SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) wants the province to move all schools to online learning for two weeks following the upcoming break week.

This means all schools would transition to online, mandatory learning from April 12 to April 23.

“There is a steady increase of COVID-19 cases in schools across the province,” STF President Patrick Maze said in a news release.

“This two-week period will serve as a buffer to help protect students, teachers and ultimately our communities in the event people travel or gather over the break.”

An STF review of publicly available data shows:

  • 90 outbreaks declared in schools between March 15 and 28, with 78 between March 20 and 28
  • During the week of March 15 and 19, there was an average of 2.4 outbreaks declared
  • 8.7 were declared on average per day between March 20 March 28
  • Regina Public Schools and Regina Catholic School Division have declared 36 outbreaks since March 15
  • Over half of Sask. school divisions declared outbreaks between March 15 and 28

Maze acknowledged that in-person learning is preferred but planning ahead and moving to online learning in an orderly fashion benefits everyone involved.

“Teachers, students and families will be able to prepare for the next few weeks and not be franticly trying to make alternate plans. Employers, including small businesses, also have an opportunity to plan ahead for staffing needs and minimize the negative impact of staffing challenges.”