Public teachers in Calgary required to conduct online classes from school, not home

The Calgary Board of Education confirms its junior high and high school educators are not permitted to work from home for the remainder of 2020 unless a principal or supervisor previously approved the move.

Christopher Usih, CBE chief superintendent of schools, outlined the school board’s stance in a letter to CBE staff dated Dec. 9.

“Since the province announced new public health measures yesterday, my office has received many questions about what it means for CBE staff,” said Usih in the message. “In an email received from Minister LaGrange to school boards late Tuesday, she stated, “These changes do not include additional measures for schools”.

“I want to be clear; this means no changes for us until the winter break. Staff are expected to report to work at their school or worksite unless your principal or supervisor has previously approved otherwise.”

In-class learning was halted and swapped with online learning for CBE students in Grades 7 through 12 on Nov. 30.

CBE students in kindergarten through Grade 12 are scheduled to return from the winter break on Jan. 4, 2021 and participate in a week of online learning.

Usih says a decision on having teachers work from home during the week of online classes will be announced Dec. 11.

On Tuesday, the province announced several new restrictions and safety measures aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19 including mandating working from home ‘unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness’.

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