited about the progress being made with vaccine rollouts since the most vulnerable people in families will likely be made safer as a result.   

“We hope the cold weather is gone for good, as we know that being outside and active is one way we can all be healthier,” they added. “Together, we’re going to be OK.”