A November Update from the Calgary Catholic School District, Board of Trustees

Categories CCSD

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A School Start Up Like No Other

For the last 135 years, the Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD) has been welcoming students to its schools every September. This year, the beginning of the school year looked very different. Our students returned to school under unique circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of our over 59,000 students, the return to in-school classes in their local schools represented the first time they had set foot in a physical classroom in the past six months.

Welcoming our students and staff back for face-to-face instruction in a new reality has required a great deal of planning, procurement, and preparation on the part of our administrative, support, caretaking, and teaching staff.  In order to prepare a safe teaching and learning environment, the district ensured the timely distribution of 4,369 bottles of hand sanitizer, 118,500 reusable masks, 43,050 disposable masks, 6,802 face shields, 21,900 pairs of disposable gloves, 1,300 rolls of painter’s tape, 123 jugs of bleach, 363 hand sanitizer refill cartridges, 3,516 spray bottles, 12,800 safety posters, and 14,000 floor decals. More importantly, our employees completed additional health and safety training to ensure they can provide the safest environment possible in this new reality.

To offer a Catholic online learning option for those families who preferred this method of instruction during the pandemic, CCSD opened St. Isidore, our first virtual school. It offers grades 1 to 9 and is designed to complement St Anne Academic Centre, which houses our online high school students. In its first year of operation, St. Isidore is home to over 5,500 students and nearly 200 teachers have been hired to support these students.

CCSD has earmarked $23.5 million to support the needs of students and staff during this pandemic. Roughly half of this amount will fund the hiring of additional teaching staff, 20 per cent will go towards augmenting the number of guest employees, and the remaining 30 per cent will be earmarked for personal protective equipment and additional cleaning staff.

The Board of Trustees is proud to support the work of our district’s senior administration, school-based administrators, support staff, teachers, and custodial staff – each of these groups has undertaken incredible efforts to prepare for a safe re-entry, for which they have our deepest gratitude.