Division News Article

Province announces extension to winter break

December 31st, 2021

On Thursday, December 30, 2021, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange announced an extension to the winter break in response to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases. Classes will resume in-school on January 10th.

“With the COVID situation rapidly evolving, so too must our response. This pause will give teachers, school administrators and school authorities more time to plan for students to return safely to learning. Under very challenging circumstances, I am very grateful to parents, students, teachers and education partners for their flexibility during the pandemic.” Minister LaGrange

No classes for Pre-K to Grade 12 students until January 10th

  • Pembina Hills community school Pre-K to Grade 12 programs will resume on January 10th.
  • Outreach programs will resume on January 10th.
  • Colony schools will resume on January 10th.
  • Full time Vista Virtual School students can resume online classes on January 3rd.

January Exams

  • Provincial Diploma Exams scheduled for January 2022 are cancelled.
  • The province has not yet announced a decision regarding April and June Diploma Exams.
  • Pembina Hills high schools have an exam schedule at the end of January. This series of final assessments is NOT cancelled.
  • Teachers will be using the week of January 3rd to adjust their final assessments given the extra week without instruction, and the cancelled diplomas.

Which staff will be working?

  • PHSD teachers will report to work on January 3rd as usual.
  • School office staff, principals and regional office staff will report to work on January 3rd.
  • Maintenance, information technology, and transportation staff (other than bus drivers) will report to work on January 3rd.
  • Busses will not be running. Therefore no bus drivers will need to report for work until January 10th.
  • Program Assistants will report to work on January 10th, however individual PAs may be called in earlier, as needed.

Masks and Rapid Tests

The province also stated that medical grade masks and rapid tests will also be distributed to schools as they become available. We will share the details when we have more information.

  • Provincial guidance regarding mask quality has been updated: https://www.alberta.ca/masks.aspx
  • No change has been made to masking requirements: Optional for Pre-K to Grade 3 students; Mandatory for Grades 4-12 students and all adults.
  • The province will be distributing medical grade masks to all school authorities. We hope to receive these by the week of January 10th. The use of these masks is recommended but staff and students can continue to wear masks that align with mask guidance.

Will learning be at home or in school on January 10?

  • At this time, we expect that learning will occur in class.
  • If there are schools or classes with high absenteeism, those schools or classes may be shifted online temporarily.

For more information see the government’s announcement: Winter break extended for K-12 students