COVID-19 Update for Families Oct. 14

Oct. 14, 2020


COVID-19 update for Families 

Dear CBE Families

I would like to thank all of our students, staff and families for the work they have done over the past few weeks to adjust to the new health measures in place in our schools. I would also like to acknowledge the work of students, staff and families who are participating in online Hub learning. This has been a challenging time, and I am proud of the way the entire community has come together to support the ongoing learning and well-being of our students.

As the weather starts to become colder, it will be more important than ever to be mindful of the health regulations and for everyone to stay home if they are feeling unwell. I would also like to provide you with some important system reminders and updated COVID-19 information.

Does Your School Have Your Email Address?

On Oct. 8, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hinshaw announced that Alberta Health Services will begin trialing a new way of notifying parents of close contacts in schools through email instead of by phone. This will allow AHS to provide more immediate notice and give detailed written instructions to parents on next steps.

Please ensure your school has your most up-to-date email address on file. We also recommend you subscribe to receive all SchoolMessenger notices from your school. Visit for more information.

It will be important for all families to regularly check for these important emails.

Keeping Each Other Safe

Masks are mandatory in our schools for all students from kindergarten to Grade 12, with a few exceptions. It is costly for our schools to provide disposable masks if students forget to bring their own masks and reduces funding available to be used for educational purposes. Please make sure your child brings at least one mask to school each day.

It is also important that students continue to protect each other and the community as a whole both on and off school property. Remind your child that once they have left school, they should still observe physical distancing where possible, and wear a mask when distancing is not possible.

COVID-19 Updates, Information & Resources

There are a number of CBE and Alberta Health resources available to help families understand what they are required to do if their child is sick – when you must isolate, when to be tested, how long you must stay home and when you can go back to school. Check out our new page on our website - If a Student is Sick or has COVID-19 Symptoms.

On that page, you can also find links to provincial resources: If a Student Shows Symptoms and Returning to school after an illness.

We have also created a webpage to track all notifications of positive cases in our schools. The page links to the provincial map which tracks provincial school outbreaks (two or more cases in a school).

Provincial Achievement Test and Diploma Exam Update

Provincial Achievement Tests Cancelled

Due to the continued disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CBE will not be administering Grade 6 and 9 Provincial Achievement Tests in the 2020-21 school year. We believe this is the right decision in a year where direction from Alberta Education and Alberta Health continues to evolve rapidly. 

Teachers will remain focused on delivering the programs of study for all courses, and will continue to assess student achievement based on the grade level outcomes as determined by the Province of Alberta.

November 2020 Grade 12 Diploma Exams Optional

Alberta Education informed school boards on Oct. 13 that October/November 2020 diploma exams are optional for some students, and the decision to write will be made by students and their parents. Diploma exams scheduled for January, April or June continue to be mandatory.

The exemption to write applies only to students currently taking the diploma course, and who will receive a school-awarded mark for the first quarter (September to November) courses. Those students who took a diploma course before the 2020-21 school year who have registered to write one or more exams in November must still write the exam. However, they may choose to defer the exam writing to January, April or June. If they decide to defer, they must let their school know by the end of this week.

School Council Guidelines

School council and parent fundraising society meetings and activities are impacted this year because of COVID-19 protocols in place in our schools. New guidelines have been posted on our website.

Reminder | School Fees Due

Starting on Oct. 1, 2020 fees will be posted your MyCBE/PowerSchool account. Fees are due when they appear in your account. The CBE is introducing a new student supplies fee for the 2020-21 school year. This fee will apply to all students in kindergarten through Grade 9 (excluding HUB online learning students) to support in offsetting the cost to purchase school supplies for the year. For more information visit the Fees & Waivers webpage.

As always, if you have questions about your child or their learning, please connect with your child’s teacher or your school.


Christopher Usih

Chief Superintendent of Schools​