SOS ALBERTA CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT REPORTING ON FULL IMPACT OF COVID-19 IN SCHOOLS, INCLUDING ISOLATION STATISTICS
Support Our Students (SOS) Alberta welcomes today's belated announcement from the Government of Alberta on the launch of a COVID-19 school tracking website. SOS calls on the government to report data on the full impact of COVID on the school community, including the number of isolated staff and students. Following reports of hundreds of staff and students isolated for 14 days after only a few days of school, Albertan families are owed transparency on the full extent of disruption caused by COVID-19 in our schools, as this disruption has a direct impact on their lives and livelihoods.
“That, after six months of preparation of a ‘robust’ plan, the Government of Alberta was not prepared to offer Albertans a trusted source of COVID-19 school information in time for school re-entry truly highlights how little this government understands the concerns of parents and how little effort they invested in preparation. The public demand for this information from a trusted source was eminently foreseeable,” explained Medeana Moussa, Executive Director of Support Our Students.
In lieu of an official source of information, and in anticipation of parent demand for a trusted source, SOS launched its own COVID-19 tracking website prior to the first day of school. SOS recognized the realities of how Alberta families exist in both their school and neighbourhood communities, how those communities can be different yet overlapping. SOS understands the concerns of parents whose children may go to schools outside their communities, such as interacting with children in neighbourhood playgrounds. For these reasons in the first four days of operation, SOS’s COVID-19 tracker was visited over 48,000 times. Albertans have come to trust the SOS COVID-19 tracker as a timely and reliable source; SOS will continue to operate its own tracker until the Government can demonstrate a comparable degree of timeliness, completeness, and credibility.
SOS adds schools/updates to our tracker if an official communication by a school, school authority, or AHS has been made to the school community, or reported by a reputable media source. The SOS tracker makes no inferences or assumptions about the events, simply tallies them and provides access to the confirmed communication.
Support Our Students (SOS) Alberta is a non profit citizens’ action group advocating for universally accessible and equitable public education in Alberta. www.supportourstudents.ca