SASKATOON -- The union for Saskatchewan teachers is advising its members not to volunteer for extracurricular activities such as sports.

Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, says those activities undermine efforts to keep students safe.

Those efforts include controlling the size of groups students move in, restricting travel and staggering class start times.

Deciding whether or not to proceed with such activities this school year has been left to each school division.

Teacher participation in extracurricular activities is strictly voluntary.

Maze says with the long gap since students have been in the classroom over COVID-19 fears, it's most important for teachers to focus on learning and safety.

He says that will allow everyone to adjust to the protective measures the school divisions have put in place.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2020